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Bulgarian Property & Real Estate News

The Bulgarian Property Market – the year a head

2014 saw the property market enter a new stage of development with prices finally leveling out and in some markets actually starting to rise. There has been an increased confidence amongst buyers resulting in more deals being concluded and deals being completed in shorter time frame.

According to Polina Stoykova Managing Director of Bulgarian Properties Ltd “More and more buyers are thinking of buying property because real estate is a safe real asset and good investment. This understanding coincided with a very favorable moment in the property market development, because real estate prices are currently at levels from 10 years ago and respectively, the properties are much more affordable.”

Overall 2014 was the best year for the Bulgarian property market since the crisis started in 2008. With prices at a very attractive level and other investment options returning very low yields both local and international buyers are returning to the market. Russian buyers have been particularly strong although it must be cautioned that due to the ongoing economic situation in Russia it is unclear how strong the Russian influence will be in 2015. UK buyers are gradually dipping their toes back in the Bulgarian real estate market and of course local Bulgarians have quietly been picking up bargains around the country.

For 2015 we expect the recovery will continue especially in the main cities when demand is now catching up with supply due to 5 years of limited new construction. Local Bulgarians are increasingly interested in property along the coast and in the mountain ski resorts. We expect this trend to continue as local buyers see value at current price levels. The return of local buyers showing a strong confidence in the market is a very positive sign and we expect international buyers to quickly follow the local knowledge. Overall we forecast that 2015 will see increased transaction volumes and a continued gradual increase in price levels. Source: Bulgarian Properties Ltd.

New high speed rail line from Turkey to Bulgaria

Turkey’s transport minister Lutfi Elvan has announced that his country is building a high-speed railway line to Bulgaria. The minister stated that the railway line would connect Istanbul to the Kapikule border crossing point and would run through Edirne.

Turkey has a number of major infrastructure projects currently underway including the North Marmara Highway, the Third Bosphorus Bridge, and several extensions to the metro system including one that runs under the Bosphorus.

The rail link with Bulgaria is designed to improve trade between the 2 countries and also the overall EU area. Bulgaria provides the main links for Turkey with the EU and the volume of trade crossing the border has increased exponentially in recent years. Turkey is a major trading partner with the EU and Bulgaria provides an important route for its products.

The minister announced that the tender for the high speed rail link will be held in 2015

A buyers market in Bulgarian properties

During the latter half of 2011, the sales manager from Bulgaria’s leading real estate agent Bulgarian Properties, Polina Stoykova commented on the Bulgarian property market trends in an interview. According to her, the real estate market in Bulgaria is still the market of the buyers. She had justified this with the help of some facts.

She revealed that the property market in the state began to stabilize in the latter half of 2010 after which there was no great change in the prices of the Bulgarian property for sale. Due to the absence of any major fluctuations in demand as well as in prices, people can conclude that the current time period is of stabilization in terms of deals and prices as well.

The official surveys and statistics of early 2011 also had shown a fall of 2% in the prices of property in Bulgaria although it is a hidden decrease. Furthermore, Bulgarian Properties collected some details that showed a fall in the prices of a few holiday homes, especially the ones in the area of winter resorts. They, therefore, concluded that on a whole, the property rates are neither rising nor falling. She also said that the company now expects the buyers to play live to buy Bulgaria property by choosing one of the best deals.

Happily, this activeness among the buyers has been seen in the apartment market of the big Bulgarian cities. However, it is the Sofia market that has now become the most dynamic one because of the highest number of demands. It is true that the buyers tend to seek Bulgaria property for sale to live, and not for investment. Even the foreign buyers are approaching for visiting properties in the country’s seaside resorts.


Furthermore, the property market in the regions of northeastern Bulgaria also shows that buyers are more than the deals. Varna is the only exception here because of it being the area of coastal resorts that bring in more deals and active buyers. Similarly, in the holiday home sector, more and more prospects are searching for cheap finished apartments. Fortunately, there are relevant offers and deals in the market. They concluded that what is actually interesting is the set of deals for coastal holiday homes, which conclude throughout the year and not just in the summer season.

The lady also accepted that the most active months for buying property in the country are at the year’s beginning, especially the time from March – May; as well as at the year’s end. According to the seasons, winter attracts most foreign buyers who prefer buying ski resorts, while summer attract buyers who are looking for seaside resorts. But this information is relative and nothing can be assured about its consistency, said Miss Polina.

