Is Bulgaria Still on the Investors Radar?

By: Jolis Eltilib

Bulgaria’s property market continues to appreciate overall as residential prices in Bulgaria’s 28 biggest cities showed an average 5.4% growth in the second quarter of this year, according to the country’s National Statistics Institute (NSI). Year-on-year, prices rose by 27% with the average price for a property in Bulgaria now standing at BGN1,041.1 per sqm.

The NSI reported that the popular tourist city of Varna is still the country’s most expensive area, with prices rising by 3.9% in the second quarter of this year to 1,710.3 per sqm. Sofia also experienced moderate growth (3.8%) where the average cost of a residential property is now 1,647.8 per sqm. The town of Vidin, situated on the banks of the Danube - 200km north west of Sofia, recorded the highest rise in property prices (23%) and now sits at 739 per sqm.

Bulgaria’s second biggest city, Plovdiv (5%), the Black Sea port of Burgas (4.1%) and the Danube town of Russe (10,9%) all experienced growth recording prices of 1,103.2, 1,366.7 and 1,182.7 per sqm respectively.

The only town where no growth was recorded is Targovishte - where prices haven’t changed since 2006.

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The Pari Daily newspaper reports that there is more than enough property for sale in Bansko, but interest in buying there is slowing fast. The newspaper also said that the property market in the ski resort has stagnated since the beginning of 2007, with millions of Euros worth of investment being blocked.

It has also been reported that estate agents have been closing their doors as prices drop to between €500 - €900 per sqm. The nearby town of Razlog has also been feeling the affect, with agricultural land near a famous golf club being offered at €20 - €50 per sqm – with no takers. Pari also reported that the number of construction permits issued in Bansko has decreased for the first time in the last two years with some investors, who already hold permits, not starting to build (although a moratorium on new building permits in the area was introduced in January

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