Investing in a riad in Marrakech? It is time !

Marrakech has become a key destination for Western tourists (1): for reasons of geographical or linguistic proximity, for the sun and for a change of scenery, for security, for the creativity of craftsmanship and “handmade” at the top trends, for gastronomy and for parties, for outdoor activities: golf, polo, horse riding, hiking, waky, quad, motorcycle, trial, etc., for unforgettable private events (weddings, birthdays, etc.), or professional and policies (incentives, coaching, sports competitions, conferences, summits, etc.), for its festivals (Marrakech du Rire or FIFM to name only the most famous), for its international competitions (WTCR and Formula E during the Marrakech Grand Prix, Polo : Marrakech Polo Patrons Tour, tennis with the only ATP event on the African continent, Judo and a world competition since 2017, the Nomads Run with already 8 editions and as partners the most prestigious hotels in Marrakech: La Mamounia, Royal Mansour, Fairmont, Mandarin oriental, with a departure from the no less prestigious charming, unusual and confidential hotel La Pause, on the sumptuous lunar site of the Agafay Desert 30 minutes from Marrakech.)…

Marrakech is once again massively attracting foreigners from all over the world, and in particular chic, trendy and discreet tourism.

Flashback: at the beginning of the 2000s, Riads became a “must have”, these old buildings full of charm, hidden at the bend of the alleys, organized around their patio, these squares of blue sky, in the heart of the anthill of the Medina. So calm and soothing. They are negotiated for nothing, the work remains reasonable, and the result is the culmination of a dream. Prices are soaring (up to 30% per year from 2000 to 2008), driven by an upward real estate trend in Europe and the United States. Moroccans, then foreigners, sell their Riads, charming houses and guest houses and collect significant capital gains.


2008, the break :

The crisis in the United States is announced. The taps of all-out credits are closing. Some banks are going bankrupt. Many individuals are in a bankrupt situation. Spain is severely affected. Italy is seeing new taxes appear. France enters into recession. Real estate agencies in Marrakech immediately feel the effect: foreign buyers are becoming rarer. In parallel with this global economic breakdown having shaken the Western real estate markets, and echoing the Riad market in Marrakech, a major political-social risk, local this one, is emerging: will Morocco experience its Arab Spring ? Tunisia first, Egypt and Libya then, enter into revolution… Chaos follows in these countries… In February 2011, Moroccans take to the streets. His Majesty King Mohamed VI reacts as an enlightened Monarch. The people are calming down… However, some foreign investors wonder if Morocco is a safe country. They doubt a lot before investing. Our real estate agency is regularly asked if Morocco will remain stable. Of course we hoped so, but who could guarantee it? Third factor in the tourism and real estate crisis: Daesh and its attacks in Europe. What connection with Morocco will you tell me? These attacks unfairly penalize tourist Morocco and Marrakech in particular. Moroccans have a bad reputation in the eyes of some Westerners. They feel a danger in going to Morocco. However, Morocco is one of the safest countries. An attack did take place on Jemâa el Fna square in April 2011, killing 17 people. Since then, the Ministry of the Interior has continued to track established terrorist groups. The Moroccan Secret Services were praised and thanked (2), in particular by the French Ministry of the Interior for their convincing assistance and no other attack has taken place in Morocco since.

Despite everything, a form of terror reigns and constitutes a further obstacle to private investment in riads.


Prices start to fall from 2009, but we are still talking about real estate blows, it is on a case by case basis.

Then from year to year, the bear market sets in, and from 2008 to 1017 it is between 10% and 50% depending on the property: surface area, neighborhood, location in the neighborhood, condition and level of services. The worst-off properties are those that discount the most. We will have to wait until 2016 for confidence to return. The faultless organization of Cop 22 restores the image of Marrakech. There we discover, on TVs around the world, a city of light, Muslim, at peace and seeming to lack nothing. From 2017, there is a confirmed return of confidence. We no longer ask our real estate agency if prices will fall further or if Morocco risks political destabilization.


Investors have choices, find what they’re looking for and buy.

From 2008 to 2016, the market for small foreign private investors experienced a recession (rarness of buyers and drop in price/m2), but institutional investments and large private investments from around the world continued to flow. Morocco in general and Marrakech in particular are continuing their improvement efforts.

Infrastructure was a priority during the 2008/2018 decade. The medina of Marrakech is a telling example: the old sewers have been completely redone, the water pressure is worthy of a modern metropolis (no more water boosters and water reserves which had to be planned in renovations and constructions new riads) and the electricity network supplies a demand multiplied by 3 (Ah it is a long way from December 31, 2004 when the entire medina was lit by candlelight, due to lack of electricity due to inability to supply demand). Fundamental work has been carried out. The city plan is revised to facilitate traffic, the car park itself being in strong growth. The roads are widened and made safe. The tracks are paved in order to open up the villages. The telephone and internet network is at the cutting edge in and around the city of Marrakech.

One of the consequences of these structural improvements: when you buy a riad in Marrakech today, you benefit from it, without knowing it.

In 2018, buyers of property in the medina are multiplying: small traditional houses to renovate, charming houses without work, riads and luxury guest houses: everything is selling again, from the most traditional to the most contemporary style. End of 2018 and beginning of 2019: the trend is confirmed and strengthened. A new boom is here: buyers are coming back in large numbers, from all over the world, with all types of budgets: the heart of the market from 100,000 to 260,000 euros, but also larger investors are targeting guest houses with 8 to 10 rooms around 1,000,000 euros. The ROI speaks for itself, no hesitation!

They are confident, motivated, enthusiastic and happy to find their happiness. They have choices, a lot of goods are on the market. The market is of high quality and at the start of 2019, prices have not yet risen.

So don’t hesitate to come and meet us too, within our real estate agency in Marrakech: Côté Médina has been providing field expertise since 2001.

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