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Morocco - My Next Target


dogbox
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Since it started in april 2006 until Jan 2008 this thread got roughly 28 posts per month.

Now it gets 6.6 posts per month.

I think that these figures might show us how the appetite for foreign investments generally has slowed.And that those people suggesting 'buyer beware' might well have had a case!

It certainly seems to mirror what is happening on the streets in the UK (if you happen to be in estate agency )

It seems the shameless rampers have either gone pop or have moved on to screw someone else.

I would be interested in hearing from those that have fallen for the 'Moroccan dream' - when will your holiday home be ready to rent/occupy - who will rent it from you and how much will they pay?

Whats the resale market like and will you ever see any of your money again?

If it were I who had taken a speculative punt on Morocco I would be felling pretty glum right now, so come on guys spill your guts.

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I apologize for feeding the troll dogbox such that he had the possibility to repeat 1000 times his stupid story about Saidia.

I was naive, I should have ignored this thread as it was obvious that people like dogbox were just trying to hook some naive "investors".

Anyway, I am still curious to go visit the area when/if there is any airline flying to the vicinity.

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- who will rent it from you and how much will they pay?

I am predicting the 60 million Frenchmen and 80 million or so Germans making up a significant % of rental numbers in new Moroccan developments over the coming years, probally something like 50-75%.

In case you did not realise the French have been holidaying in numbers there for many years. Agadir is already a popular place with Germans, they also go to Turkey in large numbers. The Germans are very prudent savers who are not up to their ears in debt.

Whisper it...but the world does not revolve around the current doom and gloom in the UK economy / housing market / fuel costs, it will not stop millions of well off people across Europe, and further, who will be looking at holidaying at developments with many facilities close by, which they are trying to achieve in Morocco.

Whats the resale market like and will you ever see any of your money again?

Re-sale market ?????? It hasn't even been completed yet !! The serious investors in Morocco I have spoken to are all looking at a 5-10 year time period.

The 'SHAMELESS' property ramping that has been the UK house market for about 5 years solid now. Every TV channel, newspaper, radio station, celebrity, non-celebrity has put in their two pence worth to maintain the bubble. Don't get confused that one or two posters on a few Moroccan forums is is the same thing. I am surprised that people take the time to post negative comments about Morocco if they have not invested themselves.

The short flight distance (2hrs from central Europe) and eventual expansion of routes to Oujda airport should make the journey there very simple. I know people with holiday homes in Turkey, with a 4hr+ flight followed by 3hr coach journey. The lack of direct flights (from the UK) to Oujda is quite obvious due to the delays. However, direct flights to Oujda from Belgium, Holland and France are possible, probally due to the large number of Moroccan ex-pats living in these countries. The Eurostar to Belgium/France followed by a flight would seem a relatively painless way of getting there at present. I am confident that when building work nears completion we will see direct flights for people based in the UK.

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Morning, I am an investor. My initial reasons for buying are unchanged. It is a ten year+ investment. I have little sympathy for any people who were looking to flip. I post rarely now, whats the point there in nothing left too say. In two years time we can look back and see where we all stand, at least by then the majority of the development will be done.

I would echo the comments of another poster. Many posts on here are by those myopic types who cannot see outside the UK. Get with it people, our little island is no longer a powerhouse economy. Our position is not replicated globally.

So to all the bears. Save your smug victory dances, there is a long way still to go.

Edited by euroscooby
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We all have a tendency to think the good times will go on forever and then when they turn bad we think the world will end.

I agree with the comment that we will only know how good a recent Moroccan property investment really is in a number of years time.

It is often commented that we (the UK people) are so small-minded to think that if we are feeling the pinch then the rest of the world is. Obviously, one doesn't follow from the other although there is some connection.

What I would say is, yes, 75% of the holidaymakers may end up being French or German but what also matters (to investors) is who has been buying the properties and who will be the secondary buyers? I may be mistaken but I feel that the original marketing of properties has been aimed at UK/Irish investors and that this marketing took place quite successfully when our economy was good, we all felt wealthy and credit was easy. This would have been reflected in the prices we paid.

If the secondary market is also to be UK/Irish buyers then it will be interesting to see how we feel in two years time about investing in Morocco.

I could be wrong in my assumptions about the original buyers - please put me right someone.

