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March 21, 2008

Property Investment in Morocco

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by Brian Turner

Morocco

Property Investment Guide for Morocco

Morocco has long been the place of choice for many of the rich and famous, particularly from the UK and property investments continue to be a winning choice. The area is exotic and historic and the weather is warm and dry.

The growth of prices has been on the increase in Morocco over the last several years. In 2006, the rate of increase was around 9%. Rates will most likely continue to rise as Morocco moves into the mass-market, although if the GDP numbers are any indication the figures will not be quite as dramatic for 2007 and 2008. The market in Morocco is still considered to be one of the strongest investment options around the globe.

Reformation in the region has led to major economic gains and a massive development program is expected to be completed by 2010. Increasing the tourism market and housing availability is sure to drive the interest in property investment as well.

The buyer will pay all the fees in a Moroccan property transaction. These fees can run up to 13.5% of the purchase price. You will be paying for the property agent, the registration duties, legal fees, notary, land registry fee and notary tax.

Investing in property in Morocco is fairly straight forward for foreign investors. The only transactions that are not allowed are the purchase of agricultural land.

Some Tips

• Open a Moroccan bank account to make the conversion of monies and easier process. All purchases are made in Moroccan Dirham.
• Work with a local property agent.
• Hire a local lawyer to explain the legal issues and procedures that will come up during the transaction.

Explanation of Fees

Legal fees: these costs usually will run from 1% to 5% of the purchase price. The registration and ownership system in the region can be extremely complicated. You need a local lawyer who understands the system to help you navigate your way through.

Registration Duties: there is a 2.5% (of purchase price) registration duty applied to all purchases of building as well as the acquisition of undeveloped land for the purpose of building houses or other dwellings.

Notary Fee and Stamp Duty: signatures on the sales contract must be certified by a government notary. These fees will cost around 1% of the purchase price. Each contract will be stamped on each page at a cost of just under $3 US per page.

Notary Tax: different from the notary fee and fixed at .5% of the purchase price.

Land Registry Fee: sales are listed on the land registry at a cost of 1%.

Estate Agent’s Fee: extremely helpful at finding and purchasing property and understanding the process along the way. The fee is usually 2.5% of the purchase price paid after the sale is complete.


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