According to her, after the commencement of the crisis, only the genuine real estate companies survive. These are the ones who invest in enhancing the quality of services. For example, Bulgarian Properties always has tried to give tips, hints, advices, forecasts, and market trends constantly.

Latest news on buying apartments in Bulgaria

Searching for cheap Bulgaria apartments is easy. All you need to do is to know what types of apartment you are looking for. After that, you have to determine your budget so that you will be able to find an apartment that suits your finances. If you know what you want, then you will definitely find the best Bulgaria apartments.

There are several things you can do in order to find the appropriate apartments in Bulgaria. The first thing you should do is to conduct a thorough research. Your research will be based on what type of apartment you like. The size of apartment matters a lot. You can either choose large or small apartment, depending on the number of people who are going to use the apartment. There are also fully furnish and semi furnish apartments. So make sure you also take a look at this factor.

If you are looking for apartments in Bulgaria, it would be a wise decision if you are going to contact a real estate broker. You need to discuss various things, especially the type of apartment that you want as well as your budget. This way the real estate broker will be able to find an apartment that would suit your needs. Ideally, the prices of apartments in Bulgaria range from $700 to $1000 per month. Some apartments offer a rate on a weekly basis and on a daily basis. The weekly rate ranges from $300 to $400/weekly and $50 to $60 on a daily basis. The payment plan depends on your choice. If you are on a tight budget, you should check out the different payment deals and options.

If you want to visit Bulgaria, it would be a wise decision if you are going to take advantage on the different apartments in Bulgaria. Renting apartments in Bulgaria is actually cheaper as compared to lodging house and hotels. It is a cost effective mean of finding the best accommodation. The location of the apartment is also essential. Make sure to choose a location that offers easy access to different amenities in Bulgaria. Most of the apartments are located in the seaside, countryside, mountains, and near the metropolitan. Choose the best location, depending on your purpose of going to Bulgaria.

Most businessmen take advantage of buying apartments in Bulgaria. Aside from the fact that they will be able to enjoy it personally, they will also have a continuous income generating apartment. Bulgaria is the leading tourist destination, especially for people who have intense passion for skiing. There are millions of tourists visiting Bulgaria in a yearly basis. Hence, if you have an apartment property in Bulgaria you will have a continuous flow of income. There are a lot of apartments for sale in Bulgaria. You can check out the internet. It offers a lot of options for people who want to own a property in Bulgaria. As a matter of fact, you will be able to purchase an apartment at a very reasonable price.

Bulgarian properties down substantially since 2008

According to the latest reports, the value of the Bulgarian properties has dropped by approximately 50% after rising in 2008. This also includes the most demanded Bulgarian property types such as ski resorts and beach resorts.

According to the COM, the ski resort of Borovets has witnessed a hike in the demand from the investors even after the fall of prices by 18% on an average in 2011. Furthermore, one more place on the radar in the Sunny Beach that is nestled on the Black Sea shore. This is another place that is attracting the hunters for investing in property in Bulgaria. These are actually Russian buyers who are contributing a lot to sustain holiday home market

Even the price of a country home, another Bulgarian property for sale, has fallen to levels that were last observed in 2006. Bulgarian Properties that is the most prominent estate agency have revealed that since 2012, the rural properties are sold for only €15,500 on an average, which is considerably lower than €18,900, the price for the same period in 2011. The estate agency added that this lowered price for rural Bulgaria property for sale was identical to the mean price that prevailed in the 2011’s last quarter. Nowadays, one can easily buy Bulgaria property in rural areas just for a price that ranges from €10,000 to €20,000. However, it cannot be denied that a significant demand is also there for costlier houses, especially the ones that are near to a resort or a town.

The COM explained that the rural houses of the modern times are of higher quality. A majority of these properties has been refurbished to meet the high standards so that people can live in with maximum comfort. However, they are now offered at the prices of 2006, which make them good value for money. Bulgarian Properties said that the rural houses in and around the coastal regions, including Varna, Bourgas, and Dobrich; in the central Bulgaria villages; and near the cities of Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, and Stara Zagora are pulling more buyers.

The latest trend is that despite ongoing falls in real estate values, a few areas are attracting the overseas property buyers. On this, the company agent explained that this is perhaps the outcome of the improved property rights in the nation. Moreover, the nation is now looked upon as a safer destination for buying houses. This is because more protection is now being provided to the property buyers in the nation.

According to the 2012 report from the Market Economy’s Index Property Rights, in the list of protection level of physical property offered in over 120 nations of the world, Bulgaria grabs the 62nd rank for obtaining 5.4/10. This is actually an improvement because the same score was only 4.9 in the year 2007. So, Bulgarian Properties have accepted that the properties in the country are safer and more affordable than before.

