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;