Maldives draws interest of global property investors

3 mins read
Courtesy of Soneva Jani

The Maldives is emerging as an attractive market for international property investment, according to the Thailand arm of leading international property consultancy CBRE.  

As a market that is “undersupplied” with high growth potential due to the increasing number of tourist arrivals, the Maldives offers a good opportunity for investors to capitalise on high returns, CBRE advised.

“The Maldives’ property market presents an exciting opportunity for investors seeking to diversify their portfolio. The Maldives’ property market is poised for growth after updating its foreign direct investment policy in 2020, and has unique appeal as a destination for high-end tourism,” said Praphinleeya Phuengkhuankhan, Head of Residential Sales – Ad Hoc at CBRE Thailand.

“Currently, investment opportunities in the Maldives can be found in villa projects and hotel-branded residences, and we are seeing returns of up to 7% in some projects. Among the most sought-after properties in the Maldives are Soneva Jani and Soneva Fushi, which offer a unique blend of luxury and sustainability. Soneva Jani, a collection of eight island villas and 51 overwater pool villas ranging from one to four bedrooms, is the latest luxury Soneva property offering vacation villas for purchase, following a change in Maldivian law that allowed resorts to sell subleases to individuals.”

CBRE highlighted key strengths of the Maldives tourism industry, including the quick recovery to nearly pre-pandemic levels of visitors by the end of 2022, an increase in the average duration of stay from 6.2 days in 2017 to 8 days in 2022, and the diversification of target tourist markets with the opening of new family-oriented properties.

A total of 1.6 million tourists visited the Maldives in 2022, exceeding the government’s optimistic forecast for the year and coming close to the 1.7 million arrivals figure from 2019.

The Maldives recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic much faster than other popular resort destinations in Asia, CBRE observed. After falling below 30% in 2020 – compared to below 20% in Bali – the occupancy rate in the Maldives bounced back to nearly 60% in the following year. But the occupancy rate in the Indonesian tourist hotspot remained low.

Surveys indicate that repeat visitors to the Maldives are common and tourists often report high levels of satisfaction. Eco-friendly and sustainable tourism, bolstered by initiatives to reduce plastic waste, protect marine areas and shift to renewable energy sources, also appeal to investors interested in socially responsible development.

“As the Maldives continues to grow and attract a wider range of tourists, CBRE Thailand believes that now is the time for investors to explore this emerging investment destination,” the investment firm advised. “With strong post-pandemic recovery, a broadening target tourist market and ever-expanding opportunities for property investment, the Maldives is an emerging global destination for both travel and property investment.”

A Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Texas, USA, the CBRE Group is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm.