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Last Updated: Jan 12, 2012

Blessed by nature, the Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands with superb beaches, an unspoiled landscape, virgin forest, amazing marine life, lots of orchids, bougainvilleas, hibiscuses, gardenias and frangipani, and a profusion of bird species found nowhere else.  It is 1,600 km off the coast of East Africa, with a population of only 81,000. The Seychelles is outside the cyclone belt so the weather is stable all year round, a humid equatorial climate with an average maximum daily temperature of 29 degrees. There’s no malaria or yellow fever.  It has the highest human development index in Africa, with a per capita GDP of US$10,714.

Foreign property buyers in Seychelles mainly come from South Africa, Italy, France, Russia and the UK. Seychelles culture is largely French-influenced, and the population is highly racially mixed. Tourism employs 30% of the labour force, and powers the economy. Independent from Britain in 1976, Seychelles became a one-party state (1979-1991) under president France Albert René, who continued to dominate politics after 5-yearly elections were introduced till 2004, when he stepped down in favour of president James Michel.

Property is expensive.  Dwelling prices in Mahe, the capital, start at SCR2.34 million (US$160,000) (end-2010), according to Jean-Paul Maurel, director at Premium Realty, and a furnished two-bedroom house sells for about SCR9.35 million (US$640,000).  Land prices in the capital vary from SCR731 (US$50) per square meter (sq. m.) for a land with no view to USCR21,921 (S$1,500) per sq. m. for prime beachfront properties.

In Praslin, the Seychelles’  largest island, property prices are about 20% higher than in the capital because most properties are located on or near the beach.

Recently, a few high-end residential developments have been constructed. These include the following:

  • Eden Islands, a marina development on a reclaimed land linked to Mahe by a bridge. It comprises about 450 luxury two- and three-bedroom apartments, mansions and villas. Property prices start at about SCR4,384,230 (US$300,000).
  • Four Seasons Private Residences Seychelles, an exclusive residential development located at the Petite Anse Bay on Mahe’s southwest coast. Four- to six-bedroom villas are priced for about SCR102.3 million (US$7 million).

Most foreign buyers pay cash.  Foreigners can secure residency in Seychelles for a fee of SCR50,000 (US$3,421).  There are no property taxes or capital gains taxes in Seychelles but a foreign homebuyer should expect to pay a processing fee of 1.5%, a sanction duty of 11%, and a stamp duty of 5%.

Purchasing requires Government Sanction from the Cabinet Ministers of the Ministry of Land Use and Habitat.  The property must be used only for residential benefit of the buyer and his family. A minimum of SCR1 million (US$68,427) must be brought into the Seychelles, and converted to Seychelles rupees (SCR) to be used for the transaction.

The Immovable Property (Transfer Restriction) Act prohibits the lease of immovable property owned by a non-Seychellois.

Analysis of Seychelles Residential Property Market »

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2007

Built-up property prices are surprisingly low at around US$1,000 – US$1,200 per sq. m.

But the rents which properties will produce are also low. A 150 sq. m. property costing US$180,000 might typically rent for around US$700 per month. This is equivalent to a yield of 4.7%. Larger properties produce lower yields, as is typical in most places.

Read Rental Yields  »

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2013

Rental Income: Rental income is considered as business income and is taxed at progressive rates, from 0% to 33%.

Capital Gains: There is no capital gains tax

Inheritance: There is no inheritance tax in Seychelles.

Residents: Only locally-sourced income is taxed in Seychelles. Business income is taxed at progressive rates, from 0% to 33%.

Read Taxes and Costs  »

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2013

seychelles homes for saleRound-trip transaction costs, i.e., the total cost of buying and selling a property, are around 12%. All costs are paid by the buyer.

Buyers should note that there are unresolved issues relating to government land confiscations in the 1970s and 1980s. The owners were never compensated, and if the East European and Ugandan cases are followed, this could become an issue in future.

Read Buying Guide  »

Last Updated: Jan 01, 1970

Tenancy laws

Research in this field is on-going.

Read Buying Guide  »

Last Updated: Jan 12, 2012

Healthy economic growth

seychelles exchange rateSeychelles per capita income is around US$10,617, buoyed by tourism and the islands’ offshore tax haven status.

