Seychelles Government Upholds Moratorium on Land Sales to Non-Citizens
In a recent announcement, Vice President Ahmed Afif confirmed the Seychelles government’s decision to maintain the existing moratorium on the sale of land to non-Seychellois for residential purposes.
This measure, initially introduced in early 2021, has been reinforced after extensive discussions within the Cabinet of Ministers. The primary objective is to safeguard the integrity of the residential property market in Seychelles.
Addressing Concerns of Foreign Influence on Property Prices
Vice President Afif highlighted that the moratorium was initially enacted to address growing concerns about the potential impact of foreign buyers on property prices. The government is wary of the financial advantage often held by foreigners, potentially leading to inflated residential property prices.
The fear is that such a scenario could disadvantage local buyers, making it challenging for Seychellois residents to compete in the housing market. The government’s focus is on ensuring a fair and sustainable housing market accessible to all citizens.
Ongoing Market Assessment and Immoveable Property Tax
The moratorium on land sales to foreigners will persist until the government gains a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics and potential consequences associated with foreign ownership in the residential property market.
Policymakers aim to develop effective strategies that strike a balance between the interests of domestic and international investors. To achieve this, ongoing assessments of the market will be conducted.
Vice President Afif emphasized the role of the Immoveable Property Tax, introduced on December 31, 2020, which is imposed on real estate properties based on their assessed value.
Foreigners owning property in Seychelles are subject to this tax. The government’s objective is to ensure that foreign property owners contribute proportionally to the local economy. The tax also serves as a mechanism to manage the potential impact of foreign ownership on housing affordability and availability.
Balancing Foreign Investment and Local Housing Affordability
Through continuous assessments and the implementation of the Immovable Property Tax, the Seychelles government aims to strike a delicate balance. The goal is to attract foreign investment while simultaneously preserving housing affordability for the local population.
This strategic approach reflects a commitment to sustainable economic development and equitable access to the housing market for both Seychellois and foreign investors.