Patrice Legris

Patrice Legris

CEO of Alteo Properties

Real Estate & Construction / Mauritius

“Foreign property is one of the main channels of FDI in Mauritius”

Alteo Properties, part of the conglomerate Alteo Group, holds property assets that include the luxury resort destination Anahita Mauritius, a leading integrated resort development on the island. Patrice Legris, Alteo Properties’ CEO, tells us more.

What qualities best describe the health of the Mauritian property market today?
We have a variety of good qualities in Mauritius that reflect the healthy state of the property sector, including the general climatic conditions, the accessibility, the business environment, the air quality, and the lifestyle. Security is an important factor as well – Mauritius is very safe. And last but not least, people in Mauritius are very welcoming and look forward to hosting more foreigners. Investment in foreign property is one of the main channels of FDI in Mauritius. These investments come mainly from Europe – including the UK, France, Belgium and Switzerland, and also to a lesser extent from South Africa. Although we still have relatively few investors from Asia – mostly from India, from Singapore, and a few from China – this group represents a huge potential for us in the future, and going forward this will be the next challenge for us.

How much undeveloped land is being looked at for future projects in Mauritius today?
There is still a large potential to be developed in the sector, in our case, as well as in our competitors’ case. In the case of Alteo, we developed the Anahita estate, which represents 213 hectares, but the group holds an estate of 15,000 hectares, so there are lands next to Anahita that will be developed afterwards. We are now working on a master plan to develop a land that is just next to Anahita, which is called Beau Rivage. We’ll develop this land in four or five years’ time, once we are finished with Anahita.

Why has your flagship project, Anahita, been so successful?
We have now completed two third of the project and we are planning to do the last third now. The main factors behind our success have been the beauty of the location. We have large old trees, an outstanding golf course and a low density with only 13% of the area to be built, and our targeted positioning; right from the start we positioned the project as very exclusive and very luxury. However, the best testimony of our success is probably the fact that for the last two years, 30% of our sales were done by our home owners, who are either reinvesting for their children, buying a second home, or referring Anahita to a friend or a member of their family.

How does Alteo plan to innovate its offerings?
In regards to technological innovation, we use solar heaters and all kinds of energy-saving devices, as well as smart home devices. We are getting our water from a sewage treatment plant for gardening as well, and well be innovating products through the new architect that we’ll bring on board.

What aspects of Mauritius make it a destination of choice for Chinese?
Mauritius is an interesting gateway to go the African continent for Asia. Let’s not forget that China is a big part of Mauritius’ history. Ten to fifteen percent of the population in Mauritius is of Chinese descent, and so Chinese people coming to Mauritius will find here some common roots that they already share with Mauritians. Both countries are historically linked and therefore Mauritius has a natural card to play with China.

How are you positioning your brand to build an international reputation?
Last year we started to investigate and invest into the China market more seriously. We have come up this year with a nice innovation for the Chinese market: we have created a specific one-week package to come to the resort that is tailored for Chinese guests with lots of activities, trips and excursions. In case the guests decide afterwards to buy a property at Anahita, we will reimburse their trip to Mauritius.

How important is China to the future of Mauritius?
Twenty years ago, people were just wondering whether China would be taking off and become a real giant. Today the answer is quite clear: China is present everywhere and has become a huge political, economic and financial power, with large investments all over the world and spreading technologies. It’s a must today to turn towards China. For the property business, it will take us time to develop our local Chinese market – just like it is taking time to build our tourism market with China. The good thing for Mauritius is that we are flexible; we have an outstanding, multicultural, peaceful environment. We are ready to embrace and integrate everybody. This is the big strength of Mauritius. We welcome everybody, and unlike other countries, we don’t have any restrictions.