Bulgarian apartments in regional towns see some price movement

According to the latest report by the Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (NSI), which was conducted to measure the prices of Bulgarian apartments in the regional cities in 4Q 2011; the prices have almost been identical  to those prevailing in the same year’s 3Q. The fall in the prices on an average is only 1.5% just because the rates of the Bulgaria apartments for sale in Montana and Pernik towns have witnessed the maximum drop, which was -8.27% and -6.91% respectively. During the second half of 2011, the Bulgarian real estate market has seen a slowdown in the pace of fall in the apartment prices across the nation. It was found that this drop was only 1-1.5% on an average on a quarterly basis.

Taking into account an annual basis, the prices of Bulgarian apartments for sale in the regional cities fell by 6.2% on an average, which is similar to the annual drop witnessed in the third quarter of 2011. After calculating via the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), the real fall in the prices of apartments following the hike is just 2% as compared to the former quarter. On an annual basis, the fall was 8.5% as compared to the same quarter of the previous year, 2010.

The NSI data further reported that the average price a buyer had paid to buy Bulgaria apartments in the regional cities was 453 EUR sq. m. in the last quarter of 2011, with the prices being same in Varna as well as in the capital Sofia. However, since the last few months of 2011, the prices at which the apartments were sold in the biggest cities were: Sofia – 743 EUR per sq. m., Varna – 743 EUR per sq. m., Plovdiv – 485 EUR per sq. m., Bourgas – 596 EUR per sq. m., Stara Zagora – 455 EUR per sq. m., Rousse – 430 EUR per sq. m., and Veliko Tarnovo – 365 EUR per sq. m.

In case of Sofia, the fall in the prices in the last quarter of 2011 was -0.22%, which was nominal as compared to the former quarter. This means that the cheap Bulgaria apartments are now no longer so cheaply available. Therefore, if you are now thinking to buy Bulgaria apartments in any city of Bulgaria, be ready to spend a bit more. This is true despite that after inflation, the prices of apartments in the capital city of the country have fallen by 0.65%, which is much low than the fall in the prices in the previous quarter.

The reports also revealed that the accumulated nominal price fall of the Bulgarian apartments in the provincial cities in the former three years is 37.5% since the onset of the crisis. However, the accumulated price drop is 41% for the capital city. Nonetheless, the accumulated real fall in the prices of the Bulgarian apartments on an average after inflation as well as since the onset of crisis is 42% for the nation, 45.5% for the capital.

Is there hope for the Bulgaria Real Estate market?

According to the market analysis reports, in 2011, the property prices in the Bulgaria real estate market dropped by an average of 8% as against the drop of 8.3% in 2010. With this report, it was concluded that the decrease of the prices of real estate in Bulgaria is slowly decelerating. Therefore, the concerned agencies are in a hope that this trend will stop in 2012.

According to the survey of real estate agency Bulgarian Properties, this decrease in prices of the Bulgarian real estate for sale has attracted an increasing number of settled deals in the nation. The statistics reveal that this rise is almost of 15% considering the prices of 2010 as the base. In 2011, the paid average price for a one bedroom apartment in any of the big cities ranged from 20,000 to 60,000 Euro.

This Bulgaria real estate agency also surprisingly noticed that only the properties in the beach resort of Sveti Vlas have sustained relatively high prices despite the falling trend. To buy Bulgaria real estate in this area before three years, one had to pay even less than 1,000 euro per sq. m., but today, the prices are even higher than those in Varna and Sofia. According to the Chief Operations Manager of Bulgarian Properties, Polina Stoykova; Sveti Vlas has now become an exception as a resort with stable real estate prices.

She further commented that 2011 was not that good year for ski resort holiday homes, especially for those in Bansko, as the apartment prices since 2010 fell by 25%, which was significant. In 2011, the average price of the apartments sold in this area was 35,000 Euro, which was lower than the price of 42,800 Euro in 2010. Even the number of deals has decreased in 2011 for this area. She highlighted that prices for property in Borovets have held up much better due to the lack of development in the area and as a result a shortage of suitable properties for sale.

Polina also discussed about the rural Bulgaria real estate. She said that following stabilization in the interest for rustic options as well as a hike in the deals in 2010, the price levels were almost similar in 2011 with a minor fall in the number of sales. This was because the buyers were more interested in costly houses that were fully furbished to live in. As a result, there was a hike in the average prices of settled deals in most areas in 2011, particularly in the regions of Veliko Tarnovo and Varna. Cheap Bulgarian Properties in rural villages are no longer as popular as they were. This is due to the high cost of renovating and maintaining such properties. It is often cheaper in the long run to buy a newly completed property.

