"The first Chinese investors are on the scene in Marrakech and this could potentially be a game changer", Colin Bosworth, Bosworth Property Marrakech
Marrakech, Morocco (PRWEB) February 17, 2017
The third and fourth quarter performance of the Real Estate sector in Marrakech Medina gives cause for optimism in 2017. Political stability throughout the North African Kingdom and increased numbers of foreign visitors are major factors. Government financed structural investment in some Medina districts has positively impacted previously flat markets. The hosting of numerous major international events and the continued growth of the tourism sector have all helped the Medina to have it's best year since 2007.
The President of the CGEM (Moroccan Confederation of Businesses) was bullish in early 2016, recommending businesses to invest in Marrakech real estate. Evidence on the ground bears out his optimism.
Medina Riad Market Analysis
According to Colin Bosworth, founder and CEO of Bosworth Property Marrakech, a Medina real estate company specialising in Riads for Sale in Marrakech, “Strong sales in the second half of 2016 have continued into the first weeks of 2017. As stock becomes rarer we are looking at upward price pressure”.
Three main categories of buyer dominate at the current time: Riad Guesthouse buyers (35%), private Riad buyers (30%) and buy to rent (15%). The rest of the market is composed of institutional investors, local families and business concerns.
Renovated and finished Riads remain the most sought after (70%). Renovated Riads requiring work make up 15% of the market. Historical Riads, which are now very rare to find, is a significant niche. The rest of the market is in heavy renovation or new build. “It is noticeable just how many Riad renovation sites are currently under work around the Medina – it's a very positive signal to investors” according to Mr. Bosworth.
Detailed Medina Market Analysis by district
Favourite Medina quarters for new buyers remain clustered around the iconic Jemaa El Fna square – Ksour, Mouassine, Kennaria, Riad Zitoune Lkhdim and Riad Zitoune Jdid – and around the central historical area of Ben Youssef – now reaching as far as Sidi Abdelaziz (where the emergence of a vibrant international fashion hub has driven demand) and Riad Laarous. The fashionable Kasbah area of the Medina continues to do well. Dar El Bacha remains a much desired area. All of these districts have shown good resilience, and in the case of Sidi Abdelaziz and Riad Laarous, modest growth in 2016.
Emerging districts in 2017 are sure to be the Mellah, Ben Salah and possibly Azbest and Bab Taghzout. The Mokkef is a long shot but could surprise. These areas are benefiting from government investment in infrastructure and renovation. The Mellah, in particular, as underpriced and ripe for price growth. The refurbishment of the Place des Ferblantiers and the upgrade to the Jewish Quarter have made it accessible to first-time buyers as well as seasoned professionals. (https://affaires.ma/marrakech-projets-pour-la-valorisation-du-patrimoine-urbain-et-culturel-de-la-medina/)
Further afield the market remains flat. In the North of the Medina around Bab El Kmiss and Bab Kechich buyers are scarce and supply is abundant. It is possible to get good property from stressed sellers. A similar situation exists all down the eastern ramparts to Bab Ghmatt in the South. This could evolve as the investment plans reaches these districts towards the end of the decade, so they could be worth land-banking in the meantime. The Bab Ghmatt and Bab Aylen Government Development Plan is the most significant of the bunch and means these districts represent best value in the South East.
Changing Medina Demographic
The shift away from predominately French foreign ownership continues apace. New investors are now coming from a more international background and this is reflected in the emergence of English as the foremost language of business in the Medina. 2016 saw a tripling in the number of Russian tourists visiting Morocco and there is new interest in property from this sector. There is also a strong rise in both Portuguese and Italian visitors, fueling demand from these Mediterranean countries. More generally, new buyers are coming from the North of Europe – UK, Germany, Scandinvia and Switzerland – as well as the US and Canada. Visitors from the US rose some 69% for the year to August 2016. The middle-eastern sector is very robust. The first Chinese investors are on the scene and this could potentially be a game changer. Chinese investment – usually concentrated in the luxury sector – would impact property prices significantly in the years ahead.
To conclude, Bosworth Property Marrakech states “You should expect general stability in property prices in Marrakech Medina in 2017, with modest growth in district specific markets as stock becomes more rare. In the longer term, expect upward price pressure to become modest to significant in 2018, with or without Chinese investment. By the end of the decade you can expect modest price growth throughout the Medina, with the possible exception of the more remote eastern districts.”