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Australian Property Investor Wanting to Purhcase in Morocco

Discussion in 'Buying Overseas Property' started by AustralianInvestor, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. AustralianInvestor

    AustralianInvestor New Member

    Hi All,

    I am an Australian property investor who has bought quite a few properties all over Australia, and now am looking into buying overseas, preferably Morocco. So I was wondering what would be the best avenues and approach would be? Maybe someone can answer some of my questions to start me off.

    1) Do I just choose an agent and let them do all the work?
    2) If so, can someone please give me good referrals on credible agents who can help me purchase property in Morocco?
    3) Can someone provide me with a list of credible lawyers who I can use to purchase a property in Morocco?
    3) Would it be possible to use equity from my current properties in Australia to establish a loan in Morocco?

    I would love to chat to someone from Australia who has purchased multiple properties overseas, but at this point any help would be good help.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post and hope that there are people who can help me.

    Much appreciated
    Australian Property Investor
  2. andyk2

    andyk2 New Member

    Evening Austrailian Investor,

    One of the difficulties in having a "European" agent doing all the work for you is the time difference. As much as many are willing to operate solely by email, there are times when it is essential to speak to the client. Yes, I am a European agent, which brings me to answer 2 - seek advice from as many as you can. Those who are credible will shine through. You can also see what other recommendations you receive from the forum and work with them. The most experienced lawyers I am aware of are Legalex and Manzanares - both based in Marbella Spain and easily tracable through an Internet Search engine (Keyword "Abogados"). Any finance you require will be based on your Morrocan property. Some lenders will allow 100%, but developers will require up to 40% deposit/stage payment during construction. Good luck with your investment.
  3. AustralianInvestor

    AustralianInvestor New Member

    Hi Andy2k,

    Thank you for the response, ok, it seems pretty simple then, apart from the time difference. I guess I will have to loose some sleep.

    So how would the transfer of money work? Would I just be directing funds mainly to the agents bank account? What about the exchange rates? Do I need to open another bank account overseas bank account? If so, then where do i start?
  4. andyk2

    andyk2 New Member

    Generally, initail deposits are made by credit card or bank transfer to the developer, thereafter, I would suggest you open an account with a Money Exchange company like Moneycorp or HIFX. They fix the exchange rates for you, but you will still need to have a bank account in Morocco and normally a lawyer would do that for you.
  5. AustralianInvestor

    AustralianInvestor New Member


    I am learning so much already. OK. I am thinking about purchasing off the plan developments like the Tanjah Beach / Golf Resort & Tangier The Oasis Beach / Golf Resort - Saidia. So how I have a couple of more questions that would help me some more:
    1) Would the finance approval from an investor from Australia be possible?
    2) Do lenders need documents on proof of income, if so what is the minimum anual income requirement to borrow?
    3) What is the approvial criterias for Australian investors? Up to how much can I borrow?
    4) If I had $200,000 AUS Cash, with a 6 figure income, can i borrow $1,000,000 AU?
    5) Can I use equity in my current Australian assets?

    Thanks Heaps! :)
  6. andyk2

    andyk2 New Member

    Heavens you´re up late!

    1) Would the finance approval from an investor from Australia be possible?

    Finance approval for an Austrailian no problem. You can get pre-approval if it makes you feel happier. You can self-certify for 35-40& of the property value in some instances, but "normal" mortgages will be individually assessed on your personal status.

    2) Do lenders need documents on proof of income, if so what is the minimum anual income requirement to borrow?

    Amounts are going to depend on your existing liabilities in Oz, documents required for an individual are contract of employment, 3 months payslips and 6 months bank statements. If you are self-employed, whatever business certification you have plus 2 years company tax returns and 6 months company bank statements

    3) What is the approvial criterias for Australian investors? Up to how much can I borrow?

    Again, depends on your personal circumstances and existing obligations

    4) If I had $200,000 AUS Cash, with a 6 figure income, can i borrow $1,000,000 AU?

    I would like to think so, but see answer to 3) above.

    5) Can I use equity in my current Australian assets?

    Speak with your bank. UK banks are happy to lend their clients money for international property investment - Spanish banks would frown on you taking money out of the country. Other emerging markets do not have an established international banking system where equity released is a consideration.

    If you read through all the threads concerning Tanjah, you will read my views on the project - anywhere in Saidia is good (you´ll find that as a theme throughout the forum too). It is very much going to depend on your investment/exit strategy.
  7. AustralianInvestor

    AustralianInvestor New Member

    Thanks again Andy2k for your help,

    But is there any known projects /areas i should stay clear from?

    And what would be the best investment / exist strategy for Morocco?
  8. The Soup Dragon

    The Soup Dragon Senior Member

    As Andyk2 has said, you won't be able to take a loan in Morocco secured on your Australian properties. You will however be able to extend existing borrowing on your Australian properties to get the funds needed to buy your Moroccan property (or at least reduce the mortgage taken out on your Moroccan property.) It is worth speaking to a mortgage advisor on this front as Moroccan mortgage system is based on the French one. This means the amount they assess you can afford each month (proportion of your normal monthly pay less existing credit commitments) is used along with interest rate and term to determine maximum mortgage amount they can extend to you. They do not factor in rentals.

    On solicitors, I've not heard anything bad about Legalex. Though there are other credible groups of solicitors that deal with purchases in Morocco and you may find them better value. If time difference is a big problem then perhaps you could contact Popcorn from HousePriceCrash or Saidia forums. Don't know name of her solicitors, but I know that they prefer to correspond by Email. Think Popcorn mentioned they had responded to all her requests within 24 hours, so she was happy with them. I'm with CBA. Got a very good deal with them, but it hasn't been plain sailing all the way. (Staff turnover has been an issue for them in last 6 months.)

