Seychelles: affordable homes by the Indian Ocean

A new marina development on the Indian Ocean islands of the Seychelles has homes from only £279,500
The Indian Ocean islands of the Seychelles, four degrees south of the equator and one thousand miles from anywhere, are an exclusive choice not normally associated with affordability.

For a start there's the 12-hour indirect flight from London to reach the tropical white sand beaches and secluded private hideaway islands where Prince William and Kate honeymooned. Yet the Seychelles Tourism Board is keen to prove that you don't have to be richer than Croesus to visit.

"The biggest misconception about the Seychelles is that it is all expensive," says Amy Michel from Seychelles Tourism. "We can't do mass tourism because we don't have the flight access and we have to import just about everything, but there are plenty of guesthouses and B&Bs from £32 a night."

Seychelles holiday homes
© Alamy
White sands and stunning blue seas make the Seychelles a perfect place to relax

The same applies to property. While there are top-dollar second homes such as the beautiful Four Seasons Residences in lush private gardens on the main island of Mahe starting at £4.630 million, there are also more affordable options from just £279,500.

Eden Island
The 115 islands of the Seychelles are a favourite holiday home for South Africans, Italians, French and Britons. Less developed than Mauritius and infinitely more green and varied than the low-lying Maldives, their two main competitors in the Indian Ocean, their beauty is heart-stopping.

Steep green mountainsides plunging into the bluest waters and whitest beaches have given them a starring role in countless films as an island idyll. Eden Island is one of the newest islands, a reclaimed 125 acres of land, interlaced with canals and berths and linked by a short bridge to Mahe.

This marina development, 10 minutes from the capital Victoria, has seen recession-defying sales since its launch in 2007 with 420 homes sold out of a planned total of 520. Each home comes with a berth, a key reason for its success, while the marina boasts several super yachts.

"Many of the Seychelles' top resorts are remote destinations where you stay for your entire holiday," says Eden Island's marketing director Peter Smith. "Eden Island is more a base, well placed for owners to explore other islands."

Property for sale includes one to three-bedroom apartments from 950 sq ft for £279,500, two to four-bedroom townhouses with pools from £575,500, and spacious villas up to 6,460 sq ft from £1.71 million. So far, 380 homes at Eden Island are occupied and the sense of community is good with families meeting up at the waterfront restaurant bedside the marina.

There is a good and well-used gym, tennis court, communal pools, retail centre and four beaches. Homes are built close together and all face the water. The resort is carefully landscaped and car-free: owners whizz around in golf buggies included in the sale price.

"Right from the start, British buyers bought off-plan at Eden Island," says Joanna Leverett of selling agent Savills. "The project stacked up for them with a marina, reasonable prices and a very flexible and transparent rental programme in a country with a good holiday rental market."

Eden Island will manage rentals and based on a realistic occupancy rate of 55 per cent per annum a net rental yield of six per cent is possible, says Leverett. Around 80 homes are lived in full-time or rented long-term, ensuring year-round life.

Seychelles holiday homes
The Eden Island villas all face wonderful blue waters. Visit
Unmatched beauty
Stuart Murray from Scotland bought a three-bedroom apartment at Eden Island off-plan in 2007 after falling in love with the Seychelles on a belated honeymoon in 1991.

"The Seychelles is unmatched in the Indian Ocean for natural beauty," says Stuart, 51, a mining executive.

"It has mountains, fabulous beaches and safe seas, the people are charming, a good mix of European, Asian and African culture, English is widely spoken and the air links are good."

In 2010, Stuart and his wife Karen bought a larger villa at Eden Island, keeping their apartment in the rental pool. They visit with their sons Robert and Andrew, 20 and 18, four times a year for up to five weeks each time.

"It is so close to the airport, which is important for us and there's a good community here," says Stuart. "It's a second home in the Indian Ocean so clearly not cheap but I like the fact that you don't have to be a multimillionaire to buy at Eden Island."

Contacts and factfile:
* Eden Island through Savills:; 020 7016 3740;
* Four Seasons Private Residences: through Hamptons International;; 020 7305 5792
* Full furniture packages at Eden Island start from $34,000 (£22,500)
* Maintenance starts at $340 (£225) a month
* Property is owned freehold while berths are on a 99-year lease
* Etihad Airways flies daily from London to Victoria via Abu Dhabi

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