Once up and running, the resorts will have a global (or certainly European) appeal and the secondary market buyers will simply be from whoever at the time has the best economy, feels the most wealthy and has the easiest credit. Further, the buyers will be a very different bunch of people too as they will be buying real properties with real rentals and real holiday potential, rather than artist impressions and a range of projections.

I could now say that I think the resale prices will be lower in a few years time but to what extent would I be tripping myself up on my opening sentence?

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Agree totally with Euroscooby. Most of us bought a holiday home not a sure-fire investment. Delays are disappointing, but it doesn't alter the quality of the finished product. Building something like Mediterranea Saidia from scratch is a huge undertaking. It was obviously going to take years. What's new? Why are the doomsayers still posting? Get a life!!!

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Guest muttley
Most of us bought a holiday home not a sure-fire investment. ........ It was . What's new? Why are the doomsayers still posting? Get a life!!!

Check out the thread title!! "My best ever investment".

As some of u know I recently bought in Berlin.

My next target is Morocco, here's why:

*An 8km tunnel will link Gibralter to Tangiers by 2008

Didn't happen, and would have been impossible at the time of posting. The tunnel is still pie in the sky.

*The 'stars' are moving in. The Beckhams, Jude Law and Brad Pitt have recently bought - this is important, it sets the trends.

Didn't happen.

*An 'open skies' agreement has been signed and the Government guarantee world class airport upgrades by 2010.

Won't happen.

*Ryan Air have announced flights to beginn by this summer

Two years on, hasn't happened.

Rent for £4000 per week or more once site becomes well known.

Completely unrealistic. Was never going to happen.

but I genuinely expect the value to more than double over 3 years.

Isn't going to happen.

The OP's (a mortgage broker) best ever investment has turned out to be nothing more than a speculative punt, and a poor one at that. For those other "investors" who were dumb enough to swallow the same BS, bad luck. Caveat emptor.

And for those who have bought into Saida who believe that they are the only ones entitled to comment on this thread, WAKE UP!!! This is a public forum and everyone is entitled to an opinion, especially if they can see through the tailend ramping of the property bubble. You're welome to post on the main forum if you are a FTB or if you own a house, so why not here?

Me, I'm going to Spain for my holiday.

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Of course there are no flights and nothing has happened etc there's nothing much there. it's a building site in its early stages. What's difficult to understand about that? Why keep posting if you know nothing about the place?

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FWS, I do not agree that most people bought a holiday home rather than an investment. Surely an off-plan investment in Saidia has to qualify as a high risk investment rather than a holiday home purchase just yet. I think you are using the holiday home argument to stop the posters with opposite opinions to you. Even if you are right, so what. Most people buy their main home to live in rather than as an investment but this website is dominated by thousands of posts about how far UK homes will drop in value. This section has no right to be any different. If your purchase is not an investment then dont let it bother you so much. After all, most people have no idea about Saidia and what is really happening there. I visited 2 years ago and was completely blown away by it but that is a long time ago and I have no real sense of progress sense then. I enjoy reading updates from people who have been since and I want to take a holiday there in a year or two. I would say that I am surprised about the LJDF website going into hibernation for quite some time and dont understand why they would do that as communication and progress updates are so important to investors as Saidia is a long way away and not yet practical to visit personally. Can any agents explain this? Dogbox?

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Fws. I disagree with comments about most buyers not buying for investment. I’d say most posters on here bought as an investment with the intention of holidaying there for 2 or 3 weeks a year. Of course, for every buyer that has posted on this thread there are many more that don’t know about the site and I’m assuming they will have similar reasons for buying.

Mutley. I can see you have been very selective with your quotes above. I remember each and every one of the quotes and think I responded to most of them at the time to say they were optimistic. Nobody should believe everything they read. I'm sure you would agree that people need to do your their own due diligence and apply a little common sense before drawing conclusions. Tunnel by 2008 were never on. Parties involved with possible tunnel were not talking about 2008 as a delivery date when that post was made.

Sean. As usual I agree with most of what you say, but fail to see logic in comment beneath.

Most people buy their main home to live in rather than as an investment but this website is dominated by thousands of posts about how far UK homes will drop in value. This section has no right to be any different.

Are you saying that we should be equally negative about foreign property as posters on the main board are about UK house prices? I cann't see the logic in that and am sure you would concede that the typical person posting in the Overseas section is very different to those that focus on the main board.

