Marrakech Property Analysis July 2020

This is an update on the real estate market in Marrakech,Morocco,towards the end of the lockdown in the Red City by local real estate expert,Colin Bosworth,CEO of bosworthpropertymarrakech.com

Current Situation

Marrakech remains in partial lockdown as of June 16th. Most shops and businesses are now open again,although restaurants,bars and hotels remain closed for now. The airport should be open again at the end of this month,though only for internal flights. We are expecting a progressive opening of airspace to international travellers over the summer. Marrakech has experienced incredibly low rates of infection during the pandemic and is very well positioned to open for business safely and quickly.

Market Trends

In the short term we are expecting a significant shock to the Marrakech property market,notably in the small and medium sized hotel,guesthouse and restaurant sectors. Many family-owned and run Riad operations will be stressed by the unexpected and sudden stop to cash flow. Likewise,some restaurants are in difficulty. We can expect multiple closures. It is probable that some will be coming onto the market at favourable conditions in the coming weeks.

In the private residence and short term rental property sectors we are expecting less of an immediate shock. Typically these properties rely less on sustained cash flow. However,the economic downturn in Europe may lead some owners to consider selling in the medium term and to repatriate funds needed in their home countries. I think we can expect some downward price pressure as the year advances.

For top of the range Riads and boutique hotels,always much coveted – even in times of economic uncertainty – we expect the market to remain relatively robust. These structures usually have sufficient reserves to survive a shock to the market and they retain their rarity value.

Likewise,we expect luxury villas to retain their value. Owners will not be too challenged by current conditions and,despite some vendors possibly requiring funds in their home countries,we do not foresee a big sell off. Mid-range villas – on golf courses and country clubs – were already discounted and are probably at their natural level already.

Looking forward to the turn of the year and the reboot of international tourism in Morocco in general,and Marrakech in particular,we see some very interesting research on destinations well positioned to rebound strongly. Marrakech,which had been enjoying strong visitor growth over the last 3 years,is high on the list of favourite places to visit once travel is again possible. If this research turns into reality,then we can expect Marrakech as a destination to experience a relatively sharp V-shaped recovery. This would then turn into stronger demand for property in the small and medium sized guesthouse and hotel sectors.

So whilst we are clearly entering a period of Buyer’s Market,we are relatively confident that this could be fairly short in duration. If international tourism returns to even 70% of it’s 2019 level,we will see stability return and then upward pressure on property prices once again. There are many imponderables at the current moment,yet authorities are forecasting that this could happen as soon as Christmas 2021.

Our market advice to sellers at this time is clear. Only sell if you have a need to do so. As a vendor,patience is currently a virtue.

On the other hand,as an investor,this is a very interesting time to identify your targets and to prepare your offers. There will be room to negotiate some very good deals. We think that small and medium sized Riad Guesthouses,and small boutique hotels will represent the lowest hanging fruit.

Bosworth Property Marrakech is the leading property consultancy in Marrakech. With a decade of experience in this fabulous city,we provide market valuations,bespoke property search services and have an extensive list of properties for sale. You can contact us at any time. You can reach Colin Bosworth,founder and CEO,directly on +212 6 5802 5028 or by mail colin@bosworthpropertymarrakech.com