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Fazbods

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About Fazbods

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  1. Methinks you need to stock up on the sardines and dried fruit, and batten down the hatches to ur nuclear bunker for the gathering apocalypse. what a cassandra!
  2. Hey come, you're being just a little reductionist. Morocco is a developing country and despite the corruption and patronage that are endemic here, there's so much economic activity. Infrastructure projects (private and public), service industries are thriving, manufacturing is growing, and tourism will always be a draw. Whilst it's not all roses, it ain't as grim as you seem to be painting it!
  3. No appeal left? What about deserts, camels, sultry women, nice grub, and soukhs? OK, I take the point. I'll concede the sultry women but camels really aren't my thing
  4. Honesty is always the best policy. I get fed up of seeing EA's in here gilding the market and trying to pull the wool over people's eyes with comments like the one opening this thread. It's so obvious they're rampers. Around Marrakech, all the big out of town holiday complexes that didn't sell out before the credit crunch are lying empty. Huge discounts are being offered on these and apartments in the centre of town. The tourist market here is definitely affected although not anywhere near as badly as Spain, since a lot of the money coming in here is from outside Europe, mainly the Gulf. It's a good thing as well because some of the prices that were being charged bore no relation to the actual value of these developments. These luxury developments were also skewing the market for ordinary Moroccans for whom there is still a shortage of affordable accommodation. So the price correction is welcome because it will protect the market from overheating. Moroccans can still get loans on much the same conditions as they always have, 75% LTV, so there's little chance of the domestic market drying up. By the way I'm not a bear because my sales figures show that Morocco still has lots of investment potential. Thankfully its not in the luxury tourist developments where speculators can run riot and f..k up the market for everyone else. There's certainly some schadenfreude to be had in watching them writhe over the losses they will make in Saidia and Playa Vista. Excuse my ignorance but what is a VI?
  5. Actually I forgot to mention that prices have tumbled by 15-20% in the leafier parts of Marrakech. I often go for viewings where as I'm leaving, the developer will ask, "What are you prepared to offer?". Signs of desperation are clearly there. The other thing that people forget is that the attraction of Morocco for foreign property investors was that it was cheap relative to the rest of south-western Europe which it neighbours. Once you take that away there's no appeal left.
  6. I'm also an agent here, and since the credit crisis blew up 6 months ago, high-end properties have taken a nosedive. I'm based in Marrakech and here developers are crying for western punters who have deserted the market. The same applies to the luxurious coastal developments. It seems that much of the property boom in Morocco was based on the easy cash that was being doled out by banks in Europe. Now that tap has been turned off and homeowners in Europe see the value of their property assets diminishing by the day, no-one's got any money to buy the £250,000+ luxury villas that are dotting the coastline (on paper anyway). Thankfully I'm based in a popular Marrakech suburb where most of my dealings are with locals. That part of the market remaans as strong as ever. I don't foresee the top-end market improving for at least the next 5 years so there's gonna be an awful lot of agents going out of business.
  7. I left in summer last year for Morocco from where the wife hails. Used to be a journalist, now run my own property company here. Even with the foreign buyers drying up since the credit crunch, I'm doing well servicing the local market. Life is laid back here in Marrakech, cheap rents, cheap private schools, maids at home, skiing at weekends in the High Atlas, average temp of 20 degrees even now in winter. Typical working day starts at 10am, finished by 5 with a long lunch in between. No toxic debt means banks are still in business to lend and people still buying homes. And what's best is there's no scallies in sight, everyone works for a living here, whether its shining shoes on the pavement or hawking clothes; there's no such thing as a free lunch. Everyone is so polite too, when I cut up a fellow driver the worst thing he'll say is God bless you, Englishman. I sold my flat in London 3 weeks before Northern Rock went tits up, and no intention of coming back, not even if prices crash by 50% and I can buy for cash. Your money gets you a lot more peace of mind here and that's priceless.