Edited by The Soup Dragon
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Soup, I am just saying dont be so sensitive. For most people, the main (if not only) decent investment they will ever make is in their home and many of them are openly being negative about the future prices of their homes on this site. Why does posting in the "Overseas property investment" section give you a right to escape the opposite so-called negative opinion? I have investment properties in the UK and France which I am concerned about and I don't think that saying so on here will make that any worse. For example, I reckon my flat in North London will fall by about £50k this year and I overpaid by about €100k on a property in Nimes about 18 months ago. In fact, I decided not to move job recently because I want to sort out my overall LTV and feel a bit more secure first. For me at the moment, its a case of staying on the log. I go to Ireland a lot and last year they bored me senseless about the property market but now when I ask they either dont hear me or answer in whispers. They are too scared to talk about it. Going back to topic, I genuinely believe that the investors in Saidia are terrified of posting negative stuff on here and, if true, it says a lot about the fragilty of the whole thing in the first place. As an investor, I dont expect you to agree.

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Sean. I can see what you are saying about your own properties and how you are relating recent experiences in Ireland to overseas markets (Saidia in this instance.) I can also see that some investors in Saidia may be wary of posting negatively.

Why does posting in the "Overseas property investment" section give you a right to escape the opposite so-called negative opinion?

Afraid I still don’t understand your comments regarding posters on main board and overseas board. I’ve been negative about UK market for a while and downsized a little early (2005/2006.) Most of the posters on the main board have been predicting substantial falls in house prices for years. They were wrong, or at least didn’t realise how much prises would rise before the correction would take place. (Time will tell if correction is anything like they are saying.) Posting on the overseas forum doesn’t allow me to escape the negative opinions on where UK house prices are going (I think they will go further south too.) I do however see that not all countries will be hit either by UK’s slump or the Global Credit Crunch. I therefore consider myself more optimistic about the potential of my investments than those that post on the main board. I may be well wide of the mark, but I think most of the Overseas posters that show knowledge and intelligence in their posts are more optimistic about their overseas investments than those that focus on the main board are of their (UK) investments.

Would I invest in Saidia if I could rewind to 2006 with the knowledge I have now? I’d invest in funds and syndicates rather than off-plan property. Would also have a sneaky wager on teams competing in FA & Scottish Cup finals.

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Soup, I'm embarrassed to say that the Nimes property is one of two leasebacks I've bought. I find it irritating enough managing an ever-decreasing number of properties in the UK and just decided to go for the easy option. I was completely aware that I was being lazy at the time and paying a premium for the laziness. In some ways, it has worked out OK. I must also admit that I've done a bit of a Dogbox on the investment (ie bought without seeing the site) although I've been to Nimes and things are progressing well. It will be let to students and I hope to convert its use at the end of the term and sell to locals so I bought a parking space too.

Re the posting on Saidia thing, I'm not sure what you don't understand so am not sure how to say it differently. Here's another try. When sales were going well, there was a great forum with a wide range of opinions. Now that things are not as positive as before, rightly or wrongly, I get a sense that investors feel it is not right for non-investors to say so. I could be misreading this and am happy to be corrected. Meanwhile, over on the main board, anything goes!

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Soup, I'm embarrassed to say that the Nimes property is one of two leasebacks I've bought. I find it irritating enough managing an ever-decreasing number of properties in the UK and just decided to go for the easy option. I was completely aware that I was being lazy at the time and paying a premium for the laziness. In some ways, it has worked out OK. I must also admit that I've done a bit of a Dogbox on the investment (ie bought without seeing the site) although I've been to Nimes and things are progressing well. It will be let to students and I hope to convert its use at the end of the term and sell to locals so I bought a parking space too.

Re the posting on Saidia thing, I'm not sure what you don't understand so am not sure how to say it differently. Here's another try. When sales were going well, there was a great forum with a wide range of opinions. Now that things are not as positive as before, rightly or wrongly, I get a sense that investors feel it is not right for non-investors to say so. I could be misreading this and am happy to be corrected. Meanwhile, over on the main board, anything goes!

