Moroccan housing sector sees 10 years of growth

Sep 22, 2011

The added value of the building and civil engineering works sector in 2010 has reached 50.21 billion Dirham (€4.48 billion) in Morocco, making the housing sector one of the main drivers of the economy.

The added value of the building and civil engineering works sector in 2010 has reached 50.21 billion Dirham (€4.48 billion) in Morocco, making the housing sector one of the main drivers of the economy.

"Between the first quarter of 2011 and the same period in 2010, the building sector created 151,000 new jobs, which represents an increase of 15.5 percent of the employment volume in this sector," Ahmed Toufiq Hejira, Morocco's Housing Minster, told Les Afriques newspaper.

The sector has been in constant growth for the past ten years which, according to the expert, is partly due to the introduction of article 19 in the 1999 finance regulation, which stipulates tax exemption for developers of new towns.

He added that the government has granted financial help for buyers, in which the authority pays back the property VAT amount.

In 2004, the government launched a scheme called Villes sans Bidonvilles (Cities without Slums) to make home ownership affordable for the urban poor, which received the support of the World Bank, the EU, AFD and USAID.

New ways have been developed to leverage the role of private banks and developers, for example by providing guarantees to banks that lend for housing to lower income people, according to a USAID report called Housing Finance for the Poor in Morocco: Programmes, Policies and Institutions.

Microfinance institutions are also playing a key role by providing loans for the down payment to secure the unit for a period of two to three years, before the house is actually constructed and the borrower receives approval of the full bank loan. The bank loan is then typically used to pay the balance of the MFI loan.
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