Morocco Property Report
With many countries officially coming out of the global recession, in particular, several of Morocco’s key Eurozone trading partners, a recent mission to Morocco by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that Morocco is set for a period of steady economic growth.
The largely positive conclusions of the IMF mission which visited Rabat from November 2-13, will be welcomed by Morocco property buyers. The news will be especially encouraging to those who have, or are close to completing on their Moroccan property purchases and who intend to let out their properties with the aim of attracting rental income from the lucrative Moroccan professional sector who are prepared to pay a hefty price premium for well-located holiday apartments during the peak summer letting season.
The IMF report noted recent stabilizing trends in several of the country’s key sectors and stated that non-agriculture GDP is expected to grow by about 2½ percent in 2009, with overall GDP growth projected at about 5 percent. They also said that Morocco’s economic improvement is being influenced by the strong performance of the Asian economies and recovery signs in other countries.
The mission concluded that Morocco’s financial system remained robust and because of its limited integration with the external world, Morocco has not felt the direct effects of the global financial downturn.
Michael Kent, Managing Director of Moroccan property specialist, Moroccan Sands, commented: “Its encouraging to hear that the Moroccan economy is set for a period of economic growth, although because of the uncertain nature and potential unevenness of the global recovery, its important for those considering purchasing property in Morocco to make astute choices.” He added: “Prestigious developments such as the Blue Pearl Golf Resort in Saidia where front-line golf apartments are to be sold at 25% below current market prices and come with an 8% - 3 year rental guarantee, are definitely worth considering.”
Paradise Golf and Beach Resort
Moroccan Sands - Morocco Property Report…
With the increasing popularity of golf, buying a property on a golf development could prove to be a very smart investment choice.
Not only do a large majority of golf developments provide a wide range of on-site facilities, but that magical golf ingredient serves up enhanced rental income and the mouth-watering prospect of year-round letting.
Golf continues to grow in popularity and this can be seen by the number of new golf developments being built around the world. The proliferation of new golf courses is great news for golfers, particularly those who prefer playing their golf in the sunshine. What´s more, overseas golfing holidays are one of the travel/leisure industry’s major growth areas.
This sharp rise in demand for year-round golf has resulted in healthy rental returns for those who have purchased golf properties and despite the global downturn, it´s worth noting that resale values on the better golfing developments have held up very well over the last year or so. This is particularly the case in Morocco where a number of specific factors have resulted in the Moroccan economy escaping the worst of the global recession.
It may sound obvious, but a vital factor when considering buying on a golf development, has to be the quality of the golf course. A well designed and well located property on a golfing development will not attract golfers unless the course itself is equally well thought out. This is why it is advisable to invest in a golf development where the course has been designed by a renowned designer - someone with a good track record. An example of a great golf course is the Steve Ritson designed, par 72 championship standard course currently nearing completion at the superbly located Paradise Golf and Beach Resort, near Tangier in northern Morocco.
Not just for golfers…
Over recent years there has been a noticable increase in the number of non-golfers buying properties on golfing developments. This might seem a little surprising, but many non-golfers are attracted by on-site facilities which can include: tennis courts, health spas,, restaurants, bars and fitness centres. Another advantage that can appeal to non-golfers is the safety aspect, with many golf courses offering 24/7 gated security. Golfing developments also offer the reassurance that the view from the properties will always be the green of the golf course and not some ugly office block or high-density development.
Moroccan Sands are the No.1 Morocco property specialists. We offer a wide range of investment opportunities including the spectacular Paradise Golf and Beach Resort near Tangier, and the outstanding Blue Pearl Golf Resort in Saidia.
As Northern Europe returns to work after the summer holidays it’s not just the memories of lazy days on the beach that are encouraging a renewed sense of confidence and optimism to spread.
The signs are that the major Euro economies (except Spain) are gradually climbing out of recession and the fabled “green shoots” of recovery are now growing into something more concrete. So what does this mean for Moroccan property buyers?
