This profile is also available in French here.
To download a pdf version of the full 2019 Morocco country profile, click here.
Morocco has 35 679 265 inhabitants, 62 percent of whom live in urban areas. Between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, the unemployment rate went from 10.5 percent to 10 percent at the national level, from 15.6 percent to 14.5 percent in urban areas and from 3.5 percent to 3.8 percent in rural areas.
However, the country has an advanced housing finance market compared to many African countries. It includes several sources of loans such as private or public commercial banks, microfinance institutions and credit companies. All of the banks offer credit facilities to households wishing to obtain a home. The number of property transactions increased by 4.5 percent in 2018, while home loans amounted to nearly 27.3 billion dirhams.
Despite such active housing finance market, affordability is the most crucial factor in obtaining housing in Morocco in view of the tremendous inequality that exists in the country.
Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Morocco, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:
- Macroeconomic Overview
- Access to Finance
- Housing Supply
- Property Markets
- Policy and Regulation
- Availability of data on housing finance
Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2019 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.Download yearbook
Morocco is a middle-income country located in North Africa. Its economy is one of the most diverse and resilient on the continent, but growth has slowed since the 2008 global financial crisis, the Arab Spring and the rise of terrorism in the region. The country nevertheless benefits from a more peaceful environment than its neighbours. Morocco is recognised as one of the best emerging markets for foreign investment. It is ranked 34th in the world in business creation and 60th in ease of doing business according to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.
In January 2018, Morocco adopted a more flexible exchange rate regime. Bank Al-Maghrib, the central bank of Morocco, continues to peg the dirham to the euro and the dollar, at a 60 percent and 40 percent weighting, respectively, but with a much greater margin of flexibility.
According to Bank Al-Maghrib, the national economy saw its growth rate decelerate to three percent in 2018, down from 4.2 percent a year earlier. This slowdown is partly due to the stagnation of the agricultural sector, one of the pillars of the country’s economy, which employs about 40 percent of the labour force and accounts for 14 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
Cement sales, a key indicator for the construction sector, fell 3.7 percent in 2018, following a 2.5 percent decline in 2017, according to the Financial Studies and Forecasts Department (Direction des études et des prévisions financières). December 2018, however, saw an increase in cement sales. The property price index in the country has remained broadly stable, rising from 116.7 in 2017 to 116.8 in 2018. This stability reflects the sluggishness of the sector.
Morocco’s score in the Human Development Index in September 2018 stood at 0.667, with the country ranking 123 out of 189 countries. Morocco is thus in the lower half of the group of countries with a medium human development.
Morocco has 35 679 265 inhabitants, 62 percent of whom live in urban areas. Between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, the unemployment rate went from 10.5 percent to 10 percent at the national level, from 15.6 percent to 14.5 percent in urban areas and from 3.5 percent to 3.8 percent in rural areas. The largest drop in the unemployment rate was among the youth (aged 15 to 24), where the rate went from 25.7 percent to 24.1 percent.
The increase in the unemployment rate in rural areas contributes to ongoing tensions within this section of the population, which has already shown its discontent in the past. In fact, social tensions increased in 2017, mainly in the region north of Er Rif, where the population is demanding improved access to health services, job creation and greater public investment. Consumers launched a boycott in April 2018, targeting food, oil and gas companies. The aim of this campaign was to protest against rising inflation, urban unemployment and youth unemployment.
 Bank Al-Maghrib (2018). Annual Report on Banking Supervision – Fiscal Year 2018. http://www.bkam.ma/Supervision-bancaire/Indicateurs-et-publications/Rapport-annuel-sur-la-supervision-bancaire/Rapport-annuel-sur-la-supervision-bancaire-exercice-2018 (Accessed 2 Sept 2019). Pg. 6
 Ministry of Agriculture (2019). L’Agriculture en chiffres. http://www.agriculture.gov.ma/pages/lagriculture-en-chiffre (Accessed 1 September 2019).
 Challenge (2019). BTP: Baisse des ventes de ciment en 2018. 22 January 2019. https://www.challenge.ma/btp-baisse-des-ventes-de-ciment-en-2018-103705/ (Accessed 2 September 2019).
