26.06.2007 Adrian Musgrave: Foreign Investors Seek Luxury And High Value Estates In Bulgaria
Stroitelstvo Gradat Weekly, 11th June 2007
Which are the most important factors that foreign investors observe when buying estates in Bulgaria?
Undoubtedly, Bulgaria is one of the places with cheapest residences in Europe. That is why the demand of all kinds of estates continues to rise. In the sea-coast and ski resorts, there is great market for apartments that have low initial prices. The market share of villas and houses in the villages is also significant. They could be renovated, rented or resold. Obviously, the purchase price, the cost of property and the location are important factors. They are a mixture of different preferences and investment potential that develop the market of this sector. One can see a different type of client - one who seeks more than the traditional second home or vacation apartment in the main resorts. They search for luxurious, exclusive, high value offers – these are the main demands towards the market.
What are the demands and expectations of these clients?
To a certain extent, it depends on the kind of estate and the requirements of the client. The purchase of a quality property in one of the newest golf resorts for instance, presupposes the purchase of a specific lifestyle with its all characteristic elements. It is the right of buyers to require full service during the whole process of purchase. This has to be followed by continuous after-sale service, including repair, furnishing, property management, rental arrangements, legal or financial counseling, or just support for issues rising when being in possession of an estate in Bulgaria. To summarize it, buyers expect the company and people selling the estate to be their partners, not just selling agents.
Who foreigners buy estates in Bulgaria?
The biggest share is that of the British who possess 30% of all vendible estates. The Irish take the second place. They are followed by the Americans and a number of European countries – Spain, Belgium, Hungary. The number of clients from the Scandinavian countries has doubled during the last 18 months, and now they form a serious market segment. Still, the change has been the most drastic in the development of a big consumers segment of three new countries – Russia, Poland and Romania.
What are your prognoses for the future development of the real estates market?
According to the latest survey of the Bulgarian National Bank, during the first trimester of the current year, foreign investors have bought estates at the amount of 310 million Euros in Bulgaria. This equals 60% value increase in comparison with the same period last year. This implies a quite positive future, but figures are not enough. Other things that have to be envisaged are the results from the development of tourism, the great income from European funds, the private investor capital, pouring into the infrastructure and the commerce.
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