A recent poll of visitors to the Moroccan Sands website showed that nearly 60% of people thought that now, or in the next few months, was the ideal time to buy property in Morocco. Michael Kent, Managing Director of Moroccan Sands commented, “I’d tend to concur with the results of the poll. If you have money available to put down against a property there are definitely good deals to be had. Most Moroccan developers have stock they are keen to shift and are offering a range of inducements and discounts but I only expect this situation to last a couple of months until some of the backlog has cleared. Furthermore the credit crunch may have been beneficial to people who had already purchased Moroccan property as with no new projects launched over the last year there is not the risk of over saturation that can be seen in markets such as Egypt and Turkey.”
All the evidence points to Morocco being ideally situated to recover quickly as investment and tourism numbers have kept growing in the downturn. Visitors to Morocco were up 8% y-o-y with the key French and Spanish markets up 8% and 14% respectively. Several market leading hotel chains, such as Radisson and Anantara Resorts, announcing major new projects whilst infrastructure improvements, such as the new runway and terminal at Oujda coming on line early next year.
And if you want more evidence of the enduring popularity and attraction of Morocco then the decision by the makers of the new Sex in the City movie to film in Morocco will surely be encouraging.
In contrast to the UK where yesterday the Chancellor was gloomily predicting a contraction in the UK economy, Morocco’s 2009 economic growth should stand at 5.2%, said the Centre Marocain de Conjoncture (CMC)* in its latest publication dedicated to the financial turmoil. Analysing the Moroccan economic situation, the Centre underlined, however, that if the crisis deteriorates, this year’s growth would not exceed 4.8%, to fall to 4% in 2010. The French-language publication also stressed that Morocco’s financial sector has not been directly affected by this crisis.
“At the beginning of the crisis many questions concerning the Moroccan financial sector were raised, but objective data released later showed that the national financial system will not be affected, directly, by the crisis,” it pointed out.
As to the real estate sector, the CMC’s stressed that this sector operates in a context marked by a clear deceleration, growing only by 9.4% in the last quarter of 2008.
The CMC also reported that tourism receipts fell by 3.5% but there was an increase in terms of visits, suggesting that visitors are being more careful with their money in the present climate.
Overall, in the context of the global economic turmoil, the signals from Morocco suggest that whilst it will inevitably be affected by the global economic problems (in terms of reduced tourist spending and remittances from Moroccan ex-pats) the basic health of the economy is extremely robust and this situation places Morocco in a great situation to exploit the economic upturn.
Motor racing enthusiasts in Morocco and around the world are keenly awaiting the first Marrakech Touring Car GP which runs from 1-3 May 2009. The ” Race of Morocco” is the only leg of the FIA championship to be staged in Africa.
The track location, along Mohammed VI and Ourika Avenues, with its exotic backdrop between the red city’s legendary walls and the snow-capped Atlas Mountains in the distance, will quickly make it one of the most attractive circuits in the world. Not only will it directly attract more tourists to Marrakech on race days but the images shown around the world will almost certainly increase demand for property in Marrakech.
The circuit layout will allow for fast and challenging driving, giving fans and TV audiences an exciting performance. So be sure to tune into Eurosport Europe for more coverage.
See the website here
Morocco’s flag carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) will order six new planes this month despite the bleak outlook for business travel during the global economic downturn, its chief executive said on Thursday.
Royal Air Maroc, one of the most profitable airlines in North Africa, recognises that despite a downturn in global demand there will be an increase in passenger numbers to Morocco due to the opening of many new tourist projects as well as the growing popularity of property in Morocco for foreign buyers.
It is benefiting from the government’s policy to increase tourism to 10 million visitors by 2010 from 8 million in 2008. The government is also encouraging the expansion of air transport, including low-cost flights.
Morocco signed an Open Skies agreement with the European Union in 2006 allowing new airline competitors, including low-budget carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet.
