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Morocco - My Next Target


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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.

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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.

First a 100% rise within a year is not a sign of a healthy market and your are the proof of that. Speculators like you are just competing with honest and hard working locals, that are looking for buying a house where to live and you are looking for making money out of money.

Time has changed, structural change are on the way to redirect the ressource and investment into better area.

Speculation was mainly driven by excess liquidity world wide. Banks provided such amount due to lax lending pratice, low interest rates amid continuous rising asset.

-The party is over- I repeat -the party is over-

Morocco is tightening the property market rules with regard to capital gain and speculation. The King in his last speech has clearly set the road map and outlined that the fight has started...

Spain was an example where investor that bought after 2004 have been decimated...the one who bought after 2000 will be going through an asset deflation and the one who bought before will keep an asset that won't rise for another decade or two but instead will see its real price depreciate through higher tax and maintenance cost.

Expat - English in particular - have been foolish - I repeat - have been foolish, and here is why:

-going to a country that has not relation whatsoever culturally, that has a different religion that will get stronger/radical as the economical situation will get worse.

-language barrier- you see nobody speak english and no one is willing too- if you don't speak arabic or french then maybe

-some foreigners have had a neocolonial behaviour - thinking that buying there for servicing only foreigners or expat was the right business model- they got it wrong- i repeat they got it wrong- the tourism ex-moroccan has plumetted due to the credit crunch , depreciating purchasing power due to a falling currency, housing and a higher inflation.

-Some invested what they though a cheap "palace" ending up of owning a pile of rubles where the maintenance cost have soared to the highest level since 1st BC ...i repeat since 1st BC...

-Moroccan see foreigners not as a dominant power or as good friend, as during the colonial time but instead as possible way to get money, a source of capital... should that dry up, the feeling will change.

-not even speaking about retirement money as they won't have any...

Time has changed and some are still living in the trend that started in the beginning of 80's, where the supercycle of easy credit started..Now it won't take 2-5 years to recover but another 3 decades before the real estate trend start again...if you are under 30, you have still hope to participate to the same kind of trend if in the meantime you have not forgotten such thing...

Edited by Macluis
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First a 100% rise within a year is not a sign of a healthy market and your are the proof of that. Speculators like you are just competing with honest and hard working locals, that are looking for buying a house where to live and you are looking for making money out of money.

Time has changed, structural change are on the way to redirect the ressource and investment into better area.

Speculation was mainly driven by excess liquidity world wide. Banks provided such amount due to lax lending pratice, low interest rates amid continuous rising asset.

-The party is over- I repeat -the party is over-

Morocco is tightening the property market rules with regard to capital gain and speculation. The King in his last speech has clearly set the road map and outlined that the fight has started...

Spain was an example where investor that bought after 2004 have been decimated...the one who bought after 2000 will be going through an asset deflation and the one who bought before will keep an asset that won't rise for another decade or two but instead will see its real price depreciate through higher tax and maintenance cost.

Expat - English in particular - have been foolish - I repeat - have been foolish, and here is why:

-going to a country that has not relation whatsoever culturally, that has a different religion that will get stronger/radical as the economical situation will get worse.

-language barrier- you see nobody speak english and no one is willing too- if you don't speak arabic or french then maybe

-some foreigners have had a neocolonial behaviour - thinking that buying there for servicing only foreigners or expat was the right business model- they got it wrong- i repeat they got it wrong- the tourism ex-moroccan has plumetted due to the credit crunch , depreciating purchasing power due to a falling currency, housing and a higher inflation.

-Some invested what they though a cheap "palace" ending up of owning a pile of rubles where the maintenance cost have soared to the highest level since 1st BC ...i repeat since 1st BC...

-Moroccan see foreigners not as a dominant power or as good friend, as during the colonial time but instead as possible way to get money, a source of capital... should that dry up, the feeling will change.

-not even speaking about retirement money as they won't have any...

Time has changed and some are still living in the trend that started in the beginning of 80's, where the supercycle of easy credit started..Now it won't take 2-5 years to recover but another 3 decades before the real estate trend start again...if you are under 30, you have still hope to participate to the same kind of trend if in the meantime you have not forgotten such thing...