Seychelles growth has been very low over the past decade, despite its many advantages. Over the past ten years per capita GDP has actually declined by around 5%. Tourism, which employs 30% of the labor force and accounts for more than 70% of export earnings, has only seen around a 10% growth in visitor nights from 1993 to 2005.

The Seychelles problems are due to state control of the economy, an overvalued currency, high regulatory and tax costs, and the difficulty of repatriating profits.

seychelles properties for saleFrom 1993 to 2008, there were persistent foreign currency shortages, reflecting the current account deficit and the currency peg (effectively to the US$). Increasingly strict controls have been introduced, which obstruct businesses, and prevent profit repatriation.

Then in November 2008, a balance of payments forced the Seychelles to abandon its fixed exchange rate regime and move to a floating exchange rate. The overvaluation of the Seychelles rupee – estimated at between 11% to 33% against the US dollar - combined with a very active black market, had made the cost of living in Seychelles very high.

After overshooting in the first quarter of 2009, the rupee briefly stabilized against major traded currencies, but has since depreciated to US$1 = SCR14.6 (January 2012), according to the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS), improving the competitiveness of the country’s tourism sector.

Seychelles’ economy expanded by around 5% in 2011, from annual GDP growth rates of 6.2% in 2010, 0.7% in 2009 and -1.25% in 2008. In 2012, the economy is projected to grow by 4%.

The country’s unemployment rate was 4.1% in 2011, down from 4.6% in 2010 and 5.1% in 2009. In 2012, overall unemployment is expected to fall to 3.7%, according to the IMF. Consumer prices rose by 5.1% in November 2011, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). In 2010, the overall inflation rate was -2.3%, up from the dramatic inflation during the post-depreciation years of 31.8% in 2009, and 37% in 2008.

As of November 2011, there were about 176,478 tourist arrivals in Seychelles, up 11% to 174,529 in 2010. Europe accounted for about 75% of visitor arrivals.

seychelles GDP and inflationPolitics was dominated by France Albert René and the Seychelles People's United Party (SPUP), which seized power in 1987 in a coup against the popularly-elected pro-business party.

The results of socialist-style policies included high levels of government expenditures, an array of state trade and monopolies, and an abundance of concessions and exemptions.

Press freedom is severely restricted, and the government’s tentacles spread everywhere.

On the positive side, the government successfully made the Seychelles a tax haven through well-drafted legislation ( In addition, the government created a successful International Trade Zone, making the Seychelles an Indian Ocean trading entrepot (Mahe has the deepest port in the Indian ocean).

Opposition parties were legalized in 1991, but René won the elections held in 1992.

seychelles vacation villaParliamentary elections in 2002 saw another victory for René's party, but there was a mood of change in the air, and the opposition Seychelles National Party increased its representation from one to 11 seats. In 2003 the Government introduced a Macroeconomic Reform Programme (MERP), slashing Government spending, increasing taxes, and restoring a budget surplus.

The René era finally came to an end in April 2004, when the president resigned and was succeeded by former vice-president James Michel (who is nevertheless a member of Rene’s party and a close associate). The Government is now said to be moving more rapidly toward reform.

In the presidential elections held last May 2011, James Michel was reelected as president of Seychelles.

  • Moderate transaction costs
  • Aliens can buy but not rent out
  • Low to moderate rental yields
  • High rental income tax
  • Very weak economic growth
Price (sq.m): n.a. For a 120 sq. m. property, usually an apartment.
Rental Yield: n.a. For a 120 sq. m. property, usually an apartment.
Rent/month: n.a. For a 120 sq. m. property.
Income Tax: n.a. Assumptions: Owners are a non-resident couple drawing US$ / €1,500 per month in rent, with no other local income.
Roundtrip Cost: 12.00% The total cost of buying and then reselling an apartment. Includes:

* all transaction taxes and charges:
* lawyers' and notaries' fees
* agents' fees

Assumptions: The buyers are non-resident foreigners. The apartment cost US$250,00 / €250,000.
Cap Gains Tax: n.a. Assumptions: The property was bought for US$250,000 / €250,000, and sold 10 years later, after a 100% appreciation.
Landlord and Tenant Law: Pro-Landlord Rating is based on a detailed study of each country’s law and practice.

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