 Bank Al-Maghrib (2018). Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2018. http://www.bkam.ma/Publications-statistiques-et-recherche/Publications-institutionnelles/Rapport-annuel-presente-a-sm-le-roi (Accessed 3 September 2019). Pg. 265.
 UNPD (2018). Briefing note on Morocco. https://www.undp.org/content/dam/morocco/docs/UNDP-MA-HDR%202018%20Analyse%20light%20IDH%20Maroc.pdf (Accessed 4 September 2019). Pg. 5.
 World Bank (2019). The open data of the World Bank: Urban population. https://donnees.banquemondiale.org/indicateur/SP.URB.TOTL.in.zs
(Accessed 1 September 2019).
 Office of the High Commissioner for Land Planning (2019). Situation of the labour market in the first quarter of 2019. https://www.hcp.ma/La-Situation-du-marche-du-travail-au-premier-trimestre-de-2019_a2322.html (Accessed 1 Sept 2019). Pg. 4.
Access to Finance
The banking sector in Morocco has diversified, with rapid expansion into Sub-Saharan African countries where Moroccan banking groups have opened many new branches. Moroccan banks are present in 10 countries in West Africa (including eight within the countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union). They are also in six countries in Central Africa and East Africa. Within Morocco, the number of credit institutions and organisations subject to the supervision of Bank Al-Maghrib has remained at 86, including 13 microcredit institutions and 24 banks. There are four fewer financing companies after three payment management companies were authorised to conduct business as payment institutions.
The market has remained relatively stable. During 2018, outstanding loans totalled MAD123 880 000 (US$12 891 117.30) against MAD113 676 000 (US$11 829 276) in 2017. The issue of bonds declined slightly from MAD24 902 000 to MAD24 385 000 (USD2 591 335.30 to US$2 537 535.60) while there was an increase of approximately 0.8 percent in the private sector.
At the end of December 2018, outstanding household debt extended by banks increased by 6.1 percent to reach 342 billion dirhams (US$35 588 975 886), compared to an increase of only 4.4 percent over the same period in 2017. This trend was driven by an increase in both home loans and consumer credit. This type of debt accounted for 36 percent of loans from credit institutions. It is also equivalent to 31 percent of the GDP of US$118 485 328, that is one percentage point higher than what it was at the end of 2017. Outstanding home loans amounted to 219 billion dirhams (US$22 789 431 927) in 2018, standing at 5.5 percent from 4.2 percent a year earlier.
Morocco has an advanced housing finance market compared to many African countries. It includes several sources of loans such as private or public commercial banks, microfinance institutions and credit companies. All of the banks offer credit facilities to households wishing to obtain a home.
The vast majority of residential properties have been acquired with fixed rates and the remaining few enjoy absorbable rates from the banking sector. The average debtor rate for home loans for 2018 was 4.9 percent. Loans are repaid between 15 and 25 years and most banks offer financing of up to 100 percent of the value of the desired property for Moroccan residents with guarantees. For foreigners and non-residents, a minimum down payment of 30 percent is required.
Property financing figures are mixed. The number of property transactions increased by 4.5 percent in 2018, while home loans amounted to nearly 27.3 billion dirhams (US$2 840 874 390), after a three percent decline in 2018 and a two percent decline in 2017. This decline mainly concerned state-sponsored loans (minus 10 percent). State-sponsored loans are obtained by households for the purchase of social housing under government programmes. Interest-free loans grew by two percent. This is explained, among other things, by a growing disparity between the different social classes of the country. At the same time, the number of credit recipients fell again by four per cent to nearly 68 500 customers. This results in an average loan amount of 398 000 dirhams (US$41 416.40), which is unchanged from 2017.
