Morocco Property Report
At meeting in Palma, Mallorca last week all the major players in the fabulous five star resort “Mediterrania Saidia” signed a memorandum of understanding that the resort will be ready by June 2009. Under the agreement FADESA Maroc will deliver the two hotels it’s currently working on in March and April next year – giving ample time to train staff before the summer rush.
Harbourside cafes are already open
An extensive marketing plan for the resort was also agreed and will be implemented in conjunction with the Moroccan Tourism Board and hotel operators, Barcelo and Iberostar. Michael Kent of Moroccan Sands added “We been extremely impressed by the recent progress in Saidia , the direct motorway link to the airport is complete and I think the first visitors will be bowled over by what’s on offer. We’ve been involved with Saidia from the start and it’s tremendously rewarding when milestones in the project such as this are reached.
A frequent fear of many overseas buyers is that as economic conditions tighten it will become harder to make a rental return from their investment. Whilst this may be true in certain overhyped destinations such as Bulgaria and Dubai it certainly isn’t true in Morocco.
Since colonial times the French influence remains strong
This is because tourist numbers to Morocco are dominated by the French who make up nearly 70% of all arrivals and France is currently the only eurozone country still experiencing growth in the last quarter. Even if the French economy takes a downturn the level of state benefits is such that most families will continue to holiday as normal and the opening of ever cheap ways to travel between the two countries will enhance this further.
Recent evidence from the UK also suggests that Morocco is well placed to benefit as respondents to a survey suggested that it would be the traditional “bucket and spade resorts” on the Costas which would be worst hit as they were perceived as the most overpriced. Morocco was viewed favourably as it offered an exotic destination with value for money – a combination most travel industry experts believe will become increasingly attractive in the future.
In addition to their strategic plans “Vision 2010” and the Plan Azur the Moroccan government announced on 18th November a further $95 million dollars for the tourism sector. This massive amount dwarfs anything spent elsewhere and should be viewed as a further sign of confidence in the long term aspirations of Morocco.
Michael Kent, Managing Director of leading Moroccan property company Moroccan Sands commented, “ This once again shows why Morocco is the only overseas destination that deserves serious consideration from investors. There’s such an enormous amount of investment flowing into the country from the Gulf and Europe that growth, even in these constrained times.”
Indeed the figures support this assertion – for whilst most of Europe and the US is forecasting minimal or even negative growth Morocco predicts a year of continued growth, with the latest estimates (Oct 2008) at around 5.8%. Indeed this figure could be set to rise once the lower cost of fuel filters down through the economy.
Mohammed Boussaid, the Moroccan Minister of Tourism, also added that due to the policies put in place by the government (such as developing resorts in virgin areas and the new flight route agreements) would enable Morocco to survive and prosper in these difficult times.
Which is all good news for people buying property in Morocco as greater prosperity will stimulate not only the domestic market but also continue to attract overseas buyers.
The economy of Morocco is the “most interesting in North Africa in terms of growth potential,” said Dominique Gautier, a partner in the Munich-based “Roland Berger Strategy Consultant” which has an office in Casablanca, Morocco.
Moroccan Finance minister Salaheddine Mezouar
Gautier who explained to “The Financial Times” the reasons behind opening a branch in Morocco noted that Morocco offers great opportunities for consulting companies. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants is one of the world’s leading strategy consultancies with 36 offices in 25 countries, the company has successful operations in all major international markets.
“As well as helping local companies such as Royal Air Maroc with their ambitious pan-African strategies, the consultancy has just finalized a new sports strategy for the kingdom of Morocco,” Gautier said.
The FT stressed that international consultancies are reporting steady or strong growth in their African businesses, adding that only China receives more investment than the MEDA countries (in which Morocco is a major partner).
A meeting in Tangier between the Moroccan Bristish Business Council and the British Middle East Association highlighted the growth in the Moroccan tourism industy and presented an outline of future plans to a selection of tour operators.
During the meeting Minister of Tourism, Mohamed Boussaid, explained the Plan Azur and Vision 2010 strategies to increase tourism receipts and showed the success of the scheme so far by noting that over 7m visitors travelled to Morocco, a 7% increase on the same period last year. The government is pumping over 9 billion euro into tourism projects in order to establish Morocco as the premier non-European Mediterranean destination.
