Reflecting growing interest from investors, Egypt and Morocco leapt up the rankings of TheMoveChannel.com’s Top of the Props Top Ten chart in December.
Based on interest from visitors to the site, Morocco rose seven positions to fifth place while Egypt rose 15 places to reach seventh place. The Top of the Props chart reflects each listed country’s share of the overall volume of enquiries the property website receives over the preceding month.
The top ten, with percentage of market share and position change, are as follows:
France: 11.28% (non-mover for last four months)
Spain: 9.99% (up one)
Italy: 8.07% (up one)
Bulgaria: 8.07% (down two)
Morocco: 3.85% (up seven)
Cyprus: 3.71% (up two)
Egypt: 3.58% (up15)
USA: 3.38% (up 7)
Portugal: 3.34% (down three)
India: 3.23% (down one)
Both of these North African countries have seen a rise in tourism and are investing substantial resource to increase numbers. Egypt saw a record 8.6 million visitors in 2005 (according to the Egyptian Tourism Authority) and hopes to double this by 2014. Morocco received 5.8 million tourists in the same year and has already launched a major initiative to double by 2010 (according to the Morocco Tourism Authority). Rising numbers are being driven, in part, by new cheap flights from Easyjet and Ryanair.
An increase in tourist numbers means more property investors, according to TheMoveChannel’s sister company E-Quity.com. “ Morocco offers European proximity and quality at emerging market prices,” said sales consultant Meredith Drynan. “With high occupancy rates and a King dedicated to increasing tourism even further to 10 million visitors per annum by 2010, Morocco’s improving infrastructure, Mediterranean climate and accessibility make this a smart investment and lifestyle choice.”
Commenting on Egypt, Chris Davidson, product manager at E-Quity.com, said: “An increasingly popular tourist destination, Egypt offers cultural attractions dating back to 3200BC, thousands of miles of glorious beachfront as well as world-beating dive spots. The Egyptian government is currently heavily promoting its tourist sector and is opening tourist offices around the world. A low tax environment is just one of the ways the Government is attracting international investors right now.”
An increase in foreign investment is also helping to drive up prices, as Dale Pilkington of Churchill Overseas explains: “Some land and property prices on the Red Sea coast have already increased by as much as 60% in the past 12 months and property professionals are forecasting further rises of around 15% in the next year. Additionally, the Egyptian government is competing with neighbouring Gulf States to attract foreign investment into real estate which is anticipated to stimulate further growth in the property market. With entry into the market still very competitive with properties available for less than £30,000, property investors are flocking to the Egyptian market.”