Bulgaria - Real Estate Hotspot in Europe

By: Stephen Morgan

The general perception in real estate and property investment circles is that at the moment the place to be involved in is Bulgaria.

For those less familiar with Bulgaria, the country was one of the recently admitted countries to the European Community and is located in south eastern Europe.

Bordering the Black Sea, Bulgaria lies between Romania and Turkey.

Bulgaria was formally into the European Union on the first of January 2007 and there is no doubt that the economic growth in Bulgaria is a deciding factor in all of this. Bulgaria has reported quite considerable growth since its admission to the European Union and the real estate market in Bulgaria is reflecting this.

For a whole number of reasons for investment capital at the moment is streaming in to Bulgaria and one of the prime reasons for this influx of Western capital of the huge gains to be made in the Bulgaria property market.

Currently demand is outstripping supply in Bulgaria's capital Sofia in the residential sector remains the most dynamic segment in the real estate market.

Prices have stabilized at the moment having experienced rapid growth in 2006 with the middle segment of the market being the most active with two to three bedroom apartments being of greatest demand. Property rental levels remained stable in the first six months of 2006 but it is expected that these will rise also.

In the last 12 months, the commercial sector has started to become one of the most attractive areas for investment and large amounts of capital are flowing into this market.

One of the interesting facts to be aware of in this market is that the majority off commercial projects are for industrial warehouse units. This would indicate that the developers are increasingly turning their attention to the industrial and logistics end of the market with the launch is growth in this sector being launched industrial units or warehouses. The smaller end of the market it is interesting to note that the majority of the new supply is taken up by owner occupiers.

If you were to ask however, which area of the property market has taken the majority by surprise, I think the surprise answer would be a huge growth in the supply of holiday homes and nowhere is this more evident than in the mounting area of northern Bulgaria. He the number of units has grown by an amazing 152% in 2006 over the figures in 2005. This has reflected in the total number of holiday homes in this area being 12,000 units compared to 5000 units in 2005.

The coastal regions in bulk area of also seen an increase in the supply of available accommodation but the growth in this area was a mere 37%. Currently more than 22,500 units are in various stages of preparation and development. It would appear as in other areas that multiple factors are influencing the price levels including location quality of the resort area and scope of the available amenities.

Currently as we stated at the start, Bulgaria is hot at the moment and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

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