Boasting 2,500 kilometres of coastline, the once war ravaged Mozambique is becoming popular among SA leisure property investors looking for an unspoilt alternative to Clifton, Plett or Ballito.
Wealthy globe trotters are starting to discover Inhambane city's Portuguese heritage, seafood restaurants and nightclubs along the city's main beach road, the Avenida Marginale.
While South Africans have for many years enjoyed the fun and surf offered by their north eastern neighbour, they have not been allowed to own real estate in Mozambique. That changed in 2007 when the Mozambican government introduced new legislation to allow foreign investors to buy into multiple unit resort developments.
A number of leisure property investment opportunities have since been brought to the market in and around Maputo as well as in sought after coastal areas like Inhambane, Ponta do Ouro, Villanculos, Pemba, Bilene and Benguerra Island.
Sia Sente development contributes towards the local economy, creating jobs and skills in the local community.
All land in Mozambique is state-owned, so both locals and foreigners merely buy the right to use the land initially for a period of 49 years, renewable every 50 years.
Leisure property buyers can now obtain full ownership and title for their beach houses. Speaking at a Mozambique investment seminar recently in Johannesburg, the Mozambique Tourism minister explained that while land cannot be transferred from one buyer to another, the same doesn't apply to buildings and improvements. Ownership of bricks and mortar is obtained thrugh a title deed known as "Titulo de Propriedada".
Mozambique's property ownership laws are similar to the share block schemes sometimes used by leisure property developers in SA.
Another incentive for investors is the fact that Mozambique's legal framework is being developed quite extensively. For instance, a double tax treaty was recently adopted to prevent SA investors paying double taxation when earning an income or selling an asset in Mozambique.