Partnerships between banks and the government provide greater access to home loans for low- and middle-income families through the Irregular and Modest Income Guarantee Fund (Fonds de Garantie pour les Revenus Irréguliers et Modestes, FOGARIM). This fund guarantees 70 percent of a mortgage loan to a household with an irregular income for the purchase of a home worth less than MAD250 000 (US$26 596). Monthly payments are capped at MAD1 750 (US$186) for beneficiaries outside the national Cities Without Slums (Ville Sans Bidonville, VSB) programme and MAD1 000 (US$104) for the beneficiaries of the programme. Each month, 1 200 households benefit from this fund. The Home Loans Guarantee Fund (Fonds de Garanties des prêts pour le Logement) for government employees targets middle-income earners such as civil servants, independent middle class workers and non-resident Moroccans who buy or build houses worth up to one million dirhams (US$106 382).
 Bank Al-Maghrib (2018). Annual report – Fiscal year 2018. http://www.bkam.ma/Publications-statistiques-et-recherche/Publications-institutionnelles/Rapport-annuel-presente-a-sm-le-roi (Accessed 5 September 2019). Pg. 262.
 Bank Al-Maghrib (2018). Annual report on banking supervision – Fiscal year 2018. http://www.bkam.ma/Supervision-bancaire/Indicateurs-et-publications/Rapport-annuel-sur-la-supervision-bancaire/Rapport-annuel-sur-la-supervision-bancaire-exercice-2018 (Accessed 2 September 2019). Pg. 78.
 Bank Al-Maghrib (2018). Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2018. http://www.bkam.ma/Publications-statistiques-et-recherche/Publications-institutionnelles/Rapport-annuel-presente-a-sm-le-roi (Accessed 2 September 2019). Pg. 252.
 Moroccan Office of Foreign Exchange (2019). Provisions on regulations. Article 184. https://www.oc.gov.ma/fr/personnes-morales/prets-au-profit-des-non-residents (Accessed 4 September 2019).
 Bank Al-Maghrib (2018). Annual Report on Banking Supervision – Fiscal Year 2018. http://www.bkam.ma/Supervision-bancaire/Indicateurs-et-publications/Rapport-annuel-sur-la-supervision-bancaire/Rapport-annuel-sur-la-supervision-bancaire-exercice-2018 (Accessed 4 September 2019). Pgs. 78-79.
Affordability is the most crucial factor in obtaining housing in Morocco in view of the tremendous inequality that exists in the country. The minimum wage in Morocco is MAD3 000 (US4312) a month in the public sector, MAD2 570.86 (US$267.50) a month in the private sector, and MAD69.73 (US$7.25) a day for agricultural workers. The minimum wage in Morocco was last changed on 1 July 2015.
Between 2014 and 2018, per capita gross national income increased from MAD24 308 to MAD26 202 (US$2 529.50 to US$2 726.60). Despite this rise in income, Moroccan households still face difficulties in accessing affordable housing. In reality, current prices per square metre make it impossible to build affordable housing.
In some areas of Casablanca, the price per square metre for a new apartment reaches MAD22 000 (US$2 290). The average price sits around MAD11 000 (US41 144). Households unable to purchase decide to rent. Rental costs are usually between MAD2 000 and MAD5 000 a month. The average wage, amounting to MAD5 129 for employees of the formal sector, is in line with rental costs. However, nearly 25 percent of the kingdom’s population, eight million people, lives at or below the poverty line. Despite these difficulties, Moroccans broadly opt to purchase their homes.
In 2018, people with incomes between MAD4 000 and MAD6 000 accounted for 23 percent of the loans, an increase of one point, to the detriment of people with incomes below MAD4 000, whose share fell to 31 percent.
The government has set up two types of social housing. The first type is defined by a law that allows the capping of the price of housing units at MAD140 000 (US$14 893) for a living space between 50 and 60 square metres. This programme targets craftsmen, agents working in municipalities and households with an income of up to two times the guaranteed minimum wage.
The second type of social housing was created under the Finance Act of 2010, with prices capped at MAD250 000 before taxes (approximately US$26 595). The living space is between 50 and 80 square metres and there is no maximum income to apply for the programme. It is aimed at households that do not own a home and can produce a nationally verifiable non-taxation certificate, or at households that have used the dwelling as their main residence for a period of four years. This programme does not appeal to private property developers because of the lack of tax incentives on this product (tax incentives are granted to homebuyers).
