Hot Property in Morocco

It seems as if the lure of owning a second home in countries such as Portugal and Spain has started to die down, and that in the last few years the spotlight has fallen on Morocco. In cities such as Marrakech, prices of homes and land have rocketed by 1,500 %, as foreign investors and families who are in the market for investing in property turn to Morocco. And even though the property market is booming and investors scramble to close deals and secure their small piece of this mysterious paradise, there are dangers in investing without knowing how the property market in Morocco works.

The demand for properties in Marrakech has reached an all time high. Interest in the city is understandable, as the city is the heart of the tourism industry; it has attractions such as golf courses, museums, theatres, festivals, restaurants and boutiques, and also has magnificent views of the mountains. It is a bustling city and developers try to invest in Marrakech to develop holiday accommodation and tap into the thriving tourism industry. Even though cities like Fez also have noteworthy attractions and activities, the prices on their properties are lower because of availability and lower demand.

Some investors are unable to find property within the city and turn to the countryside and mountain landscapes to find their dream. But herein lies a few problems that investors should be aware of. Firstly, most pieces of agricultural land are not owned by one person. It is usually land that forms part of a family’s heritage, as it has been passed down, and even though one member is eager to sell, all the members of the family have to be in agreement. Sadly, many investors see their hopes shattered because of this lengthy process that doesn’t always work out.

Foreign investors are not permitted to buy and sell property within Morocco. Most pieces of land or buildings are sold together with a binding contract, with many contracts dictating that structures need to be built within a certain time frame, and the homes need to be occupied so that wealth can be brought to the economy. Planning regulations and the issue of title deeds follows strict procedures and investors should familiarize themselves with the necessary information before making a purchase.

The vision that the Moroccan government has put forward for the country, to make it even more tourist friendly by 2010, has caused an even higher interest in Moroccan property. If investors work through reputable agents, or are able to secure a private sale, their thoughts of owning a small part of the Moroccan countryside could become reality.