“We will put an order for six planes. We will sign the order deal by the end of this month,” Benhima told a business conference in the North African country’s commercial capital Casablanca.
The Open Skies agreement spurred passenger traffic to grow by between 16 percent and 19 percent per year since 2006. Passenger traffic grew to 11.2 million in 2008 from 5.5 million in 2006, Benhima added.
RAM, which draws more than 70 percent of its revenue from European markets, and its low-cost Atlas Bleu subsidiary must embrace a different strategy than its competitors.
“Our competitors are strong with big fleets. We can not take them on with similar offers and promotions. We have to distinguish our business,” he added.
Benhima said RAM will beef up its routes inside Morocco and expand further its growing operations in Africa.
The pictures below were added to skyscrapercity.com by user timo9. They show the resort looking ready to open as schedules in June 2009.
Above : The coastline on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco has fantastic unspoilt beaches. This picture shows the beach close to Saidia with the Chafarinas Islands just offshore.
Above : The first beach club opened in summer 2008 and was situated close to the 1,350 berth marina in Saidia.
Above : The promenade in Saidia runs the entire length of the resort (6km) and it is already possible to imagine the crowds strolling along enjoying the warm evening air.
Above : The five star Barcelo Hotel is the most luxurious hotel on the Saidia resort. It is a joint venture between the Barcelo chain and the royal family of Morocco. The concept is for it to be one of the most visually arresting and impressive hotels on the Med and so it will act as a beacon for the resort attracting media interest and boosting the status in the same way that the Borj al Arab did for Dubai.
Morocco’s economy is likely to grow by 6.6 percent in the first quarter, according to government figures recently released. This good news comes on the back of an IMF report highlighting Morocco’s impressive economic performance in 2008.
The International Monetary Fund stated that due to the sound financial sector in the country it was well placed to continue its progress. The exchange rate peg (Dirham to euro and dollar), according to the IMF, has served as an anchor of macro-economic stability, and its level appears broadly in line with fundamentals required to maintain economic performance.
Indeed, the Moroccan banks are now generally well-provisioned and have little in the way of foreign exposure on either the asset or the liability side, minimizing the transmission of risks from global financial markets to the real economy, and making the banking system resilient to shocks. Moroccan banks are not exposed to the kind of products at the heart of the subprime crisis and are in a strong position after years of improving results. Whilst the central Bank Al-Maghrib (now autonomous from government) works to control money supply and credit and so also plays a crucial role in controlling inflation.
At a recent meeting in Rabat the Moroccan government announced annual funding of 190 million euros from the European Union for 2009 as part of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). The ENP seeks to bolster the finances and encourage economic growth in countries that border the EU.
Morocco has advanced status within the Union, which exceeds partnership but below EU membership and this means that it receives the lion’s share of funding from the ENP.
The EU rightly recognises that a healthy Morocco is crucial to economic development in the EU as it will become not only a major production area for many EU companies but also as it represents a rapidly growing market on the doorstep of Europe. Many EU firms have used their links with governments to pitch for projects (such as the TGV) and most new infrastructure projects in Morocco have some element of foreign management or backing.
Nov 2008 - Morocco and France signed a $792m protocol to finance the rolling stock and railway equipments of Casablanca-Tangier high-speed train (TGV).
The agreement was signed by Moroccan minister of Economy and Finance, Salaheddine Mezouar and French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac.
The original Protocol of Understanding on the TGV between Casablanca and Tangier was signed in Marrakech in October 2007, under the chairmanship of King Mohammed VI and French President Nicolas Sarkozy and is part of a country wide plan to link all the major cities with high speed links.
The TGV project, which provides for the construction of a high-speed line (from 200 to 320 km/hour), will reduce travel time between Tangier and Casablanca to 2 hours and 10 minutes instead of current 5 hours and 45 minutes.
This is great news for Tangiers property investors as a high speed link between the country’s two major business hubs will undoubtly have an upward effect on prices in the northern city of Tangier.