As one who's commented on this issue, I'm not saying it's not right for non-investors to say negative things. What I was saying was that it's an absolute nonsense to say things about flights not happening, rents not being achieved, stars not moving in etc. The place isn't built so how can such factors be seen as not happening? What I am condemning is the people who see Saidia as a failure because this or that "hasn't happened". Yes, orices haven't shot up but that's the only 'failure' so far - it doesn't mean that Saidia itself is a failure which is what the gloaters seem to be saying. It isn't built - nothing is open much. No hotels, no shops, no restaurants = no flights etc

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"it doesn't mean that Saidia itself is a failure which is what the gloaters seem to be saying. It isn't built - nothing is open much. "

It is not a failure (yet) and it might be a ncie resort.

BUt was a bad investment in 2006. There is no capital gain and it won't be for some time. No capital gain+ no rental income = loss of interest rates for at least 4 years i.e. about 25%.

Who likes losing 25% of an investment?

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Sean, you’ll be relieved to hear I understand you this time!

On leaseback, at least it should prove relatively hands free. Have you checked that you will definitely be able to sell on to locals at end of initial lease? I’ve read on one of the forums that no matter what your contract / lease agreements say, the management company has the right to keep renewing the lease for your property. I didn’t perform my own due diligence when I read that (had ruled out leasebacks) and it may not be true ….. just want to flag it in case it is true and you weren’t aware of it. (Think I read it on TotallyProperty forum.)

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Soup, thanks for the warning. I signed the contracts some time ago and was pretty sure I could sell on at the end and that it was at my choice. Having said that, the amount of paperwork was huge and all in French so I would not be surprised by anything in 11 years time. Probably saying too much here about it as it is a Morocco thread.

Rondy, I think you sum up the investment situation well. I too think and hope that the resort will be great. Its just taking longer than expected and the global economy hasn't helped.

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I am predicting the 60 million Frenchmen and 80 million or so Germans making up a significant % of rental numbers in new Moroccan developments over the coming years, probally something like 50-75%.

In case you did not realise the French have been holidaying in numbers there for many years. Agadir is already a popular place with Germans, they also go to Turkey in large numbers. The Germans are very prudent savers who are not up to their ears in debt.

German tourists in Morocco made up only 4% of total tourist numbers in 2006, you are talking bullsh*t!!! And yes I am not a property investor, but I do like to see you suffer!

:lol:

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It seems the shameless rampers have either gone pop or have moved on to screw someone else.

I would be interested in hearing from those that have fallen for the 'Moroccan dream' - when will your holiday home be ready to rent/occupy - who will rent it from you and how much will they pay?

Whats the resale market like and will you ever see any of your money again?

If it were I who had taken a speculative punt on Morocco I would be felling pretty glum right now, so come on guys spill your guts.

Apologies for those who have read this before but I feel I yet again have to state that the moroccan dream is not all about Saida!!

I fell for the moroccan dream in 2006 ...only backed off offplan as I wasn't convinced by the developer (this was Tanjah Beach not Saida). However loved the area (Asilah). We bought a medina house on the grounds that there were going to be so many planned developments on the atlantic coast - all apparently 5 star, golf, de luxe blah blah...with the medina we felt there was a limited supply of units (only 500 houses within the walls) and we had the opportunity to have a really original house.

We renovated it last year & are now renting this year. We were advised earlier this year that due to the renovation (which cost 15% of the purchase price) & the increase in the euro/pound exchange rate, that the value had doubled. (granted we won;t know that for sure until we decide to sell, which we don;t plan on doing anytime soon, but it's nice to know there is a cushion in these uncertain times). We are not expecting 15-20% increases in the future as prices appear to have stabilised in the area for the moment..though I understand Marrakesh is still on the rise. Again we always viewed this as a 10yr investment minimum.

We are renting this year & the return is currently coming in at 7.4% (against the purchase cost + renovation costs)although the season seems limited to July & Aug with long weekends in April/May & Xmas....which we had always thought would be the case. Our customer base is Spanish for the long weekends & a mix of Spanish & French in JUly/Aug.

Many off plan developments that were promoted in 2006 have experienced difficulties getting planning permissions through - understandable given the infancy of the market. However other posters have stated that the moroccan tourist market is far from dependent on the english/irish market & that is correct - however whether the french will be attracted to the types of development being promoted is up for debate.

