NEWSLETTER

17.01.2018 Bansko Property Update by Andrew Peach - Regional Manager, Office Bansko

As the New Year starts Bansko has received the news that the project for the 2nd Gondola has taken a step forward. The Bulgarian government has decided to give permission for construction of the second lift in the biggest Bulgarian ski resort.

To many, who have waited many years for this project, this is great news and once implemented I am sure it will push Bansko to the forefront of the ski destinations in Europe.

The news has already created a spike of interested buyers looking to take advantage before prices start to rise. However, it is not only the second gondola that contributes to the rise of the interest.

We witnessed a considerable growth in property sales in Bansko in 2017, long before the news for the 2nd Godnola. Our Bansko Office won the prize for ''Highest Regional Sales 2017' in our company Annual Awards as it was the office outside the capital that managed to attract most buyers and complete most sales last year. Recent data by the Registry Agency shows the sales increase in Bansko was 13% annually and it reached its peak in the second half of 2017.

The attractive prices in the resort (which start from as low as 10,000 Euros for a furnished studio) are the main factor that attracts the buyers. We don't expect a fast price increase but the best properties will sell fast and the buyers will need to be more active.

Another important point we need to make is that Bansko is now seen as a summer resort as well as ski resort. Summer tourism continues to grow year on year mainly due to summer festivals, corporate companies organizing team building events, as well as many local people visiting the resort for long weekends. The summer festivals being promoted by the local municipality have had great success with visitor levels growing every year.

The buyers of properties in Bansko over the last few months consist of 50% Bulgarians and the rest are quite international. Macedonian, British, Irish, Israeli and even South African nationals are becoming owners of this piece of paradise on the Balkans.

One huge factor I feel for the overseas buyers are the new flight routes introduced by low-cost airline Ryan Air. The Irish with the direct flight from Dublin are returning, Italians, Belgians and Scandinavians are all visiting and being surprised by the low property prices, local attractions and the mesmerizing spell of Todorka.

One point that buyers are making me concerned of is their interest in apartments without maintenance fees. To this I would ask: would you buy a 20,000-euro car and then not service it for 5 years and expect it to be road worthy? I do however advise buyers to check maintenance contracts and if an owners' association is in place in the complex you are looking to purchase in.

The rental returns in Bansko for short term are not great which is mainly due to the low prices being offered by complexes to Tour Operators. However there is success in certain complexes and also for owners who are pro-active in marketing their own apartments. Due to an increase of digital nomads in the town we have seen an increase in demand for long term rentals and with a normal 3-month contract all yearly costs can be cleaned.

I am sure 2018 will be a very busy year and I do feel this will be a turning point in the history of Bansko.

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