Faced with the lack of specific programmes for it, the middle class has struggled to access housing in recent years. In response, the government created a housing programme targeted at the middle class in 2013. This programme is intended for those with incomes under MAD20 000 a month. Through this programme the buyer receives the registration and stamp fees, as well as the registration fees on land titles. 
 Minimum-wage (2019). Moroccan minimum wage 2019. https://www.minimum-wage.org/international/morocco(Accessed 5 September 2019).
 World Bank (2019). The open data of the World Bank: GNI per capita – Morocco. https://donnees.banquemondiale.org/indicateur/NY.GNP.PCAP.KN?locations=MA (Accessed 5 Sept 2019).
 Quentin Velluet (2018). Salaire moyen au Maroc: le secteur public paie mieux que le privé’. 2 August 2018. Jeune Afrique. https://www.jeuneafrique.com/emploi-formation/609859/salaires-au-maroc-le-secteur-public-paie-mieux-que-le-prive/ (Accessed 5 Sept 2019).
 Portail du Maroc (2018). La Banque Mondiale dresse un rapport choquant sur la pauvreté au Maroc. 9 October 2018. https://www.portailsudmaroc.com/actualite/12292/la-banque-mondiale-dresse-un-rapport-choquant-sur-la-pauvret-au-maroc (Accessed 5 Sept 2019).
 Bank Al-Maghrib (2018). Annual Report on Banking Supervision – Fiscal Year 2018. http://www.bkam.ma/Supervision-bancaire/Indicateurs-et-publications/Rapport-annuel-sur-la-supervision-bancaire/Rapport-annuel-sur-la-supervision-bancaire-exercice-2018 (Accessed 6 September 2019). Pgs. 80.
Many different types of housing are evident throughout Morocco. According to data from the Office of the High Commissioner for Planning, 40 724 building permits of all types were granted in 2017, representing a total of 109 630 housing units. While Moroccan-style dwellings account for most permits, ahead of buildings and villas, their popularity is decreasing. The most recent information indicated a construction rate of 69.8 percent in urban areas compared to 30.2 percent in rural areas.
Housing construction, while significant, is not enough to meet housing needs which stands at 1 572 893 units, including 1 359 788 units in urban areas. This strong demand is the result of the steady decline in household size. The number of persons per household is now around 2.3 compared to 3.1 in the 1960s.
A total of 71.9 percent of urban households own their homes, and 27.3 percent rent. Most Moroccan households use their own funds to access housing. Obtaining credit for up to 100 percent of the price of the property makes purchasing easier than renting, provided the right property can be found. The proportion of renters decreased by 11.1 percent between 2004 and 2014. To provide access to decent housing for each household, the government set up the Cities Without Slums (VSB) programme in 2004 and the programme for housing with a Low Total Property Value (Faible Valeur Immobilière Totale) for houses priced at MAD140 000 in 2008. There is also the middle class housing programme for units at MAD250 000.
To reduce the deficit and diversify the housing supply, 165 526 new units were built in 2018, including 139 113 social and affordable units, compared to 155 577 units in 2017, including 132 868 social and affordable units. For social housing at MAD250 000, 404 939 units have been completed since the launch of this programme in 2010, including 109 924 units completed between 2017 and 2018.
Since 2004, the government has launched the Nouvelles Villes Programme to better control population growth. These projects are located in the localities of Tamesna, Tamansourt, Chrafate and Lahkyayta. The government has launched large-scale projects such as the Eco-city in Casablanca, which will be house 300 000 people in 58 000 housing units. This programme is now in the marketing phase for the first units. Overall, the supply of new affordable housing tends to be apartment buildings, as part of large-scale projects located on government-provided land on the periphery of urban areas. All these policies, led by the government, have not only increased the amount of housing available but have also improved the quality of the housing stock.
 Office of the High Commissioner for Land Planning (2018). Morocco in figures, 2018. https://www.hcp.ma/downloads/Maroc-en-chiffres_t13053.html (Accessed 6 September 2019). Pg. 76.