    As for agents, I'd suggest calling them and seeing which you get on best with. An agent that helped me from reservation through to contract stage was Andy Wellard of Property Showrooms. He helped me even though I had already gone direct to the developer, so I don't mind giving him a little plug here.

    Foreign Exchange Brokers. If you reserve a property in Morocco (or elsewhere) then you should look to set up accounts with at least a couple of foreign exchange brokers. They generally provide better rates than your local bank and opening up two or three accounts will allow you to shop around for best deal. MoneyCorp and Global Currency Service are two I've used and would recommend.

    Think Andyk2 mentioned funds should go through your Moroccan bank account. I used to think that was the case, but I don't now. Key is for all legal documentation and recordings of sale to have price in Moroccan Dirhams and for you to be able to prove that the funds for the purchase came from outside Morocco. (Deal certificate from foreign exchange broker should suffice.) If you don't do this you are likely to have problems repatriating your funds when you come to sell.

    As for where is best to invest, that comes down to opinion. Saidia is the only Plan Azzur resort on the Med. (Med is less windy than Atlantic and likely to have longer rental season than North Atlantic.) There will be five Plan Azzur resorts on the Atlantic coast, but only Port Lixus, the northernmost, has launched any prices. The further down the Atlantic coast you go the better in terms of 12 month season for rentals. Essaouri may well be the pick. Everyone that has been raves about it and it is the closest sea resort to Marrakech (2 hours or so by car.) Be aware that smaller non Azzure developments will carry greater risk, though you can mitigate for this risk by going with a large reputable developer.
  9. andyk2

    andyk2 New Member

    Best investment/exit strategies are going to depend on how much risk you want to take, how much money (cash/finance) you want to invest, how soon you want to see a return on your investment, what yields you want to see etc. As with every country there are good and bad, and my criteria may be completely different from yours. Would suggest however that safe and secure would cover Oasis Beach & Golf or the Jardin de Fleur Golf Villas, where the exit strategy is straightforward.

    In my opinion (and being prepared to get shot down in flames) avoid areas around Tangiers, Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakesh and Tetouan unless they are the kings resorts or Emaar product. My reasoning behind this is that there is a lot of bottom end product being constructed there, which will be great is you are going to holiday there 4 times a year, but, in two years time, will be flooded with buy-to-let and resale property - much the same as has happened in Spain. The kings resorts and Emaar product "should" be the top end of the market and attract the majority of the rental business because of the quality of the build, on-site facilities, marketing etc. Therefore, the "low-end" of the market will not only be over supplied, but unable to attract decent rental yields, and therefore be difficult to resale.

    Hope this helps, but it is an opinion (albeit based on historical evidence in Spain) and as I said would be interested to see contrasting views from other forum members.
  10. andyk2

    andyk2 New Member

    Good heavens! Wound myself up for a dressing down in international property investment, and not had one response in 3 days. Am I right?
  11. AustralianInvestor

    AustralianInvestor New Member

    Hehe...looks like you are right or no one wants to put up a fight.

    Just wanted to say thanks again Andy2k and also The Soup Dragon. Your information has been very helpful to me.
  12. Australian Investor

    Hello, we can help you in this market, we are active here. Please send me an email to discuss further. With thanks Darren
    [email protected]
  13. Investy

    Investy Senior Member

  14. angelicaa

    angelicaa New Member

    Hello Dear Investor,
    Im Angelica from UAE. Our company have good investment proposals. If you are intrerested please do mail me at [email protected]
    best regards
  15. The Soup Dragon

    The Soup Dragon Senior Member

    Andy2k. Think most of us share your view, though only time will tell if our preffered Plan Azzur developments will indeed prove more fruitfull than the smaller resorts. The increased risk involved in going for the smaller resorts with smaller developers put me off them, but you only need look at price rises over the last year for places like PBGR, Mirador Golf and Playa Vista to see that some of them represented a good opportunity.

    This is the only forum I can still access at work :( . Hopefully will have broadband at home shortly.)
  16. meljean

    meljean New Member

    Hello, If you are looking for properties in Morocco, We have three developments there including a development in Sadia. We can also deal with the legal side of things. If you would like more details you can contact me at [email protected]

  17. AustralianInvestor

    AustralianInvestor New Member

    Hi Francis,

    Do you have a website?
  18. momo

    momo New Member


    Hi andyk2,

    you mentioned to avoid areas like Casablanca, unless it is the King's resort or Emaar product - what about the 15km stretch of beach, the so-called official tourism zone where ex-Las Palmiers and Sunset beach are located? or would it be better to go for Emaar's Bahia Bay and the Marina de Casablanca? thanks.
  19. andyk2

    andyk2 New Member

    Hi Momo, I wish I had a crystal ball. Between Rabat and El Jadida (the Casablanca strip of coastline) there are three "quality" projects proposed - The Plan Azul Mazagan resort and the EMAAR Saphira and Bahia Bay resorts. I would imagine that´s where the investors, end user and BTL markets are going to concentrate and anything else in the area is going to be second best. I could be wrong, but with the non Azul/Emaar product having to be sold by subsidised inspection trips (and that´s based on my impression - no factual base at all), I wonder where the exit strategies will be in 2 years time when the inspection trips no longer go to Morocco
  20. momo

    momo New Member


    thanks LisaNic and andyk2. Interesting take on the subsidised inspection trip, although surely it is of no great relevance, as the amount is minimal as to be negligible in the context of the whole sum being spent. a great incentive though.
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