According to leading international agent Knight Frank, luxury and prime property in Morocco, particularly in the cosmopolitan city of Marrakech, is in high demand from discerning professional investors and second home owners from around the globe, who are seeking a relatively lower-risk real estate investment in a country less affected by the recession than others like the UK and USA.
The Jawhar Resort, Spa and Private Residences - a luxury destination resort developed by Aerium Atlas Management and managed by Monte-Carlo SBM, the resort operator behind some of Monaco’s most glamorous casinos, restaurants and hotels - is an example of a new standard of real estate that is being created in Marrakech to cater to this burgeoning demand and is receiving significant interest from the international elite since its launch last November.
Morocco provides an exciting destination in which to invest in property, with buyers drawn to the country’s low property prices in comparison to Europe, the real estate appreciation prospects and the ease in which foreigners can own property. What is also attractive is the comparatively low cost of living, the extensive government investment in the tourism market, the creation of several tax advantages and the wealth of lifestyle benefits available.
The country has not been immune to the global economic downturn, but it has been far less heavily affected and has fared much better than the likes of other North African states, the UK and the USA. Following a visit to Morocco at the end of 2009, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued the property market a vote of confidence, highlighting that the country’s economic performance has remained solid.
Moreover, the High Planning Commission recently stated that Morocco’s economy will grow four per cent in 2010 and expects a rise of three per cent in foreign demand directed towards Morocco in 2010. This is combined with an increase in demand of non-agricultural sectors, which are expected to improve by 5.9 percent in 2010 compared to 1.6 percent in 2009. Inflation will be kept at two point three per cent in 2010, proving the stability of the Moroccan economy and the promise which the Moroccon economy holds for the near future.
A report for the African Bank for Development - also known as the African Bank Group - highlighted that the exceptionally good levels of rainfall since last year brought 12% growth in Morocco’s agriculture sector, and steady growth in the construction and tourism industry has helped offset declines in other sectors. Crucially, the country’s financial sector has significantly improved in recent years and does not hold securities or loans in financial institutions or international investment funds affected by the subprime property markets.
The African Bank Group assistance strategy for Morocco is consistent with the government’s programme orientations and it aims at supporting efforts at enabling Morocco attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The Bank is, in particular, focusing on public administration efficiency, the strengthening of governance, the upgrading of economic and social infrastructure, and private sector development.
Knight Frank’s international research department in London has found that the residential real estate market in Morocco performed well, with home prices rising by 35 to 40 per cent in the five years leading up to 2008. Since then, prices dropped by up to 20 per cent in the early half of 2009 but have now stabilised and are forecasted to grow again.
At the top end of the market, there continues to be a sustained demand for super-prime residences and resorts in quality worldwide destinations, for properties priced above €2million. In Marrakech, the country’s leading tourist location, there is heightened demand for luxury, high-quality real estate, which is currently not being met by supply.
CBRE , the world's leading commercial real estate advisor reports that investors in prime Moroccan residential property in 2010 may double their money within 10 years. Residential experts, Aylesford International agrees with this forecast but are even more optimistic and believe that a prime property investment in Marrakech now, over a five year period, is likely to be extremely profitable.
The reason for this is widely due the Moroccan Government’s ambitious “Plan Azur”, a €2.2 billion masterplan to generate investment, high quality real estate and tourism to the Kingdom, which will in turn create a property boom in Morocco. The country is successfully evolving as an exciting investment market, positioned as a desirable cosmopolitan destination that will combine world-class holidays and resorts with cultural, fitness and eco-tourism.
A key example of the type of transformation which is taking place in Morocco is the creation of a new prestigious neighbourhood on the western side of Marrakech known as the Menara District, which is designed to cater to the exclusive needs of both domestic and international visitors.
The new district, which is set within the Menara arrondisement of the city is formed of three elements all framed by the world famous Menara Gardens. It includes the 14-hectare Jawhar Resort, Spa and Private Residences, which will incorporate the renowned glamour of Monte Carlo, The Four Seasons Resort and a mixed use development known as Les Terrasses de la Menara that will comprise of a new luxury retailed boulevard, with restaurants, offices, cultural and leisure facilities together with a luxury residential area and a boutique hotel At the heart of the district, a landmark museum is planned, which will be designed by one of the world’s leading architects and is intended to become an iconic facility within the city.
For discerning investors seeking a lifestyle and financial investment the Jawhar Resort, Spa and Private Residences offers the perfect opportunity. The Jawhar Estate (Jawhar means “Jewel” in Arabic), is an excellent example of the new luxury real estate being established in Marrakech which will meet the exacting needs of the world’s elite.
Scheduled to open in late 2011, the unique resort will offer a standard of luxury never seen before in Morocco and will provide 25 of the finest, new build private residences, a 93 all-suite 5-star hotel, a top gastronomic restaurant and one of the largest Spa’s in North Africa run by ESPA. It also will include the “8 elements” Wellness Centre, a revolutionary health and self-improvement concept, developed by Dr Nadia Volf, one of the world’s top specialists in acupuncture and neuropharmacy.
Prices for the private residences are still to be made available but are anticipated to be in the range of €2million to €6million Euros (£1.8m to £5.4m UK pounds / $2.9m to $8.8m US dollars)