Buying real estate in Morocco as a foreigner?

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

Buying property in Morocco as a foreigner: a full guide

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buying property foreigner Morocco

Everything you need to know is included in our Morocco Property Pack

Morocco is a top pick for foreigners who want to invest in real estate. It boasts breathtaking scenery, a dynamic culture, and friendly locals.

However, purchasing property in a foreign country can be complicated, especially with all the laws and regulations involved.

Don't worry! This guide is here to make it simple for foreign buyers to understand how the property market works in Morocco. We'll explain everything you need to know in an uncomplicated and straightforward way.

Also, for a more in-depth analysis, you can check our property pack for Morocco.

Can you purchase and own a property in Morocco as a foreigner?

If you are American, we have a dedicated blog post regarding the property buying and owning process in Morocco for US citizens.

Buying real estate in Morocco as a foreigner is quite feasible, but there are certain nuances and rules to be aware of.

Foreigners can own various types of property in Morocco, including apartments, houses, and commercial spaces. However, when it comes to agricultural land, there are restrictions.

Foreigners generally cannot own agricultural land, although there are some exceptions if the land is being used for a project that benefits the Moroccan economy.

The process for buying residential property is fairly straightforward. For commercial property, however, you might need to set up a Moroccan company or engage in a partnership with a local entity.

There are no distinctions based on your nationality. Whether you're from Europe, America, Asia, or elsewhere, the rules for buying property are the same.

Also, you don't need to be a resident of Morocco to purchase property there. Many foreigners buy holiday homes or investment properties while continuing to live abroad.

You don't need a specific visa or permit to buy property in Morocco. Owning property can actually be a benefit if you're applying for a residency permit, as it demonstrates your ties to the country.

For most property purchases, you don't need special authorization from the government. However, it's crucial to ensure that the property you're buying has a clear title and is registered correctly.

There isn't a minimum investment requirement for foreign buyers in general.

However, if you're looking at making a significant investment, you may qualify for certain benefits or residency options under specific investment programs.

Can you become a resident in Morocco by purchasing and owning a property?

Owning property in Morocco can indeed be a pathway to residency, but it's important to understand the specifics of this process.

Morocco offers a form of residency to foreigners who invest in real estate.

However, this isn't an automatic or guaranteed process. The key here is that the property investment can be a strong supporting factor in your residency application.

The first step is to purchase a property in Morocco. There's no officially stated minimum investment required for the property purchase to qualify for residency.

However, the investment should be significant enough to demonstrate your commitment to living in or having a strong connection to Morocco.

After purchasing the property, you can apply for residency. This involves submitting various documents, including proof of property ownership, your passport, and possibly financial statements to prove you can support yourself in Morocco.

Expect the Moroccan authorities to conduct background checks. This is a standard part of the process to ensure that applicants have no legal issues that would preclude them from being granted residency.

The initial residency permit is often granted for a period of one year. This permit can be renewed annually. After a certain period, typically around five years, you may be eligible to apply for long-term residency.

Gaining permanent residency is a separate process and usually requires continuous living in Morocco for a number of years, along with fulfilling other criteria.

Owning property and having residency in Morocco can be a stepping stone towards applying for citizenship, but it's a lengthy and complex process.

Citizenship typically requires a deep integration into Moroccan society, including proficiency in the local language and culture.

There's no publicly available data on exactly how many people have used this scheme to gain residency in Morocco.

However, it's a known pathway, especially popular among retirees and investors.

Thinking of buying real estate in Morocco?

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buying property foreigner Morocco

Market indicators

You can find fresh and updated data in our pack of documents related to the real estate market in Morocco.

By taking a closer look at the GDP per capita indicator, it becomes apparent that Moroccan people have become -0.1%poorer throughout the past 5 years.

If people's wealth decreases, there may be a reduced demand for real estate, and that could result in lower prices in the future.

Looking at the data reported by Numbeo, we can see that rental properties in Morocco offer gross rental yields between 3.1% and 5.8%.

While they may not provide significant profitability, these moderate yields offer stability and a steady income stream over time.

To know more, you can also read our dedicated article: is it a good time to buy a property in Morocco?

The expat life

The life of an expat in Morocco can be very rewarding.

Morocco is a beautiful country with a rich culture, interesting history, and vibrant cities. Expats have the opportunity to experience the culture, cuisine, and sights of Morocco firsthand.

Morocco is a very safe country, and expats will find a welcoming and hospitable environment. The cost of living is relatively low, making it an attractive choice for those looking to live on a budget. Additionally, there is a wide variety of housing options available, from traditional Moroccan homes to modern apartments.

The culture in Morocco is very diverse, and expats will find plenty of opportunities to explore the country. From the ancient cities of Marrakesh and Fez to the stunning beaches of the Atlantic coast, there is something for everyone. Additionally, Morocco is home to a thriving art and music scene, with many festivals and events taking place throughout the year.

Overall, life as an expat in Morocco can be a rewarding and enriching experience. With its diverse culture, vibrant cities, and low cost of living, Morocco is an ideal destination for those looking for an exciting adventure.

What are the best places to invest in real estate in Morocco?

This table summarizes some of the best places to buy a property in Morocco.

City / Region Population Average Price per sqm (MAD) Strengths
Casablanca ≈ 3.4 million 12,000 - 25,000 Economic and business hub, modern infrastructure, vibrant city life
Marrakech ≈ 1 million 15,000 - 30,000 Tourist destination, historical and cultural sites, bustling souks
Agadir ≈ 450,000 10,000 - 20,000 Beach resort town, mild climate, water sports, golf courses
Fes ≈ 1.2 million 8,000 - 18,000 UNESCO World Heritage Site, ancient medina, traditional craftsmanship
Tangier ≈ 950,000 10,000 - 22,000 Gateway to Europe, strategic location, cultural diversity
Rabat ≈ 1.2 million 12,000 - 25,000 National capital, administrative center, historical landmarks
Essaouira ≈ 80,000 10,000 - 20,000 Coastal town, laid-back atmosphere, windsurfing, art scene

Do you need a lawyer to buy real estate in Morocco?

