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Emerging Property Markets Morocco attracts British property buyers (Source World of Propery.co.uk) People are drawn to owning a home in Morocco with its cheap property prices and cheaper living costs, but the country is also a good bet for savvy investors, says Kate Baddeley. Morocco attracts British property buyers Just a short hop across the water from Europe you'll find the North African kingdom of Morocco. The country is rich with contrasts – from the immense deserted beaches to the hustle and bustle of the colourful markets. The last five years have seen a considerable rise in the number of foreigners buying houses in Morocco. The market is focused on second home buyers, but there is strong rental occupancy in Morocco and the country is starting to appeal to those interested in Morocco's investment potential. The country's low property costs lure British property seekers – on average property prices in Morocco are around 50 per cent less than in Europe's most popular resorts. Only a three-hour flight from Britain, budget airline Ryanair has signed a deal with the government of Morocco to develop low cost air access to the country from the airline's bases throughout Europe. It's not only the country's flight availability that's improving. The Moroccan government is dedicated to improving its infrastructure and tourism facilities – tourism has already grown by 18 per cent over the last year. Morocco has a free market economy that has grown by 4 per cent a year since 1983, and inflation rates have been held to the levels of industrialised countries. Marrakesh is the most sought after location for investors. Other well-known property hotspots include Fez and Essaouira, while new developments along the largely undiscovered coast are starting to pop up. The Superior Real Estate Group is currently marketing one- and two-bedroom apartments for under £76,000 at the Oasis Beach and Golf Resort, situated close to the Mediterranean resort of Saidia. Chris North, chairman of the Superior Group, says, "This is an ideal opportunity for investors to purchase in this up-and-coming area whose accessibility and popularity is growing fast". The long-term prospects for Morocco's real estate market are very positive. A huge range of developments are currently in the pipeline, providing ample investment opportunities. Morocco factfile: Timezone: GMT+0 Exchange rate: gbp1="MAD15.95" (HiFX July06) UK mortgage availability: Limited Deposit required: 10–50% Agent's fees: 2.5% (plus vat) legal fees: 5–10% Capital gains tax: 0–20% Peak letting season: Year-round Average daily temps celcius (Jan–Dec): 11, 13, 16, 18, 21, 24, 28, 28, 25, 21,16, 12 (Marrakesh) Average property prices: 1-bed apart: £66,912; 2-bed apart: £78,900; 3-bed villa: £208,067
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