16 miles is all that separates the Morocco from Spain, yet there is a massive difference in prices between the two countries. Sure, the prices are going up rapidly, but they still have a long way to go before they get anywhere close to where they are on the opposite side of the Straits of Gibraltar.
Since 1999, the Moroccan king and government has become a lot more pro-Western than many of the other North African nations and has made a major effort to attract tourists to the country, including heavy development on new resorts in the north of the country. It seems to be working, with the infrastructure developing rapidly and tourist numbers increasing just as fast.
|It’s quite easy to see why as well, because Morocco’s location is excellent for visitors from the UK – less than 3 hours to get to somewhere with sunshine for the vast majority of the year. This is certainly a lot easier to get to than the Canary Islands. There are now plenty of budget flight options for getting to Morocco and so there are no problems there. There are plans afoot for a rail link between Spain and Morocco which will open up the country still further. However, this isn’t going to happen any time soon (perhaps by 2025), so don’t get too excited about it just yet.|
Bearing this in mind, it’s perhaps not too surprising to learn that prices in Morocco have been going up very fast over the past few years as many buyers who were interested in buying in Spain looked to Morocco instead. A growth in prices in 2006 of 20% makes Morocco one of the fastest-growing territories of the moment.
Even though French buyers have been active on the Moroccan market since 2000 and have seen the market rise substantially over this period, don’t fear that you might have missed the
boat already – Knight Frank put Morocco as their fourth growing market for 2007 with an increase in prices of 15% for the year – that’s higher than anywhere else apart from the Baltic States of Lithuania and Latvia, plus Slovenia. Seems reasonable to us – although the supply of new properties is increasing, it looks as if tourist numbers are increasing just as rapidly, so rental yields are likely to remain reasonable.
If you’re looking to invest in Morocco, then you have two main options. The first is the coast in the north of the country around Tangier, which is where most of the resort development in taking place. The other option is Marrakech. Although only the fourth largest city in Morocco, it has always held a special attraction for foreign buyers because of its history and exoticism. As a result, there are more flights between the UK and Marrakech than in larger cities such as the capital, Rabat and Casablanca.
The buying process in Morocco is relatively straightforward – no easier or more difficult than buying in any other of the developing market. As it is one of the more popular markets that we cover on Propertastic!, there are plenty of English speaking developers and sales agents who will be able to help you complete your purchase. It is also possible to obtain mortgages locally, with quite reasonable terms that are competitive with those from most other developing markets.
We have labelled Morocco as being a moderate risk. Although the king and government are pro-west and forward thinking, it still must be remembered that Morocco is a Muslim country, which does give the possibility of terrorist bombings, the last one being in Casablanca in 2003. Putting this into context, however, terrorism is always going to be a minor risk just about everywhere these days – even London. Morocco’s economy has done very well over the past five years – it looks unlikely that the country will go back to being more isolationistic.
In summary, if you are looking to buy a resort property somewhere where you can be assured of sunshine for most of the year, then Morocco is a good choice. Prices are definitely higher here than in the other options that can be compared with Morocco, namely Turkey and Egypt, but the fact that Morocco is so easy to get to from the UK means that this premium is most certainly justified.
Additional Background Information
The above contains our thoughts on the current state of the market. But, like any type of investment, there are no guarantees as prices are always influenced by a huge number of different variables.
You can keep abreast of developments in the market by checking out the articles in our News section where we’ve trawled the Internet for every story connected with property in Morocco so you don’t have to. By checking the news reports regularly and thinking through the consequences of each piece of news, you should be able to get a good idea as to how quickly or slowly property prices in the market are going to rise in the near future.
The information in this section only tells half the story, however as only a small proportion of Morrocan property news is translated in English, which means that the locals are getting a lot more useful information than foreigners are.
Investing in the wrong markets could make the difference between making tens of thousands and losing tens of thousands over the next few years. If you’re seriously considering investing in Morroco, then you should think of subscribing to our Premium Service so that you can get all the breaking news from the market at the same time the Morrocans are hearing it.
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