Macluis - I have been reading your comments with interest but as you are a relatively new poster it would be interesting to understand your background to enable us to set your comments in context. Are you a moroccan person or have some connection with that country?

Whilst I take on board SOME of what you are saying - you are painting a very bleak picture - which does not chime with our own experiences in morocco over the last couple of years, so I would be interested in understanding where some of your more extreme comments are coming from.

For example you mention "neocolonialism" driving rentals targetted at non Moroccans. Surely one of the stated economic targets is to increase overseas tourism - therefore more beds are needed for those tourists.

You mention that tourism has dropped off this year - whilst that has not been our experience, however I would be very interested if you have access to actual data that would substantiate your statement or if you could direct me to a reliable source???

You mention the Kings speech - is that available in French anywhere or is only available in Arabic - i would be very interested in what he is saying for myself if possible. Can you supply a link please?

I am also completely thrown by your reference to 1BC??? Where is this coming from??? Sorry but it seems such a weird date to pick and not terribly relevant - now if you said "the most expensive in the past 20 years" - well that means something - you see my point?

Anyway if you could provide some more information I am sure that would be very interesting for those of us on the forum who have a genuine affection for the place - and it's people .

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Re: Tourism figures in Morocco.

Official figures from the Tourism Ministry point to a decline in hotel occupancy rates. Basically, less French tourists have arrived this year and last since prices for hols in Morocco are more expensive than Tunisia or Turkey. I don't have figures to hand, but if you speak French you can consult the blog www.casawaves.com which gives pretty regular reporting on the Moroccan property market.

It also appears that there are also fewer moroccan expats (MRE) returning on vacation or those who are coming have chosen to rent furnished apartments rather than staying in hotels. The Tourism Ministry also claim that hotel accommodation figures are down because more people are staying in undeclared Riad accommodation.

Other anecdotal evidence of a property slump comes from newspaper reports that Notaries and Estate Agents here are experiencing a decline in sales. Much of the difficulties come from a mismatch in supply and demand with far too much property on the market that is beyond the purchasing power of ordinary Moroccans.

As any observer of property markets knows, once people can no longer get their foot on the first rung of the ladder you can be sure that things are about to get shaky and may even topple over.

Many people are saying that the critical indicator to follow will be how well valuations for the major Moroccan property developers' stock market valuations hold up on the Casablanca bourse over coming months as the slide in sales begins to set in. Many developers have artificially inflated the values of land banks on their balance sheets and when it comes time to write down the value of these assets we can expect a few suprises.

On the other hand, Morocco remains a major exporter of illegal drugs and much of the money earned illegally is reinvested in Morocco since post-2001 it's become increasingly difficult to reinvest cash in Europe.

I'm based in Morocco myself (living in Casablanca for the last year) after having spent numerous years in France. I'm keen to invest myself in this country (hopefully once things start to settle down next year) and am very impressed by much of what I've read in this thread and hope to make my own little contribution to this community in coming weeks and months.

Gluck to all!

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On the Fadesa meltdown. Actually, the official story here in Morocco has been that that the Moroccan subsidiary bought out Fadesa last year and owns all the development land. The Moroccan company has confirmed that it will go ahead with all developments.

Fadesa's (very plush) head office here in Casablanca on Bd Moulay Youssef is still open for business.

As I mentioned in a previous post, it won't be until next year that we see what's to come, once the current slowdown in property sales feeds through into the stock market valuations of Moroccan developers.

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Re: Tourism figures in Morocco.

Official figures from the Tourism Ministry point to a decline in hotel occupancy rates. Basically, less French tourists have arrived this year and last since prices for hols in Morocco are more expensive than Tunisia or Turkey. I don't have figures to hand, but if you speak French you can consult the blog www.casawaves.com which gives pretty regular reporting on the Moroccan property market.

It also appears that there are also fewer moroccan expats (MRE) returning on vacation or those who are coming have chosen to rent furnished apartments rather than staying in hotels. The Tourism Ministry also claim that hotel accommodation figures are down because more people are staying in undeclared Riad accommodation.

