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Morocco emerges on the property forums as one of the best places to consider in 2009

A number are highlighted in the property forums this week including Morocco and Brazil, both with economies that are weathering the economic downturn better than many more established markets.

The advantage that Morocco has over other emerging real estate markets is that is it close to Europe. Some of the seaside resorts are predicted to be extremely popular, especially those with marinas and cities are growing in popularity as short break destinations and therefore year round rental yields.

Indeed one poster on the forum raves about Marrakech as 'a real economic powerhouse and rent yields can be good' with others recommending Tangiers. Many developers in Morocco are government backed and regarded by seasoned investors as being a safer bet.

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Egypt also emerges as worth looking at for investment right now. There are, of course, always concerns about safety, but on the forum there are arguments in favour. Although some concerns are raised about fake Egyptian columns along the beach in resorts like Hurgada and over supply issues.

But it is reported that Cairo is the top net buy to let investment, yielding around 11% net and with good capital appreciation and some pictures on the forum show a high quality finish.

In Brazil there are also concerns about over supply. Although there seems to be a growing number of property investors looking at commercial real estate in cities like Sao Paulo where the demand for premium office space is high.

It is always entertaining to read items on the top ten places to buy. Everyone has their own opinion of course. But one thread on the forum makes and interesting snapshot of the best places to invest outside the EU. Morocco gets the most votes, followed by Tunisia and Egypt, so North Africa seems to be firmly on the radar.

But there is also a link to a video on Youtube showing a French architect's holiday home in Rabat being half demolished in his absence. Of course it is not possible to ascertain the full facts, but the pictures from a security camera show a gang of men arriving, demolishing part of the house, digging up trees and plants from the garden and then entering the remaining part of the house and making off with the TV, fridge and other things. It ends with the words; Welcome to Morocco.

The word bargain is much used at present in the property world and much over used. A bargain is, after all, relevant to the amount of money the buyer has to spend. There are some villas in Spain selling for €500,000 less than a year ago but the asking price is still €800,000, a lot of money for any property investor. So it is no surprise that the word bargain usually refers to rock bottom prices and the north of England emerges on the property forum as just the place to invest if that is what you are looking for.

In response to a question about where you can find the cheapest property in the UK the answers include this area, former pit communities in the north and Wales, and places like Hull, Hartlepool and Middlesborough. Great Yarmouth is mentioned as the cheapest place in Norfolk with the caveat – there have been a few murders there in recent years. There is a four bed house in Derby for under £20,000, no condition given, it is reported.

A look at the forum seems to confirm that the North East is the place for bargain hunters. Estate agents in the region say they have seen an increase in the number of people from outside the region inquiring about properties.

But some of the properties that appear to be bargains can turn out to be simply not worth buying because of the state they are in. A former pub in Byker, Newcastle, is listed for sale at from £60,000 and described as 'needing improvement' but the poster who found it on the internet said he recently walked past it and says the area is 'like shanty town you see in South America'.

However, it raises the viability of buying a commercial property like this for a bargain price and turning it into residential. All that depends on planning laws but you would think the authorities would rather a building was occupied than left empty to rot.

And to cheer us all up the forum reports that 93% of buy to let mortgages have now disappeared.