Despite the growing popularity of Morocco’s villas and riads among British purchasers, the country of Tunisia to the east of Morocco has been mostly ignored. The nation offers a wonderful climate, beautiful beaches, and a rich cultural heritage that includes many old cities and places dating back to mediaeval times. Although it shares a Mediterranean coastline with France and Spain, Morocco is distinctly unique because to its varied landscape, which includes a verdant north, the impressive Atlas Mountains, and the jaw-dropping Sahara.
It’s politically and economically stable, with solid infrastructure and a reasonably competent health care system, and it’s only two and a half hours by air from London. Golf and sailing are popular pastimes, and despite the country’s nearly 100% Muslim population, booze is easily accessible.
Property experts predict that Tunisia will become a significant market in the next five years, thus several major Middle Eastern developers are putting money into the country.
The real estate industry is quite young. Only during the last few years has it been possible for foreign nationals to own and possess private residences in the United States. Similar to the situation in Morocco five years ago, prices are quite cheap at the moment. Buyers are emerging from Europe, Russia, Asia the USA and the middle east for property in Tunisia.
Sama Holding (a subsidiary of Dubai Holding) of the United Arab Emirates is spending $14 billion in a mixed development project, and Emaar of Dubai is contributing $1.9 billion.
The data that has been released thus far seems good. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Tunisia’s economy is stable and expanding, with GDP growth of 5.5% expected in 2008 and 5.9% expected in 2009. We are seeing a decline in the unemployment rate and a stabilisation of price increases.
The numbers from the tourism industry are also promising. Between 2009 and 2018, the World Travel and Tourism Council projects an annual growth rate of 4.3%. However, it’s possible that growth may be even greater than 4.7%, as the second half of 2008 is forecast to see a continuation of the first half’s tourism boom.
Jerba was voted the best of TripAdvisor’s 10 new travel destinations for 2008. The country was ranked third on the New York Times’ 2008 list of 53 recommended destinations.
According to analysts, it is starting to become more popular with tourists. A significant return on investment is possible because to the country’s many beaches, cultural and historical attractions, and year-round warmth and sunlight. Melanie Benna, proprietor of The Tunisian House real estate business, has remarked that Tunisia is a promising place to invest in property.
Obelisk market analyst James Gonzalez stated, “Tunisia seems well prepared to become one of the most attractive rising markets, with its robust economy and tourist industry, large-scale property investment by Middle East developers, and low-entry costs.”
Despite being dwarfed by its larger neighbours and having less natural resources, it has managed to avoid the same poverty-related crises that plague Libya and Algeria. The government is investing in areas like higher education, tourism, and business, and the economy is booming as a result. According to the World Economic Forum, it has the most competitive economy in Africa.
On the negative side, there are still problems that require fixing, such as excessive red tape. Any property, with the exception of farmland, is open to foreign investment.
Never has there been a better time to buy or sell property in Tunisia fast as a foreigner.