Many foreigners are drawn to Madagascar due to the astonishing beauty of its landscapes, the remarkable friendliness of its people and the uniqueness of its wildlife.
The peaceful and laid back vibes of Madagascar make the island an alluring destination for foreigners, not only for a short holiday trip, but even as a place to settle down permanently or have a vacation home.
This leads many foreign citizens to ponder: “Can you actually buy property in Madagascar as a foreigner?”
The answer is yes, as a foreigner you can absolutely buy property in Madagascar. And in this article we’ll tell you how.
How to Buy a Property as a Foreigner in Madagascar
There are 3 distinct ways that foreigners can buy property in Madagascar:
- Using a Malagasy citizen as intermediate owner
- Opening a company and applying for the right to purchase property
- Obtaining a 99-year long lease
Method 1: Buying property through a Malagasy intermediary
Many foreigners opt to purchase a property through an intermediate owner of Malagasy citizenship. This is most often a trusted friend or a spouse.
However, as you can probably imagine, this is not a recommendable way to purchase real estate in Madagascar.
Unless expectations are properly managed, and there is sufficient trust between the parties, this way of purchasing a property can often lead to conflict between the parties.
Therefore, we do not generally recommend that foreigners buy real estate through a Malagasy intermediary. There are just too many things that can go wrong.
Method 2: Opening a company and applying for the rights to purchase property
Opening a company and applying for the rights to purchase property in Madagascar through your Malagasy company is certainly a viable and safe way to buy real estate in the country.
However, in our opinion, doing it this way is just too much of a hassle.
First you have to open a company in Madagascar. This is a relatively straightforward process. You gather the required documents and open your company through the Economic Development Board of Madagascar (EDBM). It’s a process that can be completed in about a week if you have all the necessary documents on hand.
Keep in mind, whether you intend to use this company to run a business, or if you just want to use it for the purpose of purchasing real estate, you are still liable to file taxes on behalf of the company once every calendar year. This provides an unnecessary tax burden for buyers who just want to purchase real estate.
When the company has been incorporated, you must submit an application for the rights to purchase property through your company. Again, this application is submitted through the Economic Development Board.
This application is a bit more comprehensive, as you must submit an investment plan and show proof of funds exceeding $500,000.
As such, this method of purchasing a property is only intended for buyers who have a large-scale project in mind, usually commercial in nature.
If you’re just a regular joe who wants to buy a piece of property in Madagascar, the best way to go is to make use of the 99-year lease contract.
Method 3: Purchasing property in Madagascar with a 99-year long lease
As a foreign citizen, you are not able to purchase a property in Madagascar on a freehold title. However, foreign citizens are able to obtain what’s known as a “long lease” for up to 99 years, also known as a “bail emphytéotique” in French.
This is, in essence, the same as owning the property. Leasing a property for 99 years gives you all the same rights to exploit, develop, and resell the property as a citizen of Madagascar would have.
Furthermore, the lease can be extended beyond the initial lease period for an additional 99 years, if you’re lucky enough to outlive your lease, or if you want your descendants to inherit the property.
In other words, there are no restrictions as to what you can do with the property you have purchased/leased.
Therefore, leasing a property in Madagascar is, practically speaking, the same as owning a property with a freehold title.
How to get started?
Regardless of the method you wanna use for purchasing a property in Madagascar, there is only one way to get started: the first thing you have to do is identify a property that you wish to purchase.
Here at Madagascar Invest, we specialize in helping foreigners buy real estate in Madagascar in a safe, fast, and transparent manner.
We invite you to browse our current real estate listings, and to contact us if you find a property that appeals to you.
When you have identified a property you want to buy, we can assist you with all the legal procedures, to ensure that the property is titled in your name.
Now, go forth and purchase your own piece of Madagascar. The big island welcomes foreign investors, and Madagascar Invest is here to guide you at every step of the way.