Country houses for sale

Maldives opens to foreigners

Foreigners are being given the opportunity to buy property in the Maldives for the first time with the launch of the Soneva Gili Private Residences this month.

Fourteen over-water houses are being offered for sale at the Six Senses resort on the privately-owned Lankanfushi Island, one of the smallest islands in the archipelago set in one of the largest lagoons.

The company is well known for its barefoot luxury and eco-friendly approach so each of the four-bedroom houses will be built from renewable and natural materials and will include an over-water pool, sauna, gym and staff quarters for the butlers.

Homes will be bought on a 50 year leasehold with an option to extend to 90 years and there are attractive tax benefits free from income tax and capital gains tax.

A guaranteed gross rental yield of up to 5% is available to buyers who place their property into the rental programme which is useful as Soneva Gili has had healthy occupancy rates which could give owners a higher return.

Guide price: US$7 million through Cluttons Resorts (020 7584 3050;