Further evidence that Morocco is ideally placed to benefit from future tourism trends was demonstrated by stats from Thomson and First Choice’s findings in their new Trends
Report 2008-09 showing that more than one-fifth of holidays taken this
year were outside Europe, indicating that the old favourites, Spain and
Portugal just aren’t far or exotic enough any more.
As air fares rise and long haul routes are cut exotic countries such as Morocco, which is on the doorstep of Europe, will become increasingly attractive over the next few years. A strong euro has also encouraged Northern Europeans to look beyond the traditional Costas for better value for money.
“The endless pursuit of the exotic aren’t the only push factors. The
current pound to euro situation is encouraging holidaymakers to
question their traditional Mediterranean choices and try something
else, ” comments Chintan Mahida of Nubricks.com, a leading overseas property
brand, “if they like it, they will return again especially since low
cost airlines such as Easy Jet are cottoning on to the changing trends
and adding new routes to destinations to places like Morocco more easily accessible. It’s only a question of time before they become
fully fledged resort destinations in their own right on the back of
which tends to follow a demand for property.”
Increased accessibility will certainly result in an influx of
tourists in these parts of the world. As always, as they become regular
visitors, hotel accommodation will lose its appeal and they will look
for alternative rental accommodation. Anyone considering buying
property abroad would be wise to investigate the enormous potential of Morocco.
Jardin de Fleur, the leading developer in Saidia, has today announced the signing of an agreement with Golden Tulip to operate the resort previously know as RT-7 Les Jardins du Maroc. These extremely spacious two, three and four bedroom penthouses and apartments in Saidia are intelligently arranged around the perimater of the resort with the focus in the centre being on the impressive facilities for owners; including a heated swimming pool, restaurant and bar, amphitheatre, tennis court, solarium and children’s area.
The Golden Tulip Residences
Hans Kennedie, CEO of Golden Tulip added, “The Tulip Residences will offer fully serviced, tastefully furnished properties that combine luxury and elegence with all the comforts you could wish for. Saidia is a fantastic location with immense potential.”
Who are Golden Tulip?
Based in Lausanne Switzerland, the Golden Tulip Hospitality Group operates more than 780 hotels worldwide in more than 50 countries. They operate across the range of hotel categories but in Saidia they are operating under their Tulip Residences four star brand with superior first-class service. The Residences are designed to be a home from home and more personal and spacious than traditional hotel rooms.
What are the advantages of buying with Le Jardin de Fleur?
As a buyer on one of the Jardin de Fleur resorts you benefit from probably some of the best leaseback deals available in the world today. They have contracted established and reputable hotel operators such as Radisson and Best Western to provide rental clients for their apartments - giving you the benefit of a massive marketing budget and client database. So as you can see this is one resort that won’t just take your money and leave you to get rental clients yourself, indeed the proactive approach taken by the developer is just one reason that Moroccan Sands recommends Le Jardin de Fleur above others in Saidia.
For more information about Le Jardin de Fleur and Saidia go here
The Times Newspaper today reported that investors who have lost faith in the banking system are turning to property as a safe haven for their cash.
Estate agents have identified a growth in interest from cash buyers, who want something tangible for their money rather than depositing it with banks they no longer trust.
The trend is emerging in all corners of the property market, according to one nationwide agent, from high-end mews houses in Knightsbridge to dilapidated two-up two-downs in the East Midlands.
Lindsay Cuthill, head of the southwest London office of Savills estate agents, said: “Ten days ago a wealthy, well-known businessman seeking to buy a mews in Chelsea told me, ‘I feel my money is safer here than in the banks’.”
Many investors are also looking at countries like Morocco, largely immune from the present troubles in the financial system, as a “safe haven” for their investments. Michael Kent, Managing Director of leading Moroccan property company Moroccan Sands commented “We’re seeing an increase in enquiries from established investors who recognise that their money in safer in bricks and motar in Morocco than an Icelandic bank.”
“In constrast to the UK housing market, property in Morocco is rising in price and mortgages are freely available from the major Moroccan banks. So if you’re looking for a profitable long term investment the Moroccan property market looks extremely tempting at present.”
Markets such as Saidia on the Mediterranean coast and Tangier at the mouth of the Straits of Gibraltar are especially recommended as they are developing rapidly due to their geographical advantages and in both cases they are backed by massive private and public investment from which the individual investor can benefit.
As the progress of Mediterrania Saidia marches on many of the popular developments are becoming sold out whilst others have only a few units left to purchase. In situations such as this it’s not unusual for the developers to offer incentives to purchasers in order to help them clear remaining stock.