Other anecdotal evidence of a property slump comes from newspaper reports that Notaries and Estate Agents here are experiencing a decline in sales. Much of the difficulties come from a mismatch in supply and demand with far too much property on the market that is beyond the purchasing power of ordinary Moroccans.

As any observer of property markets knows, once people can no longer get their foot on the first rung of the ladder you can be sure that things are about to get shaky and may even topple over.

Many people are saying that the critical indicator to follow will be how well valuations for the major Moroccan property developers' stock market valuations hold up on the Casablanca bourse over coming months as the slide in sales begins to set in. Many developers have artificially inflated the values of land banks on their balance sheets and when it comes time to write down the value of these assets we can expect a few suprises.

On the other hand, Morocco remains a major exporter of illegal drugs and much of the money earned illegally is reinvested in Morocco since post-2001 it's become increasingly difficult to reinvest cash in Europe.

I'm based in Morocco myself (living in Casablanca for the last year) after having spent numerous years in France. I'm keen to invest myself in this country (hopefully once things start to settle down next year) and am very impressed by much of what I've read in this thread and hope to make my own little contribution to this community in coming weeks and months.

Gluck to all!

At last, someone who says it like it is.

I lived in Casablanca myself for 5 years (yes I did EuroScoobysceptic) - I lived in Oasis (Rue de la Mecque).

Came back to UK in June, not intending to go back (though still have some business interests there).

Be glad to communicate via PM, Paddy.

Regards,

Biglog.

P.S. Still waiting for your telephone number Euro....

Edited by BigLog
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For example you mention "neocolonialism" driving rentals targetted at non Moroccans. Surely one of the stated economic targets is to increase overseas tourism - therefore more beds are needed for those tourists."

I never mention the rental link , that was your interpretation but I agree with you that I might have used a strong word. One could say that I used a similar style of speech used by politicians to attract the attention -a Alistair Darling style - .

Regarding more "bed are needed", I think the market is already overcrowded ...too many beds (on the way too many empty flat available, too many hotel -maison d'hote empty , too many have been build and are being build) for too little amount of tourists- There is a clear mismatch between the supply (grossely exceeding) and the demand (shrinking) . The problem is the timing, amid a global recession, a rising inflation and energy price and global housing correction or wealth adjustment, people are just going to readjust to harsh reality- their wealth and purchasing power is not going up but is shrinking. I think the profesionnal in the tourism missed the point or maybe their greed turn them blind - a mistake too costly to make that could endanger their business model or "their shirt"...

My feeling is that lots of people (call them expat) are taking advantage of the fact that most morrocan are living in poverty and that property reflects their income level. Let's be fair not only expat are to blame, there is as well Moroccan players- Politicians, Constructor and Bankers- highly corrupt that have used this situation to fill their bank account with Money- A similar situation could be seen in quite few Middle east country, say Dubai.

I don't say that foreign investment is a bad, on the contrary. Not having it for the country will be disatrous. But what i condemn is rampant speculation, that lead to corruption and ultimately hurt the most vulnerable the poor, elderly and yound. So do you think that people that come to a foreign country and flip properties to gain quickly money do that with the though of helping the country and its economy?

You mention that tourism has dropped off this year - whilst that has not been our experience, however I would be very interested

This year has been a disaster for Moroccan tourism as compared to previous years. This has been clearly highlighted in the Moroccan and French press. For example , the number of french tourists for Morocco dropped by 10% whilst a jump of 30% have been seen toward Egypt , 10% toward Turky and 20% toward the US. And this is coming from the French statistics agency

The reason is simple for this deterioration n Morocco : Prices have skyrocketed at all levels, transportation, accomodation, food and beverage. Who could have though that within a year, Morrocan tourism competitiveness will deteriorate so fast. I guess no one.

A Summary, retrieved from web site (http://www.liberation.fr/vous/347563.FR.php) in french, as you give the feeling that you can read french...