However, on the other hand, the prices of rural Bulgaria real estate in the areas of Stara Zagora and Bourgas have almost been identical to those in 2010. But in a few areas such as Yambol, Plovdiv, Pleven, and Kardzhali, the prices have dropped. This indicates that the interest in the rural properties of Northwestern Bulgaria is not that high. According to the Forton international, with 200 million Euro as the total volume, the nation has become one of the Europe’s Top 10 destinations for investment in 2011. Even the research shows that the investment deals in the continent increased by 7.8% in 2011. So, a wave of optimism has stated to show its effects on Bulgarian real estate prices.

Since the start of 2012 EU citizens have been able to purchase land and properties in Bulgaria without the need to setup a company. This has made the whole process for buying real estate in Bulgaria much easier and it is hoped that this will also increase the demand and sales.

Advice for buying ski chalets

If you plan to buy ski chalets, then you should read this article so that you will be able to come up with the best possible decisions. There are a lot of ski chalets for sale. As you know, buying a chalet is a long term investment. You will be able to use it personally and at the same time it can be a great source of income. The cost of ski properties is continuously rising over the years. Therefore, whatever your purpose of buying a ski property you will definitely enjoy a great advantage. Ideally, a person chooses to buy a ski property for personal use. However, throughout the years it can be a perfect income generating property. Not all people have the ability to buy a chalet. Hence if you own one, you can have it rented out.

There are a lot of chalets for sale. If you are searching for chalets for sale, the internet is the best place to be. If you want to buy ski apartments, there are also available ski apartments. In fact, the internet is offering multitudes of choices. Whether you are a ski enthusiasts or a businessman, you can definitely take advantage of ski properties. If you want your chalets to be rented, you can advertise it online. Most people who search for ski rental flood into the internet. There are different types of ski properties to choose from. The prices of the ski properties also vary. One great factor that can affect your choice is the budget. Through the internet, you will be able to find a ski property that would suit your needs.

At present the prices for ski chalets in Bulgaria is very competitive. Following the bubble years of 2004-2008 prices have dropped a lot recently and now it is possible to find chalets for sale in Bulgaria starting from just 100,000 euros. If you are looking for a chalet to renovate then you can find even cheaper properties in Bulgaria. Cheap village properties can be purchased for as little as 25,000 euros however you should be aware that the cost of renovation is often as expensive as a completely new build. Also with village properties the services and facilities expected by people who buy chalets are often available in these village locations. With prices for new build chalets and ski apartments at record lows we recommend that you focus on a modern chalet as it will be more comfortable and be easier to manage and maintain from abroad.

If you are looking for chalets for sale, choose the one that is more appealing to you. Skiers would definitely love to rent out the place if the ski property has an appealing ambiance. Choose the property that will give you a perfect location for skiing, but at the same time provides easy access to different amenities. The ski property should be close to nature, but not far enough for modernization. The choice of the property basically depends on your personal preference. If you are not personally using the place, you can open the place for rental. It would be a perfect source of income. You should also consider transport links. For chalets for sale in Bulgaria the best location is Borovets ski resort as this is the closest ski resort to the capital Sofia and closest to the main international airport. Distance to the airport is a very important factor for tourist travelling from abroad so if you intend to rent you ski chalet you need to consider this also.

Most ski enthusiasts do not just use the ski property just for their hobby. It is also a form of relaxation and stress reliever. So as much as possible, you should buy a ski property that has a relaxing ambiance. Try to find a location that is peaceful and surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. People who go on ski holiday tend to want to experience the real mountain nature and atmosphere. They do not want to feel like they are in a city. For this reason you should make sure that wherever you buy your ski chalet that the area is natural and not over developed.  This way the people will be enticed to rent in times you are not personally using the place. The internet offers multitude of choices for ski chalets for sale. There are different styles and features of ski chalets. The price depends on the features and style. With a huge array of choices, you can certainly find a ski property that would suit your needs and budget. The ski property real estate is offering different types of mortgage choices for prospect ski property buyers.

Bulgarian Properties Price Indexes for March 2012

At the end of the first quarter of this year, the Bulgarian Properties sales indexes revealed listing prices of the apartments in four key locations: Sunny Beach, Varna, Sofia, and Bansko. The purpose of these prices was to offer the latest information about the ongoing and new market trends in the Bulgarian property market. According to the company, its indexes have remained about the same levels since the last 6 months. Therefore, it considers this point to be a good indicator of stabilization for Bulgarian property for sale.