 CAHF (2018). Yearbook 2018. http://housingfinanceafrica.org/app/uploads/2018-French-Yearbook-compressed.pdf (Accessed 6 September 2019). Pg. 187.
 Aujourd’hui le Maroc (2018). Logement : la demande des ménages décortiquée. 6 May 2018. http://aujourdhui.ma/economie/immobilier/logement-la-demande-des-menages-decortiquee (Accessed 6 September 2019).
 Centre d’observation de la société (2019). La baisse de la taille des ménages va-t-elle s’interrompre? June 2019.http://www.observationsociete.fr/population/taille-des-menages-vers-une-stabilisation.html (Accessed 7 September 2019).
 Medias 24 (2019). Habitat: 165 500 logements réalisés en 2018. 30 April 2019. https://www.medias24.com/habitat-15-000-nouveaux-emplois-crees-entre-2017-et-2018-1946.html (Accessed 9 September 2019).
The property sector accounts for 6.3 percent of national GDP and generates about one million jobs annually. In the first half of 2018, the property sector accounted for the creation of nearly 51,000 jobs.
The Moroccan property market is changing rapidly. This development is stimulated by rural flight towards urban areas on the one hand, and by the opening up of Morocco, which hosts a large student population (mainly Sub-Saharan), as well as many investors, on the other.
Most Moroccans can afford a house from MAD140 000, which is an affordable level considering average wages. In the Casablanca area, for example, the price per square metre varies between MAD8 000 and MAD22 000 (US$832 and US$2 290). For those who cannot afford housing because of the low number of available units, renting becomes the default alternative.
According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report, Morocco ranks 34th in business creation, and 60th out of a total of 190 countries for ease of doing business.
Morocco does not require people to register land rights, but the government is encouraging them to do so. There are two systems for registration. The first is a traditional system run by local leaders. The second, and most important system is the formal market, where registering a property requires about six procedures, takes 22 days and costs 6.4 percent of the value of the property. Properties are registered with the National Agency for the Land Registry, the Cadastre and Maps (Agence Nationale de la Conservation Foncière, du Cadastre et de la cartographie) in several steps:
- Filing of the request;
- Publication and posting of the request extract;
- Boundary marking and drawing up of the land use plan;
- Publication and posting of the boundary closure notice;
- Final location of the property; and
- Decision of the land registrar.
 La Tribune (2019). Le secteur de l’immobilier représente 6.3% du PIB. 28 March 2019. https://lnt.ma/secteur-de-limmobilier-represente-63-pib/ (Accessed 10 September 2019).
 Ministry of Housing (2018). Notre de conjoncture de la promotion immobilière No 13 du premier semestre 2018. http://www.mhpv.gov.ma/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/NC-n13-S1-2018-VF.pdf (Accessed 10 September 2019). Pg. 4
 Directorate General of Taxes (2019). Property reference prices. Casablanca reference prices. https://portail.tax.gov.ma/wps/wcm/connect/55e8fc91-f84b-42ba-9c2a-779eb8e5aadd/referentiel_casablanca_2016.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=55e8fc91-f84b-42ba-9c2a-779eb8e5aadd (Accessed 10 Sept 2019). Pg. 19
Policy and Regulation
Government policies strongly influence housing in Morocco. However, for the National Federation of Property Developers, in addition to financing difficulties, high taxation negatively affects the housing sector. Transfer and property taxes have increased from one percent to 1.5 percent since the beginning of the crisis in 2012 and the government has decided to increase registration fees from three percent to four percent.
After several years of discussions, in 2017 the House of Representatives ratified a new law on leasing and renting in Morocco. This new legislation (law 31-18), modifies and supplements the Moroccan Code of Obligations and Contracts. It was published in the Official Journal No. 6807 (Arabic version), dated 26 August 2019. It supersedes several old texts that governed leases. The new lease legislation is intended to encourage property owners to lease them, giving them legal guarantees to protect them from tenant abuse. It also provides for new rules for leases and repairs to leased properties, and for the timely resolution of disputes with strict deadlines. For example, the new law mandates that a lease agreement be drawn up between the owner and tenant.
