Land of the Setting Sun

The most westerly country in the Arabic world, Morocco is appropriately named as ‘Al-Maghrib’ – the place where the sun sets.

Morocco is fast becoming a popular choice for investment property. With flights from the UK being of less than three hours’ duration and around six hours from the east coast of America, it is a wise decision to consider purchasing a property in this North African country.  New routes are scheduled in the near future and the boost to tourism and property investment is being backed by none other than the King of Morocco himself.

The ‘Plan Azur’ which is a strategy to develop six coastal resorts to rival that of Spain’s Costa del Sol is nearing fruition. The escalation in tourism these purpose- built resorts are set to bring will prove to be mutually beneficial to those wishing to invest in Morocco and the people who already live there.    

Property prices have increased steadily over the past few years, especially in Marrakesh which has become a fashionable destination for the rich and famous – and now thanks to budget airlines virtually anyone can pay the place a visit!

Plenty of new developments are under construction at a relatively affordable level both on the coast and further inland and there is still a wide choice of property available.

Whether it is a first line beach bungalow you desire, a city apartment or a tumbledown retreat in the Rif Mountains, there is still time to buy in at competitive and realistic prices.  

 Most developments have a selection of villas with their own private pool, apartments with communal pools and on-site supermarkets; shops, gated security and underground parking – and all this within a stones throw of miles of golden coastline, prestigious marinas and verdant golf courses.

 If it is an older more traditional property you desire, then there are plenty Riads available either fully renovated or ready to be updated to your own specifications. A Riad is an authentic Moroccan home which has an interior courtyard or garden similar to that found in a Roman villa. The main rooms all lead off from this central area. There are often several storeys and sometimes a roof terrace. Riads are often favoured by artistic, creative types who perhaps want to set up a pottery business. A few years back you could snap up one of these properties inside ancient medina walls and still have change from 25,000 GB pounds but since then prices have soared. Of course these individual residences have their appeal but they are a world apart from the modern hedonistic complexes nearer the beach.

For the foreign national, purchasing property is fairly straightforward in Morocco and luxurious furniture packages can be arranged by reputable American companies who will supply everything needed, including white goods, to equip your investment property to a high standard; apart from this and the cost of air conditioning units there not much extra to pay.

First of all you may find it useful to familiarise yourself with reputable Internet sites such as Rightmove that will show details of the main areas of development. There are guidelines and advice as well as specific information on floor plans, location, local amenities etc. It may help to phone or email some of the agents for further details before whittling your choice down to a select few. At time of writing there are over seventy listings for Moroccan property on Rightmove alone so there is ample choice available.

A notary will have to be appointed for the legalities but the process is usually hassle-free and should not take any longer than a year on average. Many agents have their own approved notary.

Whether you intend to let your acquisition or live in it yourself you will find there are many options open to you and plenty sound advice on hand to steer you through the buying process.

Buying a Moroccan property could not only prove to be a lucrative investment opportunity but it could also be beneficial to your family and friends too.

Never buy anywhere without viewing first; even if the property itself may be wonderful you can never tell what might be standing right next to it.  It is as well to remember that promotional photos will always show a property looking its best and the seller will often go to any lengths to omit undesirable surroundings.

Many agencies can arrange inspection trips where part or all of you travel costs are refunded. It is well worth taking the time to do this so any decision to buy can be made once all the due diligence has been done. You will also have adequate leisure time to become acquainted with the Moroccan lifestyle before returning home. It is rare that inspection visits nowadays will just rush you from one property to the next without giving you the time to take in your surroundings.

Finance can be raised with the aid of a Moroccan mortgage and the foreign buyer will need to open a Moroccan bank account if not paying for the investment in cash. The process is uncomplicated and by no means tedious; again the estate agency concerned will be able to advise you on this.

If you intend to hold on to your property for a good many years, the tax situation in Morocco favours the investor and you can even pass the investment on to your loved ones when you die with no fear of inheritance tax if you have owned the property for ten years. However if you do deicide to sell at some point, the market for resale property is encouraging and you are more than likely to make a healthy profit from your investment.