Starting with Sofia property, the index change in the month of Feb 2012 was 0.07%, while the change in last one year was +4.55%. Further, the change measured from the highest value came up to 41.44%. The current index value for the listing apartment prices in Sofia by Bulgarian Properties is 58.56 points as of March 2012. (The base point of the index was set at 100 in January 2008) Further, the average monthly listing price is 875 Euro per sq. m. This means you can buy Bulgaria property of 200 sq. m. offered by this company in the capital at an average of 175,000 Euro. However, it was found that many deals for Bulgaria property for sale were offered at an average price of 735 Euro per sq. m.

In Varna, the index change in the month of Feb 2012 was +1.01%, while the change measured in last one year was -6.75%. The change gauged from the highest value was -42.29%. Bulgarian Properties’ current index value for listing apartment prices in this second largest city is 57.71 points as of March 2012. Coming to the average monthly price listing, it is 860 Euro per sq. m. but the deals were settled at 800 Euro per sq. m. during the year’s first quarter.

Talking about the Sunny Beach, the index change in the month of Feb 2012 was -1.91%, while the change measured in last one year was -34.39%. The change gauged from the highest value was -49.72%. However, the company’s current index value for apartment prices in this area is 50.28 points as of March 2012. Considering that this is the largest beach resort area, it is surprising to know that the average monthly listing price is 665 Euro per sq. m. for apartments. This is truly less than the prices of the aforementioned cities. Even more surprising is the fact that the deals were finalized in the first quarter at an average price of 440 Euro per sq. m.

Coming to Bansko, the index change in the month of Feb 2012 was +9.95%, while the change measured in last one year was -29.05%. The change measured from the highest value was -52.76%. However, the current index value for apartment prices measured by Bulgarian Properties in this biggest ski resort is 47.24 points as of March 2012. Despite the fact that it is a famous ski resort, the average monthly listing price here is 605 Euro per sq. m. Even more shocking was the fact that the deals in the first quarter got completed here at an average price of 465 Euro per sq. m. Well, we can conclude that a really cheap property in Bulgaria is available at this skiing destination! If you are looking for other cheap Bulgarian property in ski areas you should also check out Borovets property. It also has some very good value ski properties for sale at the moment and is much closer to the capital Sofia than Bansko, thus offering a better investment potential. Borovets apartments are very popular all year round with wealthy Bulgarians living in Sofia. They often buy a holiday apartment in Borovets and visit there at the weekends and holidays.

Buying property in Bulgaria looking more appealing

Demand for properties across Europe has increased dramatically according to the latest stats from UK property search websites.

With the recent strength of sterling it makes it a good time to buy property in euro currency countries. Bulgaria which has its currency fixed to the euro is also benefiting from this trend.  Just last year a €100,000 property in Bulgaria would have cost around £91,000, but today the exact same property can be purchased for just £80,000, resulting in a substantial saving for buyers using sterling.

Of course this phenomenon is not reserved just from Bulgarian properties. It is also the case that property in Spain and France are now cheaper for UK buyers due to the weakness in the euro zone. One needs to thread carefully however as not all European markets are at the same stage of the property price life cycle.

Bulgarian property prices for example have dropped over 50% in many areas since 2008 and in some places drops as high as 70% have been seen. However the drops stopped in 2011 as prices reached fair value. In many cases properties in Bulgaria are selling below the cost of replacement. This makes it an ideal time to invest in Bulgarian properties. The price drops have leveled out and properties cannot be constructed at these price levels. This means as soon as the current supply of properties has been sold prices will have to start rising again to accommodate the increased construction costs.

The situation is not the same in France and Spain however. On the French market there has been limited price drops over the last 3-4 years. Prices have held up well but are now looking very overpriced. Recent research form the Economist indicates that French property prices are now overvalued by almost 50%.

In Spain priced have indeed decreased over the last 2-3 years but are still over valued by up to 30% according to the Economist’s report. This means it is still not the time to buy property in Spain as there is a high chance of further price drops over the coming years.

It seems if you are looking for a stable market where price drops have already occurred and property prices have reached fair value levels then you need to strongly consider buying property in Bulgaria. Look to purchase at prices close to the cost of construction as this will give you the best chances of future property price growth. With the current strength of sterling if you are buying with pounds then you will get an even better deal.

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