Cost of Living in Morocco
The cost of living for foreign nationals in Morocco is relatively low, compared to other countries in North America or Europe. Mercer ranked Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, at 120th out of 214 cities in the world when it comes to cost of living.
Buying Real Estate
The property market of Morocco is currently stable, thanks to the huge growth of the tourism sector which brings in several foreign investors in the country. The prices of real estate in Morocco grew by 1% in 2012, with apartments having the highest annual price increase recorded at 2.3%. In general, foreigners are allowed to purchase property in Morocco, except for agricultural land. The process includes choosing a property, finding a reputable notary and lawyer, making a verbal offer, signing legally binding contracts and making deposits to seal the purchase of the property. As a precaution, foreign nationals are strictly advised to have all titles and documents checked properly, as there are those who sell fake land titles or are not actually authorized to sell the property under their name.
Prices for an apartment in the Moroccan city center range from $1,227 to $2,453 per square meter, while a similar sized one located outside the city center costs about $920 to $1,472 per square meter. Among the popular places for buying real estate in Morocco are Casablanca and Rabat.
The majority of the expat community who rent apartments in Morocco can be found in the big cities, such as Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakesh and Tangier. These places offer a more western style of living, hence its popularity among foreign nationals. To find a rental accommodation in Morocco, expats need to hire a “samsar,” which is similar to a real estate agent. However, they charge commission fees both to the landlord and tenant, so expats might want to consider adding this to their budget when finding an apartment. The types of apartments in Morocco widely vary, from furnished to unfurnished ones, so it is best to let the samsar know about your specific preferences. It is also common to have month-to-month lease agreements in Morocco, but more often than not, tenants can talk to the landlord to arrange the length of their stay in the accommodation, i.e one-year tenancy.
The price of one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Morocco costs approximately $245 to $550 a month, and a three-bedroom apartment costs around $481 to $1,226 a month. Meanwhile, a one-bedroom apartment outside the city costs about $98 to $300 a month, and a three-bedroom apartment costs about $220 to $600 a month.
The price of basic utilities in Morocco ranges from $35 to $88 a month for people who live in an 85m2 apartment. Utilities include water, electricity, heating and garbage. One-minute, local calls using a prepaid mobile phone costs about $0.33, while internet rates for cable/ADSL connection with unlimited data and speed of 6Mbps range from $18 to $27 a month.
Those who wish to dine out at an inexpensive restaurant in Morocco will cost them about $3 to $6 a meal, while having a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs about $18 to $37. Buying a combo meal at McDonald’s or any similar fast food chain will cost about $6. A regular cappuccino at a restaurant costs around $1.67. One liter of regular milk costs about $0.83, 1.5 liter of bottled water costs about $0.73, one kilogram of local cheese costs about $9.31, one kilogram of white rice costs $1.61, a dozen eggs cost around $1.50, a loaf of fresh white bread costs about $0.64, and one kilogram of boneless chicken breasts cost about $4.34.
Gasoline prices in Morocco range from $1.08 to $1.47 for one liter. For people who wish to travel via local transport, such as trains or buses, a one-way ticket costs approximately $0.49, while a regular monthly pass costs about $25. Taxi fares in Morocco start at $0.61, with an additional 0.61 for every kilometer ride.
All working residents in Morocco, including foreign nationals, are subject to pay income tax based on a progressive scale, from 0% up to 38%. The rate of income tax that residents have to pay is dependent on their salary bracket. Meanwhile, those whose wages are under $2,795 are not subject to income tax. Other forms of taxes in Morocco include property tax, which is levied at 10% for a non-primary residence, and 25% for a primary residence. Value-added tax (VAT) in Morocco is set at 20%, transfer tax at 6% plus 1% real estate tax. Expats residing in the country should take note that Morocco has double tax treaties with several countries, which helps reduce the amount of foreign income tax they are required to pay.
Expat Services in Morocco
Don't miss our Expat Services in Morocco