Interview with Mauritius Housing Company Ltd

Admin March 23, 2022

As inflation and the cost of living continue to increase, both globally and in Mauritius, homeownership remains a key priority as an inflation-hedge by focusing on long-term capital growth. However acquiring a home remains an elusive goal for many people, and having access to credit is a vital part of real estate acquisition.

We sit down with Mr Anand Babbea from the Mauritius Housing Company (MHC), originally established in 1963 and one of the largest and strongest companies in the housing and finance industry, to find out about their offerings for Mauritian citizens in making the dream of homeownership a reality.

Who is the MHC and what are your primary offerings?

The main role of MHC Ltd is to promote homeownership throughout the island of Mauritius and Rodrigues by providing a wide array of home solutions for construction projects, extension, renovation, refinancing existing housing loans and purchase of residential land or property. 

Besides the housing lending business, the company is a non-bank deposit-taking institution raising capital for its future developments while ensuring a reasonable return to the depositors. As an estate developer, MHC has been successful in several housing projects like Vuillemin, Cyber village, etc and is venturing into other bigger projects.  Presently we are embarking on a major project at Clos Verger at the heart of Rose- Hill – Residence Mon Reve.

This project consists of 44 housing units (40 apartments and 4 penthouses) with amenities that consist of a swimming pool, parking space and a modern gymnasium. The construction is due to start in May / June 2022 and reservation for units has already started. All prospective buyers making a reservation by June 2022 will benefit from a 5% refund up to a maximum of Rs 500,000 on the purchase price, as per the Home Ownership Refund Scheme.

MHC also offers other services to help customers through the purchase cycle such as: - Architectural (drawing of house plans/technical assistance), Legal (preparation of fixed charge documents) and Insurance (life and building insurance covers). 

MHC recently introduced the ‘Senior Smart Home Loan’ at the end of 2021, what other products are on offer to consumers?

Firstly, the Senior Smart Loan is designed exclusively for elders between the ages of 60 to 70 years old, who are in need of a home loan for construction, extension, renovation purpose or a purchase of residential land or property. This comes with an attractive rate of interest over a maximum term of 10 years.

Our Flexi Loan scheme is a hassle-free and quick finance to our existing/new customers for minor completion/renovation works or refinancing purposes. The ceiling amount has been raised to Rs 1.5m over 10 years at an interesting rate of interest.

Top-Up and ReCash loan schemes have been introduced to facilitate existing customers to complete their housing projects by providing additional/new loans without any new mortgage or lump their loans with extended periods.

We recently launched a new loan product – The Home Loan Plus targeting the high-income group with loans above Rs 3m at a very competitive interest rate and a maximum term of up to 30 years.

Lastly, MHC as a non-bank deposit-taking institution offers very attractive rates of interest for savings and deposits. We propose flexible terms of deposit up to 120 months with payment of interest: monthly, quarterly, half quarterly, yearly and maturity. 

How does a person become eligible for a loan or product through the MHC? And what is the timeline to complete the process?

Loans are granted up to the age of 65 years, and eligibility depends on criteria such as age, income, cost/value of the project and existing loan commitments. A preliminary assessment is usually done during the client's first visit/contact. At the time of application, a second assessment is done to confirm the eligible amount and terms of the loan. 

A loan application goes through different stages before the issuance of the letter of offer. Our main priority is to deliver quick and efficient service to all our customers.  To give them assurance, proper communication is established with the customers throughout the process.

The past 2 years have been difficult on both global and national levels, yet real estate remains resilient through those periods – where do you see the Mauritian real estate market going in 2022 and beyond?

Many sectors have been impacted due to a drastic drop in the demand for products and services. However, Mauritian real estate has been able to sustain its market position due to constant growth in demand for houses, apartments and villas.

The demand for housing is increasing year by year due to the new generation entering the market with a change in taste and preferences. Where land acquisition and construction are concerned - currently there is a mismatch between supply and demand - as this sector remains the most active segment. It is a good opportunity to venture into this growing business, and the MHC is not leaving any stone unturned.


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