"Les départs entre mai et fin juillet, ainsi que l’état des réservations jusqu’à octobre, consacrent l’Egypte (+ 30 %), les Etats-Unis (+ 20 %), favorisés par un dollar faible, et la Turquie (+ 10 %). Les Antilles françaises (- 35 %), la République Dominicaine (- 10 %), la Grèce (- 10 %) et le Maroc (- 10 %) sont les grands perdants"

You might want to disagree about the facts, fair enough, people are free to have their own opinion. I understand that since the Moroccan official statistics are missing. This lack of transparency brings a fertile ground for speculation to emerge and that happened... Reversing the process will be a real challenge, a first test for this young government. But a challenge that will make this government stronger and respected.

if you have access to actual data that would substantiate your statement or if you could direct me to a reliable source???

You mention the Kings speech - is that available in French anywhere or is only available in Arabic - i would be very interested in what he is saying for myself if possible. Can you supply a link please?

http://www.maec.gov.ma/fr/f-com.asp?num=4489&typ=DR

An highlight...in French...

"Cela devient plus impératif dès lors qu'il s'agit des moyens de subsistance du peuple, ou des spéculations sur les prix, ou encore de tirer profit de l'économie de rente et des privilèges issus de pratiques clientélistes. Cela s'impose encore plus face à la prévarication, la concussion, la corruption, l'abus de pouvoir et la fraude fiscale"

in a nutshell in english... clearing highlighting that the government, in theory, will fight all kind of speculation and corruption...i think already some head have fallen in the government and new people (Eliot Ness types hopefully) have been put in place.

I am also completely thrown by your reference to 1BC??? Where is this coming from??? Sorry but it seems such a weird date to pick and not terribly relevant - now if you said "the most expensive in the past 20 years" - well that means something - you see my point?

You are right the date is not that accurate but most probably reflect better the reality than say 20 years ago. You see the housing tsunami one could witness in certain European and Asian country 20 years ago was big but was a drop in Morocco. So you have to go further down when the middle east was florishing and Europe battling with the Vikings... can't remember that far...maybe "Jesus of Nazareth" commentator could help on that...

Anyway if you could provide some more information I am sure that would be very interesting for those of us on the forum who have a genuine affection for the place - and it's people .
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At last, someone who says it like it is.

I lived in Casablanca myself for 5 years (yes I did EuroScoobysceptic) - I lived in Oasis (Rue de la Mecque).

Came back to UK in June, not intending to go back (though still have some business interests there).

Be glad to communicate via PM, Paddy.

Regards,

Biglog.

P.S. Still waiting for your telephone number Euro....

Yep, you can keep waiting fella.

What if you called me on one of your 'forgot to take medication' days.

Why would I want to hear your anti-Saidia rants down my phone as well?

I'll keep being sceptical of you on the forum thanks. It is after all what it is for.

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Yep, you can keep waiting fella.

What if you called me on one of your 'forgot to take medication' days.

Why would I want to hear your anti-Saidia rants down my phone as well?

I'll keep being sceptical of you on the forum thanks. It is after all what it is for.

Medication ?

Oh okay, personal attacks.

Edited by BigLog
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hey biglog, i've read many of your posts... great minds, eh? would be happy to get in touch, but i can't get the PM thingie to work here. My email address is the french for messageinabottle in one word (message dans une bouteille) at gmail dot com.

Hi Paddy,

Just sent you an email.

Regards.

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Thank you to Paddy for a very clear exposition, most useful - & I wouldn;t feel you have to invest yourself to comment on market conditions in a country that you are living in---your comments were reasoned & I for one welcomed them. My thanks to McLuis for your clarifying your comments and providing the information I was looking for....

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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.

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I think price in, almost anything, in Morocco will go higher and higher, the 'milky way' is the limit. If you don't buy now you will be priced out, and if you are priced out you will be comdemned to live near you relative, friends and have a normal life: a well paid job and a secure home sweet home...that will be a knightmare.

In the UK, everything is ok, there is no recession and a cheap pound will make export soar and people will feel wealthy again and go on on buying properties abroad.

And I think as well that most of English retiree have the hidden dream to retire in Morocco because the culture and way of living is so near to their own tradition, or own vision...Then they want to escape the burden of taking care of their little children...how best to escape then going to another continent.

While there, a falling pound will make them wealthier ...not materialistically but spiritually since they will learn that instead of going to restaurant they will have to learn to cook, they will not drink wine but instead tea that will make them healthier...so it's win-win situation for the retiree.

