Real Estate Property Investment Series: Focus Morocco 2007

The Moroccan government realised that the way forward for their nation in terms of creating employment and boosting the economy significantly was to increase tourism and to create an environment so attractive for investors that they would come in their droves and buy up real estate stock. glenn delve

To that end the government has been promoting Morocco around the world – there is a permanent stand at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida heralding the virtues of this North African nation that practically touches Europe across the Mediterranean Sea that divides it from mainland Spain for example, and now the skies over Morocco are open to cheap flight operators from across Europe and the UK. The nation has year round sunshine and is directly south and a short flying time from affluent Western Europe and all of these factors are starting to affect Morocco positively.

In 2006 in the first nine months alone tourism traffic was up almost 10% on the previous year with revenue generated from tourism up almost 30% which proves that the government are targeting the ‘right’ sort of tourist – i.e., the ones who come, stay, enjoy and spend money in Morocco! Looking to the longer term the Moroccan government has plans to increase tourism until 10 million visitors annually enter the nation by 2010. There are even plans afoot to build a tunnel under the sea to connect Morocco to Gibraltar in Europe…

‘But why all this information about tourism’ I hear you ask?

Because it is the tourism market that property investors in Morocco are targeting. On the one hand they are targeting those seeking villa and apartment rental and on the other hand they are aware that today’s holiday maker is tomorrow’s second, retirement or holiday home buyer. And investors really are in Morocco buying up and developing real estate stock. Already six brand new coastal resorts are in the planning and development stages, money is flooding in from Dubai and Qatar based development companies and European buyers are purchasing off plan knowing full well that their real estate assets are appreciating even before they are completed and handed over. Buyers in 2007 have a chance to buy in ahead of the continued predicted rise in tourism and before Morocco is established in many people’s minds as a place to invest in real estate.

Consider buying off plan and flipping stock or better still, simply buying and renting to the tourism market on the Atlantic or Mediterranean coasts or in the mountainous ski resort of Oukaimeden. Rental income is earned tax free in Morocco for the first five years and those who hold property for ten years or more pay no capital gains tax when they resell, furthermore one is not subject to local inheritance tax in Morocco either. In conclusion – Morocco offers an investor a wealth of opportunity. Basically an investor needs to consider his preferred investment approach and his target market and then seek suitable real estate with room for growth or with prospects for returning good yields.