Cost of living in Morocco (Updated)
One of the most asked questions on the blog, what is the cost of living in Morocco? Here are many reasons to live there
Compared to other nations in North America or Europe, the cost of living in Morocco is comparatively affordable for foreigners. When it comes to the cost of living, Mercer ranked Casablanca, Morocco's largest city, in 120th place out of 214 cities in the world.
Purchase of real estate
The Moroccan real estate market remains stable thanks to the great expansion of the tourism sector, which attracts a large number of international investors. The cost of living in Morocco in real estate terms, prices increased by 1% in 2012, with flats experiencing the largest annual price increase, 2.3%. Except for agricultural land, foreigners are generally allowed to acquire property in Morocco. Choosing a property, locating a professional notary and lawyer, making an oral offer, signing legally binding documents, and making deposits to finalize the purchase of the property are all part of the process. Foreigners are strongly advised, as a precaution, to thoroughly review all titles and paperwork as there are individuals selling fraudulent titles or not authorized to sell property in their name.
An apartment in the center of the Moroccan city costs between 1,227 and 2,453 dollars per square meter, while one outside the center costs between 920 and 1,472 dollars per square meter. Casablanca and Rabat are two popular areas to buy real estate in Morocco.
The bulk of the expatriate population in Morocco rents homes in the main cities, such as Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech and Tangier. These areas offer a more western lifestyle, making them popular with foreign immigrants. Expats in Morocco must use a "samsar", which is equivalent to a real estate agent, to locate rental housing. They do, however, charge commissions to both the landlord and the tenant, so expats should budget for this while looking for an apartment. Since the types of apartments in Morocco vary greatly, from furnished to unfurnished, it is advisable to inform the samsar of your precise preferences. Monthly rental contracts are also common in Morocco, although the most common is that tenants negotiate the duration of their stay in the property, for example one year. This is what you should know about the cost of living in Morocco in terms of rent.
A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Morocco costs between $245 and $550 per month, while a three-bedroom apartment costs between $481 and $1,226 per month. For its part, a one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of the city costs between $98 and $300 a month, while a three-bedroom apartment costs between $220 and $600 a month.
The cost of basic services in Morocco varies between 35 and 88 dollars per month for those who live in an 85 m2 flat. Water, electricity, heating and garbage collection are examples of public services. A one-minute local call on a prepaid mobile phone costs about $0.33, while monthly Internet rates for a cable/ADSL connection with unlimited data and 6Mbps speed range from $18 to $27.
A three-course lunch for two at an affordable Moroccan restaurant will cost between $3 and $6, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will cost between $18 and $37. A combo lunch at McDonald's or another fast food restaurant will cost about $6. In a restaurant, a regular cappuccino costs about $1.67. A liter of regular milk costs approximately US$0.83, 1.5 liters of bottled water costs approximately US$0.73, a kilo of local cheese costs approximately US$9.31, a kilo of white rice costs approximately US$1.61, a dozen eggs costs about $1.50, a loaf of fresh white bread costs about $0.64, and a pound of boneless chicken breasts costs about $4.34.
Book a food tour in Morocco
In Morocco, a liter of gasoline costs between 1.08 and 1.47 dollars. A one-way ticket on local transportation, such as trains or buses, costs approximately $0.49, while a typical monthly pass costs about $25. Taxis in Morocco start at $0.61, with a surcharge of $0.61 for every kilometer traveled.
All inhabitants who work in Morocco, including foreigners, must pay income tax in stages, between 0% and 38%. The type of income tax that individuals must pay is determined by their income bracket. Meanwhile, people who earn less than $2,795 don't have to pay income tax. Property tax, which is charged at 10% for a non-main residence and 25% for a main residence, is another type of tax in Morocco. Morocco's VAT rate is 20%, and includes a transfer tax of 6% and a real estate tax of 1%. Expats in the country should be aware that Morocco has double taxation treaties with several countries, which helps reduce the amount of foreign income tax they must pay. Read more about taxes here.
Morocco is not as cheap as you think
- “Wow, Morocco is more expensive than I expected; They're ripping me off!"
- "I used to think that Morocco was much cheaper than Europe."
- "This is too expensive for Morocco."
All combinations of these statements, as well as many, many more, have been repeated to me since I moved to Morocco. They are also quite widespread in the tourism sector. I decided to publish this essay in the hope that visitors will realize how much items really cost in Morocco.
Nine times out of ten there is a significant difference between what products cost and what consumers think they cost.
Don't get me wrong, bargains can still be had, but Morocco today is not what it was 10 or even 5 years ago. Many visitors have informed me that they expected Morocco to be priced similar to South East Asia, but this is not the case. The prices in Morocco are quite comparable to those in many countries in Europe (especially in the south). In fact, I have found that Eastern Europe is much less expensive than Morocco. The cost of living has risen sharply, as has the cost of doing business. Keep in mind that these data are for Marrakech; other cities may vary significantly. Rural regions are likely to be much smaller.
Prices are indicated in US dollars as it is a simple unit of measure.
Alimentation and drinks
- 1 kilo of raw lamb costs more than 10 dollars (cooked lamb costs more than 15 dollars).
- 1 kilo of seasonal apples costs $1.
- Dinner for four at a mid-priced restaurant: $60.
- $25 for a bottle of Moroccan wine
- 1 liter of cola costs $1.25.
- Dinner for two in a high-end restaurant: $75-$150.
accommodation and transportation
- $15 for a hostel room
- Mid-range Hotel/Riad: $40-75.
- $150-250 for a luxury riad/hotel
- Rent: 80-100 dollars a month
- Daily car rentals range from $50 for a small car to more than $200 for an SUV.
- The daily rate for a car with a driver is $60.
Attractions and excursions
- Admission to the museum costs between 2 and 12 dollars.
- $45 for a half day guided tour
- Over $70 for a full day guided tour
- A full day out-of-town visit costs between $100 and $250 (location really makes a difference)
- Cooking classes cost between $25 and $75 per participant.
Why do you ask if I offer two prices for guided tours? If you choose the cheaper alternative, I can almost promise that you will spend a significant amount of time shopping whether you want to or not.
- The average salary of a public school teacher is 400 dollars.
- The average salary of a police officer is between 400 and 500 dollars.
- The average salary of a doctor is 1,000 dollars.
- The median salary for a tour guide is $600.
- The average wage for a blue collar worker is $200.
In general, the average salary of Moroccans in Morocco is about 11,000 dollars per year. Other salaries were approximated based on grade of service, length of service, and any extra work performed outside of typical white-collar employment. Salaries for many expats in Morocco can vary greatly.
Does this mean you shouldn't come? No, you definitely should come visit us, but be prepared for the reality of what it all costs. Expect a 2 star experience at a 5 star price. I have found that having a realistic idea before coming is quite beneficial.
This is also useful to remember when negotiating the price of anything. What about the $50 handmade leather backpack? A leather craftsman can make two or three covers each day. His expenses run out quickly when buying the supplies for the bag. Although a few dollars may not seem significant to you, they are to him. A few dollars can cover dinner or school expenses for his children. When you shop, keep this in mind.