We prefer the degree of control & faster returns that a renovation project can bring when targetted at an established market rather than the uncertainty of off plan & I am very thankful that we didn;t get seduced into offplan and then flipping which would be tad scary now. However, t remains to be seen whether our moroccan venture will be "the best investment we have ever made"- but so far it has certainly been a very enjoyable one even though it has been bloody hard work!!

There...guts spilt to your satisfaction I hope!

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Esmerelda, sounds like you did all the right things (such as research, hard work and taking control) and have every chance of making a success of it over the intended timeline. Well done. That's the sort of thing I used to do in the UK when I had the time and when the rental numbers actually made sense. Just as an example, I would always put dummy adverts in Loot and see if the phone rang at the right rental price before I'd even exchanged contracts. In doing so, I made my last UK residential purchase about 7 years ago because it no longer made sense to buy. Going back to Morocco, most of us can't put the time in to renovate our own overseas properties and most of us dont do our research as well as you.

I also agree completely that Morocco does not equal Saidia (or any other resort) and would add another comment to that - I work in the pricing of "risk" and if you are talking about property development to insurers the last word they will want to hear is "resort". Your experience when compared with the difficulties being experienced at Saidia is a good example of why that is.

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Going back to Morocco, most of us can't put the time in to renovate our own overseas properties and most of us dont do our research as well as you.

I also agree completely that Morocco does not equal Saidia (or any other resort) and would add another comment to that - I work in the pricing of "risk" and if you are talking about property development to insurers the last word they will want to hear is "resort". Your experience when compared with the difficulties being experienced at Saidia is a good example of why that is.

That's interesting what you said about resorts...hadn't thought of that one. Re the renovation....lest you think we were on site all the time - er...no...I have a full time job over here as does my husband. In total I spent 21 days on site which was divided between checking the work out & making all those decisions that builders need if they are not going to do something horrific and running around like a blue a**ed fly sourcing second hand doors etc. The key is project management & plans (&...LISTS!!!!) So it CAN be done although I take your point that it isn;t for everone but I have never lost a wink of sleep since we bought the place whereas I was so frustrated at the lack of progress/information with the offplan that it was really affecting me....there is one downside....now I am having difficulty enjoying a nice beach holiday as I keep thinking I should be running about with a list in my hand!!!!

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Some positive news for the thread as Radisson arrive.

Have to think that this will help underpin the development.

http://www.lejardindefleur.com/site/news/20070011.html

Le Jardin de Fleur announces Radisson Resort & Spa Saïdia

Radisson Hotels & Resorts, part of the Rezidor Hotel Group, with over 330 hotels in operation and under development with more than 68,000 rooms in 53 countries, has selected the beautiful new destination of Saïdia for its first entry into the Moroccan market.

In a joint partnership with Property Logic, the developer of Le Jardin de Fleur Resorts Morocco, the Radisson Resort & Spa Saïdia will manage 384 rooms and 97 villas, scheduled to complete in 2010. “With this signing we are adding a new and emerging country to our pipeline and are now present in 53 countries across EMEA”, comments Kurt Ritter, President & CEO of Rezidor. “In the Middle East and Africa we now have 47 hotels with almost 11,500 rooms in operation and under development – a clear sign for our commitment to this region.”

Located along six kilometers of idyllic beaches on the north-east Mediterranean coast of Morocco, Radisson Resort & Spa Saïdia will comprise of pool villas and residences (2 to 3 bedrooms) and luxury sea view suites (1 to 2 bedrooms). In addition, the Radisson resort will offer collectively 4 restaurants, bars, a 1,500 m² Moroccan themed spa and thalasso centre, 5 outdoor pools, 1 indoor pool, 2 fitness centres, a kid’s club, shops, tennis courts, an amphitheatre, a beach club and 1,500 square metres of meeting and conference facilities - making it an ideal year-round destination ideal for business and leisure travellers.

Investment opportunities are currently on offer in the Radisson Resort & Spa under leaseback agreements managed by Le Jardin de Fleur. Owners benefit from generous usage of the resort in addition to peace of mind as their property works hard for them in generating excellent return on investment through annual rental income and capital appreciation.