For the younger couple, it is great as well they will be there renovating a home with the hope to become a hotel manager, after all what kind of other work they will do. after working a decade or two ( let's call that the Win-Decade), they will retire...and hopefully they have saved enough money since no government will give pennie for their retirement but it's not a problem because this young couple is willing to work until the old age..let's call that the old young couple model.

Ryan air and others are striving, high oil price and booming economy has contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of customers, they keep on opening new routes, their share price in the stock market is rising and rising, the limit is the milky way.Buy it now otherwise it will be too late...

Edited by Macluis
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  • 1 month later...
News out today that the Golden Tulip Group is going to be the management company for RT7. First impressions are very disappointing - my student brother often stays in the one in Amsterdam for 20 quid per night!

Not what I would have expected for a 5 star resort!!!

Hi rorypops

Do you own on RT-7?

I notice your name on other forums too.

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Hi euroscooby,

Yes, I do. I haven't contributed to the Morocco discussions of late.

What is your thought on Golden Tulip being the management company?

Thanks

Pretty happy as I think it will widen the user base. Swiss based is good news for European markets.

I am in two minds if they are a 3 or 4 star operation. Certainly have a mixed portfolio. I believe RT7 will be managed under Tulip Residences which sounds new so we might have to wait and see.

Overall happy. Take your point, but if it was all five star I am not sure it would attract enough people to fill the resort. We need the middle classes to be attracted to family holidays in Morocco. They have seen it become trendy with the 'A' listers now they can visit. With a global recession if they travel (I know its an if!) it is a realistic alternative to Algarve, France, Costa del Sol, Costa Brava, Sardinia, Corsica etc.

Given the economic backdrop its probably positive that PL continue to a) build and B) sign up companies with a global footprint.

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  • 1 month later...

Lausanne (CH) A new Tulip Inn will be opened on December 1st near Ikea Concept Center in Delft; the interior will be exclusively furnished by Ikea.

http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/1540003...anne+ikea+tulip

Good to see their chain of hotels are expanding.

(....but here's hoping they haven't struck a deal with Property Logic and we end up with vases costing all of 39p!!)

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DAVID LLOYD TO OPEN FIRST FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP RESORT IN MOROCCO

Morocco

David Lloyd has announced plans to open its first fractional ownership resort on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast in Saïdia, in partnership with resort brand Le Jardin de Fleur. The resort will open in 2010 and offer fractional ownership, luxury build standards and leisure services that are associated with the David Lloyd brand.

The David Lloyd resort is one of 11 developments being built by Property Logic, the developer of Le Jardin de Fleur, and will comprise of 48 townhouses and 28 villa residences designed in a Moroccan architectural style.

When completed, the resort facilities will feature a “world-class tennis club and fitness centre”, a central clubhouse with bar and restaurant, landscaped gardens, eight outdoor pools, putting green and kids’ club. The resort is also bordered by an 18-hole golf course with beach views.

“We have chosen Saïdia as the location for the latest in our collection of signature resorts as it has all of the ingredients for the perfect leisure holiday within a short flight time from European cities,” said David Lloyd. “Beaches, sunshine, golf and sailing combined with first class tennis facilities and exotic Moroccan flavour creates the ideal recipe for David Lloyd Resorts. Our holiday home buyers will enjoy all the benefits of fractional ownership as well as extra perks including privileged use of the marina and sports facilities.”

Located on the northeast coast of Morocco, 30 minutes from Oujda airport, Mediterrania-Saïdia, dubbed the new Côte d’Azur, is predicted to attract thousands of tourists seeking year-round sunshine, water sports, designer shopping and Moroccan luxury.

Known as the “blue pearl” of Morocco, it is set on six kilometres of beaches, three 18-hole golf courses and a brand new leisure marina with capacity for 1,350 crafts.

“Le Jardin de Fleur is delighted to be developing the David Lloyd resort in Morocco and welcoming this top quality name to Saïdia,” commented Sean Cusack, MD of Property Logic, the developer behind Le Jardin de Fleur Resorts “The reputation, style and luxury lifestyle associated with David Lloyd are synonymous with Le Jardin de Fleur’s architectural vision and award-winning design.”

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