Investment Property in Morocco

By: Les Calvert

Morocco represents an anagram of different cultures/civilizations and boasts of being one of the most picturesque countries on the planet. Located in the Northern half of the African continent, this paradisiacal country is in close proximity to Europe and the Middle East, which enriches the Moroccan landscape with different traditions and cultural wealth from three different continents.

The coastal backdrop and miles of unspoilt sandy beaches add to the glory of this African Kingdom. Thanks to its natural riches, the country commands the place of pride among world's who cut across different trades. No doubt, a nation with tonnes of natural beauty and a willing government is bound to be a global real estate powerhouse.

Tourism and Its Influence on Moroccan Property

One thing that stands out in favour of the Moroccan property sector is the demand created by country's tourism potential. The picturesque locations of Morocco have left many popular figures speechless and some of them, including Sir Winston Churchill, have historically vouched for Morocco's natural beauty.

With miles and miles of pristine beaches dotting the country's landscape, Morocco has emerged as a dream destination for holiday visitors looking to just take a break from their routine lifestyle. This makes investment in holiday property, like holiday resorts and rental apartments, in the towns and villages along the coastline, a wise decision. The scope for regular rental income is extremely high in the Moroccan holiday property.

Many European tourists have also elicited considerable interest in making Morocco their second home due to the country's proximity to the western part of the continent. The government has also supported moves for regular cheap flights to and from the country to the major European cities and other international destinations.

Morocco's King Mohammed VI has expressed profound desire to optimally exploit the country's tourism potential by roping in the government in the construction and promotion of 'Plan Azur', which is a combination of six mega coastal resorts. The facilities include championship golf courses, marinas, sports facilities, shops and restaurants. These will be located near the town of Oujda and alon the Atlantic coast at Port Lixus near Tangiers, Mogador near Essaouira, Taghazout near Agadir, Mazagan near Casablanca, and at Plage Blanche in Guelmin. The country aims to attract 10 million tourists annually by 2010 primarily through the successful completion and promotion of Plan Azur alone.

It goes without saying that property around any of these resorts are selling like very quickly. A wise investor will buy a property around these resorts before 2010 to reap maximum rental income from the unprecedented tourist influx expected from that year onwards. Moroccan holiday property is also highly traded among the property investors here, which means you get maximum value for your property within no time, as the property trends have really been positive over the last few years.

With prices starting from as little as ?21K, you can land yourself luxurious apartments and townhouses in resort towns of Saida, Tetouan, and Asilah. Of course, the prices vary according to the dimensions of the property.

Besides the coastal townships, the mountainous ski resort of Oukaimeden is also attracting lots of property inquiries from the European property investor.

The Moroccan property market also gets a periodic boost from government initiatives, like a proposed Morocco Tunnel under the sea to connect the country with Gibraltar in Europe.

Property Scenario in Other Moroccan Locations

Tourist resorts are not the only investment hotspots in Morocco. Other Moroccan towns and cities enjoy a good amount of goodwill among European investors, especially the French property investors, due to past colonial ties with the country of France.

The portfolio of investors in Morocco is diverse, ranging from rental apartments to second home luxury villas and residential homes. And since the commercial activities in the country are on the upswing, investors have struck gold in commercial and industrial property too. In addition to the built-up property, cheap off-plan property is also in the peak among investors.

The major attraction as far as Moroccan property investors are concerned differs to the tax-free rental income for the first five years. And if you hold the property for ten years or more, no capital gain tax is deducted when you resell. Another attractive feature is the exclusion of local inheritance tax in Morocco.

The most popular cities in Morocco from the property viewpoint include the modern Marrakech, commercial centre of Casablanca, capital city Rabat, and ancient cities of Tangier and Fez.

Of course, as with almost every other country, Morocco also has its own laws, rules and regulations regarding the ownership of property by the foreigners. A wise investor will do well to verify from the authorities or some reliable real estate agent about his eligibility, and ways and means to acquire diverse properties in Morocco. However, the rules for the ownership of property are not as stringent in Morocco as in other European countries.

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