19.05.2015 Vacation and rural properties in Bulgaria - Q1 2015
Polina Stoykova MRICS, Managing Director & Head of Research
With the ruble stabilizing and the summer season just starting we can see an increasing activity of one of the main group of buyers - the Russians buying on the coast of the Bulgarian Black Sea. We can also see that many Russian buyers who visited us at the exhibition in Moscow in February, together with Brits who came to visit us at A Place in the Sun Live shows in Manchester and London are now making purchase decisions.
There is a new trend at the rural property segment – a demand for high-quality and modern village houses with all amenities (such as swimming pools, barbeques, etc) from foreign and local buyers.
Bansko and the Ski Resorts
Q1 was very successful for the ski resorts and mostly Pamporovo, where the number of concluded deals doubled compared to Q1 of last year. The reason for that was the increased interest from Bulgarians to buy properties in the resort.
Bansko has the most diverse profile of buyers in terms of nationality. The biggest group of buyers comes from the UK. Currently they represent 36% of the buyers, 18% are Russians and the Bulgarians are less than 10%. The remaining buyers come from Ukraine, Greece, France and other countries.
The average price of sold apartments in Bansko for Q1 of 2015 is 360 €/sq.m. – the same as the average price for the whole 2014, so we can say that currently the prices in Bansko are stable. The average overall purchase price of apartments in the resort was a little higher than its level from last year – 24,000 € (compared to 20,100 € in 2014).
Properties for sale in Bansko
The average price based on real deals in the closest to Sofia resort of Borovets is 640 €/sq.m. and 32,370 € for an apartment, and in Pamporovo the prices were a little lower compared to Bansko – 340 €/sq.m. and 24,400 € for an apartment.
Sunny Beach and the Seaside
During the first months of this year the dynamics in the property markets at the seaside slowed down because of the temporary withdrawal of the Russian buyers. At the same time, the Russians became more interested in properties in the bigger cities with the purpose of relocation.
Based on listing prices, there was a trend for a slight decrease of prices, mainly for resale apartments. The most significant drop in prices happened in January and February and currently they are 10% below their levels from last year. The average listing price for Q1 was 675 €/sq.m. compared to 758 €/sq.m. for 2014.
Properties in the area of Sunny Beach
We can see that besides increased interest towards Burgas, the buyers are more often looking for properties in Sozopol, Lozenets and the other resorts to the south where the Bulgarians prefer to go on vacation and summer tourism.
The increased interest towards Varna and the ambient resorts from H2 of 2014 remains in 2015. Currently Varna and the region attract buyers with diverse nationalities – apart from Russians and British, there are also Belgians, Kuwaitis, Italians, and also a great number of Bulgarians.
The property market in Varna is specific and often has a dynamic of its own, without being influenced by the tendencies in the other parts of the country or the seaside. We can definitely say that foreigners, looking for properties at the seaside who have high budgets, often look for properties namely in Varna and the adjacent resorts.
Properties in the region of Varna
The rural property market remains relatively weak but with increasingly tempting offers. The highest activity during the last months could be observed in the villages near Stara Zagora and Veliko Tarnovo. In the region of Stara Zagora 50% of the buyers were Bulgarians, and the average price of the purchased houses was 11,100 €.
We can see that around Veliko Tarnovo, there is a demand for both cheap village houses and high-class properties with prices of over 60,000 €. The average price of purchased properties in the area of Veliko Tarnovo was 41,750 € and there is a growing interest towards the region from British buyers as it is a famous region with all its beauties and also with a British community and many expats living in the area.
The average price of purchased rural houses for in Bulgaria on average for Q1 based on data from BULGARIAN PROPERTIES is 18,000 € and remains the same as last year.
The latest news from the property exhibitions in Manchester and London, in which we participated, is that an increasing number of British buyers are now searching for opportunities to buy houses near the sea in Bulgaria - near Burgas or Varna (the 2 main big cities on the sea with international airports). The main searches are for a 3 or 4-bed houses within 20-30 km from the beach in a good condition ready to be used for the summer season. The budgets are usually between 50,000 and 150,000 Euro. We think that this trend will lead to a greater activity on the rural markets close to the beach resorts in the coming months.
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