And it’s here that the savvy lifestyle investor can take advantage.
The developers of the Fairway Riads and The Greens have just launched an incentive package to clear the last few units in their stock.
Buyers in The Greens can now not only benefit from a two year rental guarantee (at 5% net) but also a free upgrade to a deluxe furniture package. But perhaps the most eye catching is the offer of a Citroen or Renault car valued up to 15,000€ for the purchasers use in Morocco. Prices start at £117,000 for a two bedroom/two bathroom unit. For more information go here
Buyers in The Fairway Riads can also benefit from a rental guarantee at 5% (for one year net) and a free deluxe furniture upgrade. The last remaining units here are all situated in the heart of the development and feature 3 or 4 bedrooms and a private swimming pool. The developer here is also offering a highly sought after berth in the Marina FREE with each purchase. These berths are not available for sale and many investors, recognising their worth, bought out the available stock last year. Prices for berths in Saidia are presently around a quarter of the price of similar projects in Spain and are sure to rise once the resort is up and running. For more information go here
In an article by Heba Saleh in The Financial Times of London recognised that Morocco and its economy are remarkably immune from the troubles caused by the banking system and credit crunch in countries around the world. Despite being the only nation in the Magreb without its own oil or gas Morocco nonetheless appears to have managed to maintain economic stability in the face of global inflation.
“The numbers this year are certainly showing the very great resilience of the Moroccan economy in the context of international turmoil.” said Frances Clottes head of the World Bank in Morocco.
Despite the continuing reliance on agriculture for employment, increased revenue has come from tourism and corporate tax receipts – which rose 70% due to the higher level of investment in the country.
“From 1996 to 2004 nothing was happening in the economy,” said a Moroccan investment banker. “But starting from 2005 things started to improve thanks to all the public investment in infrastructure and the private investment in real estate and tourism.”
The most notable overseas investment has come from Renault which is putting $1 billion into a new manufacturing plant just outside Tangiers adjacent to the Tangier Med Port and inside the Free Trade Zone. When complete the Port alone will generate around 100,000 new jobs and will be the largest such facility in the Mediterranean.
The deal on its own is significant but ambitious locals are seeking to use this recognition by an internationally respected corporation to attract many other companies to the area, especially those in the aeronautical and automotive industries.
This all great news for people who have already invested in property in Tangier as the unique combination of Morocco’s economic stability and the attraction of the Free Trade Zone in Tangier look likely to attract significant levels of further investment. All analysts foresee a continuation of property price growth as the wealth created spreads through the Moroccan professional classes and expat managers look for “western standard” accommodation in Tangier.
Source: The Financial Times : Oct 2nd 2008
The new Moroccan container terminal, 30km outside Tangier, Eurogate Tanger on Wednesday handled its first containership ahead of the start of regular liner services next month.
The first ship at the facility was the massive 8,488-TEU CMA CGM Otello, which discharged five disassembled Kalmar rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs).
The first regular service to call at Eurogate Tanger will be kicking off on Oct. 8 2008 with CMA CGM La Traviata, another 8,488-TEU ship. The terminal has 450 meters of quayside and five container gantry cranes. By the end of the year, the quay length will be extended to 810 meters and three more container gantry cranes will arrive in January 2009.
“Although the official opening ceremony of Eurogate Tanger will not be until spring next year, we will be fully operational by the end of this year. We are now starting to handle ocean carriers and will soon increase the number of services,” said Domenico Bagalà, president of the management board of Eurogate Tanger.
Eurogate Tanger is a joint development between German container terminal operator Eurogate and major European shipping lines Mediterranean Shipping Co., Zim and CMA CGM, together with its Moroccan subsidiary Comanav. It will be the major engine for economic growth in the Tangier region and is estimated to create over 100,000 new jobs directly and many more indirectly. Several new large scale manufacturing concerns have already moved to the area to take advantage of the port facilities and the adjacent Free Trade Zone (which allows import and export without tarriffs) including Nissan Renault and Airbus Industries.
Michael Kent of Moroccan Sands added ” The new port will revolutionise Tangier and inject much needed wealth into the local economy. This will undoubtedly have an upward impact on Tangier property prices as expats and middle class Moroccans enter the market. Indeed, in our opinion, this is what makes Tangier such a geat investment - not only are you investing in a city with caché but the growth is based on real economic factors and not reliant on the holiday rental market.”