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Buying Property In Morocco

About Morocco

Call it Tangier, Marrakesh or Casablanca but for all the people who love long and idyllic beaches under the sun, there is no place like morocco to suit their needs. The charm of living or holidaying in morocco is in its multiplicity as its offers attractions for every type of visitor. For people who love to bathe in the sun, there are miles of beaches; while inland lies Berber country where, among the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, the energetic can walk or trek and for the more adventurous there’s Sahara desert. It is only recently that investors are putting all of these factors together to come up with an ideal investment option in Morocco property.

Due to its proximity from Western Europe, Morocco of late has become the ideal African starting point for the traveller. Throughout morocco one can open-air markets selling rugs, woodwork, jewellery and leather - said to be the softest in the world.

After gaining independence from France in 1956, the Morocco of today is an exquisite amalgamation of the exotic magic of the Islamic, Arabic, African world - the world of medinas and minarets, desert and mountain; yet it almost touches Western Europe and, for all the differences, retains a European gloss, the legacy of the French Protectorate.

Morocco is located at the westernmost tip of North Africa, bordering Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the south and southeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean to the north. Running through the middle of the country is the Atlas mountain range, which leads to the fertile plains and sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast.

With the opening of tourism and Moroccan governments’ initiative into tourism and infrastructure building many outsiders are finding it a wealthy proposition to own a piece of the booming market.

The Property Market in Morocco

The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in the numbers of overseas investors buying apartments, homes, villas – amongst the other properties in morocco. Morocco with its combination of great weather, exotic location, and good food, Morocco property is becoming the most sought-after location for better-off overseas as well as not so well of overseas investors. Which place in the world can provide you the opportunity to rub shoulders with Fashion designers Yves Saint Laurent and Jean Paul Gaultier both have Morocco property and keep houses in Marrakesh and prices reflect strong European interest. Small, traditional houses start at just £40,000, although there will be substantial restoration costs to pay.

If you are considering buying a property in Morocco for investment, now is the time to make your move. Moroccan interest rates are low and property prices are rising steadily.

Compared to Spain in Morocco properties are available at approximately one third of the price for comparable property located in Spain. The major cities of Morocco have recorded capital growth of over 30% in the last 3 years.

The cities in Morocco which has been witnessing higher capital growths are Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech and Tangier. The Areas along the Mediterranean coast are expected to be the next booming areas in morocco – current prices are very low.

In addition, King Mohammed 6th has liberalised the political and tax system - rental income is now exempt from tax for 5 years and no capital gains are paid if the property is sold after 10 years

For buying property in Morocco, built in mortgages are available for investors and they can borrow upto 70% of the value of the Moroccan property for upto 15 years from a Moroccan bank. The interest rate as of Feb 06 was 5.5%.

The Moroccan property market can effectively be divided into three sectors namely “riad” built around a central garden with a fountain, and a “dar” a similar house without the central garden. Both are found in the oldest part of the city, medina. The third sector is the new properties being build.

Why Invest in Morocco

With its unique location and being very near to Western Europe and its all the year round weather, it’s uniquely suited to investors needs. The reasons for investing in Morocco is not just confined to its location or weather but there many more things which makes investing in a Moroccan property a profitable business investment. At this stage the property prices in Morocco are relatively low compared to other destinations and is an emerging market coupled with is the sense of making a secure investment. The tourism sector is booming in Morocco and people have reported 85% occupancy rate for rented properties during high season. These reasons alone make Morocco a safe investment destination.

If you are still little bit skeptical about purchasing property in Morocco this piece of news will certainly make you think and take notice, the Moroccan King Mohammed VI and the UAE have allocated huge investment into drastically increasing tourism further to a goal of 10m per year by 2010 apart from this investment into developing infrastructure is also poring in from United States. This investment along with several tax advantages also helps investors in feeling comfortable in investing in property in Morocco.

The main points why one should invest into Moroccan property are given below.

Luxury lifestyle for very little
Great value property
10 year building guarantee (similar to nhbc)
Rental yields 6% plus
Strong emerging property market all set for very strong capital growth
0% Tax on rental income
0% Capital gains tax under £40k or after ten years
0% Inheritance tax when passed onto family
100% repatriation of funds
Government vision for 2010 tourism strategy
Major investment in infrastructure, airports and ports

There are very few locations in the World that investors can look to invest at excellent prices and expect an immediate rental return with such high capital appreciation prospects.

Outlook

Morocco is already creating waves as the newest hot spot in the international property market. The properties which are being constructed in properties be it hotels, residential apartments, villas, luxury houses etc are comparable to the best in the world and available for a fraction of price compared to similar properties around the world. The outlook for the Morocco property market is bound to go higher as it is fast becoming the playground for the rich and famous going by media reports that say that large number of the worlds wealthy, including film stars and sports heros. Richard Branson, the Rolling Stones, Malcom Forbes, and even David Beckham are believed to have purchased property in Morocco. With considerable investment going into developing the infrastructure like roads, ports, bridges, airports and when completed it can be said with conviction that the prices of Moroccan property will be far higher than investors can purchase at present. Also the resorts which are being developed are expected to attract vast numbers of tourists on short term holidays generating excellent rental yields for the investors who own these properties.

As far as the growth rate in property prices is concerned there are many different views, but in these entire different views one thing is common that is the prices are bound to rise. Homes overseas Magazine has quoted a capital growth of 30% but on a conservative note 15% is deemed as being very achievable.

Also the outlook for the rental income from Morocco based property is set to increase over a period of time as good rental yields are achievable from property in the new luxury resorts being constructed. With people reporting 85% rental occupancy during the high season and the number of tourists set to grow faster than the number of available accommodation this figure is expected to grow meaning larger occupancy levels for investors and potential growth in rental income as demand grows.

Submitted by:

Parag Sheth

The author of this article moderates at Totally Property - an overseas investment property forum that specialises in property in Morocco.




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