  8. I'm 39 too mate, and in business. I upped sticks to Marrakech about a year ago. The fact that my wife is Moroccan made the move a little easier but we have lived abroad before. Diesel and petrol are 50p a litre, I buy a bottle of gas to heat the water in my flat for £3, and it lasts about 3 months. The traffic cops are easily sent packing with a "baksheesh" of £2-5 depending on the transgression. Food is half the price of what it is here - the variety of fresh fruit is just amazing - and best thing is there's at least 10 months of sunshine each year. I forgot to add that both my eldest kids go to a modest private primary school (Arabic and French) from where the bus comes to collect them each morning, drops them off for lunch, collects them again and brings them back in the afternoon, all for the paltry price of £100 per month. We get awy with the kids most weekends, and even when we're busy they're perfectly safe playing in the zanqa or street with their neighbours. There's no reason to contemplate coming back to Blighty at the moment but who knows, when property prices have dropped to 40% of what they are now, and when Flash Gordon has long disappeared into the ether, we might give it a thought.
  9. Interesting point about French tourist numbers being down as a result of the economic downturn. I wouldnt be surprised if that picture is true for the rest of Europe, or at least that part of it suffering from soaring inflation and tightening credit lines. My own anecdotal evidence suggests there has been a rise in visitors from other countries, notably the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany since the introduction of the open-skies policy allowed cheap airlines to fly in to Morocco. However, rising fuel costs, and in the case of the UK, increased airport taxes have placed another squeeze on potential tourists. My own experience of being in Morocco over the last 7 years is that prices are generally on the up, although much of that has to do with macro-economics. However the cost of living has not gone up by anywhere near enough to justify some of the prices being charged by hotels and restaurants for what is, let's face it, still a 3rd world country. If it carries on this way Moroccans might possibly just kill the goose that lays the golden egg. On a positive note, a correction seems to be taking place in the market now, with prices stabilising, if not receding. This is much-needed if the country is going to continue its rise as a primary tourism destination for Europeans.
  10. Hi, just felt obliged to reply to the last poster. Morocco's property boom has primarily been motivated by a huge drive to develop the country as a whole. While speculators have clearly smelt an opportunity this has only affected the top end of the market where prices seem to be dropping. In Marrakech now developers of villas and owners of traditional riads are having to be more realistic with prices that defied all economic sense for buyers. A correction is clearly taking place in this sector but the rest of the market seems to be reasonably, and sustainably, healthy. I bought off-plan apartments last year for £12,500, one of which I have just sold for £25,000. Had I bought a luxury villa I would have been lucky to get my money back.
  11. Hi, just been reading through everyone's posts and there seems to be animated discussion as to which areas of Morocco are the premier investment location. I'm married to a Moroccan (don't do it!) and when I'm not being run ragged by her indoors and the kids I spend my time buying and selling property and also brokering it to clients from the UK. My experience so far has been that there is no place in Morocco like Marrakech, both for capital appreciation and rental returns. Unlike many people I have actually travelled to Saidia to see what the fuss is about and my own educated opinion is that it is much ado about nothing. Apart from being little more than a Costa del Casbah, the resort will take a minimum 5 years to take off. That's OK for those who are looking for long-term investments or a retirement home, but not for people wanting to turn their money around more quickly. Having said that, at present there seems to have been a slowdown in the luxury villa sector of Marrakech properties. Prices have stabilised owing to the glut of developments in and around the city, and in some cases they have even come down by between 5-10%. I would surmise that this picture is true for the whole country. In any case August generally sees a slowdown in the market since a lot of folk are on holiday. I prefer to buy cheaper more affordable properties in Marrakech pitched at local, mainly first-time, buyers where the capital appreciation on your investment can be 100% in one year, and where resale potential is far better. I have shied away from the big coastal developments because of the large capital outlay involved relative to timescale of expected returns. On top of that 99% of no-frills airlines flying in from Europe are destined for Marrakech and nowhere else. A final word of caution: making quick money is hardly an option for foreigners investing in Morocco unless you plan to spend it here, since all profits have to be repatriated through the Office for Change, a process which is tedious and which will only change in 2010 when the Moroccan government has committed to lifting exchange restrictions on the dirham. If anyone wants to know more on this topic or wants to hear about current opportunities please fell free to call me, Faisal, on 07509 224722 (UK mobile).
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