Le Jardin de Fleur is the brand name behind the eleven most luxurious developments within the Mediterrania-Saïdia project - the first of six government backed coastal resorts that form part of the Moroccan Government’s Plan Azur tourism strategy to bring 10 million annual visitors to the country by 2010. The 7 million m² master plan will feature a 6 km beach promenade, a 1000 berth marina, three 18 hole golf courses and numerous restaurants, shops and exclusive beach clubs.

It is expected that Le Jardin de Fleur will announce further hotel partnerships for its other resorts within Saïdia over the coming months.

“Our objective is to provide a unique and pleasurable experience to owners and guests and our strategy is based on selecting only the best hotel partners to provide the high levels of service and quality that these resorts demand. Radisson, with its international experience and reputation for quality, shares our vision to create a world class tourism destination in Saïdia,” said Sean Cusack, Managing Director of Le Jardin de Fleur Resorts.

Significant investment has been injected into the development of the infrastructure, roads and surroundings of Saïdia, in addition to substantial expansion of nearby Oujda International Airport (40 km) which is expected to provide capacity for numerous chartered and scheduled airline routes over the next two years. Nearby tourist attractions include the Figuig desert oasis and the imperial city of Fez, while Saïdia offers a 17th century Kasbah, traditional Moroccan restaurants and annual summer music festival.

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Some positive news for the thread as Radisson arrive.

Have to think that this will help underpin the development.

http://www.lejardindefleur.com/site/news/20070011.html

Le Jardin de Fleur announces Radisson Resort & Spa Saïdia

Radisson Hotels & Resorts, part of the Rezidor Hotel Group, with over 330 hotels in operation and under development with more than 68,000 rooms in 53 countries, has selected the beautiful new destination of Saïdia for its first entry into the Moroccan market.

In a joint partnership with Property Logic, the developer of Le Jardin de Fleur Resorts Morocco, the Radisson Resort & Spa Saïdia will manage 384 rooms and 97 villas, scheduled to complete in 2010. “With this signing we are adding a new and emerging country to our pipeline and are now present in 53 countries across EMEA”, comments Kurt Ritter, President & CEO of Rezidor. “In the Middle East and Africa we now have 47 hotels with almost 11,500 rooms in operation and under development – a clear sign for our commitment to this region.”

Located along six kilometers of idyllic beaches on the north-east Mediterranean coast of Morocco, Radisson Resort & Spa Saïdia will comprise of pool villas and residences (2 to 3 bedrooms) and luxury sea view suites (1 to 2 bedrooms). In addition, the Radisson resort will offer collectively 4 restaurants, bars, a 1,500 m² Moroccan themed spa and thalasso centre, 5 outdoor pools, 1 indoor pool, 2 fitness centres, a kid’s club, shops, tennis courts, an amphitheatre, a beach club and 1,500 square metres of meeting and conference facilities - making it an ideal year-round destination ideal for business and leisure travellers.

Investment opportunities are currently on offer in the Radisson Resort & Spa under leaseback agreements managed by Le Jardin de Fleur. Owners benefit from generous usage of the resort in addition to peace of mind as their property works hard for them in generating excellent return on investment through annual rental income and capital appreciation.

Le Jardin de Fleur is the brand name behind the eleven most luxurious developments within the Mediterrania-Saïdia project - the first of six government backed coastal resorts that form part of the Moroccan Government’s Plan Azur tourism strategy to bring 10 million annual visitors to the country by 2010. The 7 million m² master plan will feature a 6 km beach promenade, a 1000 berth marina, three 18 hole golf courses and numerous restaurants, shops and exclusive beach clubs.

It is expected that Le Jardin de Fleur will announce further hotel partnerships for its other resorts within Saïdia over the coming months.

“Our objective is to provide a unique and pleasurable experience to owners and guests and our strategy is based on selecting only the best hotel partners to provide the high levels of service and quality that these resorts demand. Radisson, with its international experience and reputation for quality, shares our vision to create a world class tourism destination in Saïdia,” said Sean Cusack, Managing Director of Le Jardin de Fleur Resorts.

Significant investment has been injected into the development of the infrastructure, roads and surroundings of Saïdia, in addition to substantial expansion of nearby Oujda International Airport (40 km) which is expected to provide capacity for numerous chartered and scheduled airline routes over the next two years. Nearby tourist attractions include the Figuig desert oasis and the imperial city of Fez, while Saïdia offers a 17th century Kasbah, traditional Moroccan restaurants and annual summer music festival.

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