When purchasing a property in Morocco, engaging a local lawyer can provide valuable assistance in navigating the legal aspects and ensuring a successful transaction.

One crucial document they can help you with is the Purchase Agreement (Acte d'Achat), a legally binding contract between the buyer and seller that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.

The Moroccan lawyer can also assist with conducting a Property Title Search (Recherche de Titre Foncier) to verify the property's ownership status and identify any potential legal issues or encumbrances.

Furthermore, they can guide you through the process of obtaining necessary permits and approvals, such as approval from the local Land Registry or relevant authorities.

They will ensure that all applicable taxes and fees, such as the Property Transfer Tax and Notary Fees, are paid correctly and in compliance with Moroccan laws and regulations.

What are the risks when purchasing a property in Morocco?

We've got an article dedicated to the risks associated with purchasing property in Morocco.

The main risks when buying a property in Morocco are:

1. Land title fraud: Property title fraud is a major risk in Morocco, as there is no government registry of land title deeds. This means that it can be difficult to determine who actually owns the land you are buying.

2. Limited legal recourse: Morocco’s legal system is not well developed, and there is limited recourse for legal disputes. This means that buyers may not have an effective way to resolve disputes if they arise.

3. Poor infrastructure: Morocco has limited infrastructure, which can make it difficult to get to some properties. This can also lead to higher maintenance costs for property owners.

4. Difficult to resell: It can be difficult to resell a property in Morocco, as there is no real estate market and buyers may not be willing to pay the asking price.

5. Cultural differences: Morocco has a different culture than many other countries, and this can make it difficult for foreign buyers to understand the local rules and regulations.

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Everything you need to know is included in our Morocco Property Pack

What are the documents needed for a real estate transaction in Morocco?

When buying a property in Morocco, you will need the following documents:

1. An official copy of the deed of sale, signed by both parties, the seller and the buyer.

2. A copy of the property contract.

3. A title deed (acte de propriété).

4. A certificate of ownership.

5. A receipt for the payment of the property tax (taxe foncière).

6. A certificate of occupancy (attestation de jouissance).

7. A notarized copy of the deed of sale.

8. A certificate of urbanism (certificat d'urbanisme).

We review each of these documents and tell you how to use them in our property pack for Morocco.

How can you approach negotiations with individuals from Morocco?

When buying a property in Morocco, here is what you can do to improve the negotiation phase:

  1. Engage in friendly and hospitable conversations, as Moroccans value building personal connections and establishing a positive rapport before entering negotiations.
  2. Show respect for Moroccan culture and customs by demonstrating an understanding and appreciation for their traditions, such as greetings and tea ceremonies.
  3. Be prepared for negotiations to be a gradual process, as Moroccans often engage in extended discussions to build trust and ensure mutual understanding.
  4. Consider incorporating haggling and negotiation as it is a common practice in Moroccan markets, while maintaining a respectful and friendly tone throughout.
  5. Seek guidance from a local intermediary or real estate agent who understands the Moroccan property market and can provide cultural insights during negotiations.

Can foreigners obtain a bank loan in Morocco?

Foreigners can get property loans in Morocco, but the eligibility criteria and requirements vary depending on the lender and loan terms.

To obtain a property loan in Morocco as a foreigner, you'll usually need a valid residence permit, proof of income or employment, and meet the specific criteria established by the lending institutions.

Some banks in Morocco that can grant mortgages to foreigners include Attijariwafa Bank, BMCE Bank, and Société Générale Maroc.

Furthermore, in Morocco, mortgage rates for a 20-year term range between 3% and 7%, offering borrowers highly favorable conditions for obtaining housing loans.

What are the taxes related to a property transaction in Morocco?

Here is a breakdown of taxes related to a property transaction in Morocco.

Tax Description Calculation Who pays
Stamp Duty A tax on documents executed for the transfer of property Around 1% of the property value Buyer
Municipal Tax Annual tax imposed by municipalities on real estate properties 10.5% of rental value in urban areas and 6.5% on the outskirts of cities Owner
Property Tax Annual tax on the potential rental income generated by the property From 0% to 30% on the rental value of housing Owner
Registration Tax Tax on the transfer of immovable property 5% of the property value or sale price Buyer
Value Added Tax (VAT) Tax on the sale of new properties or construction 20% of the property value Buyer
Capital Gains Tax Tax on the capital gain from the sale of a property 20% on the net capital gain, with a minimum of 3% of the property sale price Seller

What fees are involved in a property transaction in Morocco?

Below is a simple breakdown of fees for a property transaction in Morocco.

Fee Description Calculation Who pays
Legal Fee Fee for legal services related to the property transaction From 1% to 5% of the property value Buyer
Real Estate Agent Fee Fee charged by real estate agents for their services Ranges from 2% to 3% of the property sale price Seller or Buyer
Land Registry Fee Fees for registering the property transfer 1% of the property value Buyer
Notary Fee Fees paid to the notary for legal assistance and services Varies between 0.5% and 1% of the property value or a fixed amount Buyer

Buying real estate in Morocco can be risky

An increasing number of foreign investors are showing interest in Morocco. However, 90% of them will make mistakes. Avoid the pitfalls with our comprehensive guide.

buying property foreigner Morocco