In September 2018, the Moroccan executive power drew up a road map aimed at reviving the housing sector, as the sector remains sluggish. The reduction in cement sales and mortgages indicates that the sector’s downward trend may be stronger than ever.
 Brian Brequeville (2019). Les raisons d’un blocage qui s’éternise. 14 February 2019. Telquel. https://telquel.ma/2019/10/03/ce-qui-va-changer-pour-les-victimes-daccidents-du-travail-et-de-maladies-professionnelles_1652917/utm_source=tq&utm_medium=normal_post/(Accessed 8 September 2019).
 Sarouty (2019). Tout sur le nouveau droit locatif au Maroc https://www.sarouty.ma/blog/tout-sur-le-nouveau-droit-locatif-au-maroc/(Accessed 9 September 2019).
 Moncef Ben Hayoun (2019). Maroc/ L’activation de la loi 31-18 est suspendue aux textes d’application. 4 September 2019. Land Portal. https://landportal.org/fr/blog-post/2019/09/maroc-l%E2%80%99activation-de-la-loi-31-18-est-suspendue-aux-textes-d%E2%80%99application (Accessed 8 September 2019).
The property sector in Morocco offers many opportunities for investors. The country’s population is young and growing, the business environment is growing, and its geographical location is right for Morocco to serve as a manufacturing hub for exporters to Europe and the rapidly growing economies of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The demand for low-cost housing remains high. To meet this demand, the government needs to implement measures that will stimulate the construction of affordable housing and increase its accessibility for the middle class. The government has already announced several measures to increase the housing supply and these must be implemented in the coming years.
It has recently set up a new social housing programme for rural areas, which aims to make such areas more attractive by carrying out housing projects to meet the housing needs of the population while respecting the specifics of these environments. This programme is part of the new incentives set out by the Finance Act of 2019 and in particular of the amendment of the programme for social housing at MAD250 000, which reduces the number of units to be built from 500 to 100 units minimum in rural areas. This is aimed at stemming the exodus of rural populations to urban areas, and also to increase the development of rural areas.
The Moroccan state has also taken a new approach to ensure the stability of the property sector based on greater fiscal visibility for the 2010-2020 period. In particular, it has listed some paths and matters to consider as concerns for the sector by 2020. This requires a better segmentation of demand and the development of a residential property strategy by 2020.
 Medias 24 (2019). Habitat: 165 500 logements réalisés en 2018. 30 April 2019. https://www.medias24.com/habitat-15-000-nouveaux-emplois-crees-entre-2017-et-2018-1946.html (Accessed 9 September 2019).
Availability of data on housing finance
There are no major difficulties in obtaining data on the Moroccan housing sector. The only obstacle is processing the large volume.
Bank Al-Maghrib has data for all sectors. Whether it concerns monetary policy or statistics, it provides data updated annually, freely accessible online (www.bkam.ma).
The Moroccan Land Planning, Urban Planning, Housing and Urban Policy Ministry is responsible for implementing the government’s housing and urban policy. The frequency of data collection is unknown but as a whole they are accessible to all (www.mhpv.gov.ma).
The Office of the High Commissioner for Land Planning is the agency responsible for producing, analysing and publishing official statistics in Morocco. It collects data at regular intervals that vary according to the type of data. They are available to all online (www.hcp.ma).
Moroccan Land Planning, Urban Planning, Housing and Urban Policy Ministry www.mhpv.gov.ma
Bank Al-Maghrib www.bkam.ma
Caisse Centrale Garanties http://www.ccg.ma/fr
Moroccan Office of Foreign Exchange https://www.oc.gov.ma/fr
Portail du Maroc https://www.portailsudmaroc.com
Office of the High Commissioner for Land Planning https://www.hcp.ma
Moroccan Land Planning Ministry http://www.mhpv.gov.ma
Directorate General of Taxes https://portail.tax.gov.ma
Land Portal. https://landportal.org/fr
World Bank – Doing Business https://francais.doingbusiness.org/fr