07.08.2015 Vacation properties in Bulgaria in Q2 of 2015
Polina Stoykova MRICS, Managing Director & Head of Research
After the negative trends and outflow of the Russian buyers at the beginning of the year, in recent months we see a partial return of Russian buyers, along with an increased demand from Brits and a wide variety of other nationalities interested in properties in Bulgaria.
Varna and the Northern Black Sea Coast
In the second quarter of 2015, the properties situated in and around Varna keep the interest of the buyers. In recent months the property deals have increased and the average price of apartments in Varna is similar to that in Sofia - 800 Euro/sq.m. according to data of BULGARIAN PROPERTIES.
Brits, who traditionally like the area of Varna, prefer the resorts around Varna. They buy apartments in Golden Sands and other resorts in the region, as well as rural properties around Varna. The average price of sold properties in Q2 is around 40 000 Euros.
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Burgas and the Southern Black Sea Coast
Property sales in Sunny Beach decreased in Q2 with 30% on a yearly basis due to the withdrawal of the Russian buyers who were the main buyers there. The average price of sold apartments according to BULGARIAN PROPERTIES data is 600 Euro/sq.m., which is close to the prices from 2014.
The asking prices in the largest seaside resort in Bulgaria kept their levels after a decline of 10% in the first months of the year. The property market in Sunny Beach is now stable and it is currently recovering in the active summer season. The buyers are currently Russians, Ukrainians, British, Bulgarians and others.
The properties in Burgas are in high demand and Sarafovo district attracts quite a lot of interest lately. The average price of apartments in Burgas according to BULGARIAN PROPERTIES data is 785 Euro/sq.m.
Other areas on the Southern Coast that attract buyers' interest are the ancient town of Sozopol and the modern and upcoming resort ot Lozenets.
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The summer season is usually weaker for the winter resorts but this does not apply for Bansko this year. The property sales there have increased considerably and British buyers accounted for 40% of them, according to BULGARIAN PROPERTIES. The increased demand began in late 2014 and accelerated in the first half of 2015.
The average price of the sold apartments in Bansko in Q2 of 2015 is 375 Euro/sq.m. compared to 360 Euro/sq.m. for Q1. The average purchase price of apartments in the resort is 24,000 Euro (compared to 20,100 Euro in 2014).
We can conclude that the worst for the properties in Bansko has already passed. The market is stabilizing and it is starting slowly to emerge from the crisis with increased sales and termination of the downward trend in prices, which lasted for nearly seven years.
In Pamporovo the apartments are sold for 350 Euro/sq.m., slightly lower than the prices in Bansko, while prices in Borovets are around 600 Euro/sq.m.
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Buyers by nationalities
This year BULGARIAN PROPERTIES data shows that there is an interesting variety of buyers on the Bulgarian property market. Russians, who dominated until last year, have decreased by 60% in H1 due to the crisis, the weakening of the Russian currency and the imposed sanctions in the country. However, it should be noted that in the last 2-3 months there is a growing demand and a partial return of the Russian buyers.
At the same time, the strong British pound has led to the recovery of the interest of the British buyers towards overseas properties, including Bulgaria. The inquiries from Britons have increased by 30%, and the property sales to Britis increased with 60%.
In general, in the past few months we saw that the number of buyers from other countries (other than Russia and the UK) increased as a share. This is an indication that the international interest in Bulgarian properties is stable. We have sold properties to buyers from France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia, Czech Republic, Israel, Greece and other countries, including the US and Canada.
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The Bulgarian Sunny Beach resort is a bargain getaway for families as it offers some of the lowest prices for meals out.
According to the Post Office, a three-course meal with a bottle of wine and soft drinks for a family of four costs just 28.51 GBP.
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