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05.04.2019 Polina Stoykova for Profit.bg: Strong start of 2019

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BULGARIAN PROPERTIES won the Real Estate Agency award of the year, presented by Imoti.net. Only a few hours after the ceremony, we talked with Polina Stoykova, CEO of the company.

"This is a well-deserved recognition because I think we have worked a lot in the past 15 years to get this award. I'm glad we were honored with this prize, and it puts a lot of challenges ahead of us, but we're not afraid, because that's what keeps us moving. We are constantly developing and we will defend this title" Stoykova said.

What's happening on the property market since early 2019?

There is a very active market. This comes even a little unexpected, compared to the minor atmosphere at the end of 2018. In the first three months of 2019, we see an extremely strong and active market.
In Sofia, people who have been postponing a property purchase for years, are already on the market making decisions and closing deals. The offering is pretty good, so I have more confidence that 2019 could be even better than the previous year.

Can we still find a new property below market rates?

Yet another year the new development properties are the top preference of buyers. Fortunately, there are still very reasonable investors who offer new construction at prices between 750 and 950 Euro/sq.m, which are lower than the average for the capital last year (authors note: 1090 Euro/sq.m).

Of course, these apartments are finished according to the Bulgarian State Standard, with plastered walls and cement screed floors, but the Bulgarians' preferences are to buy something that they can finish on their own, according to their preferences. That is what is currently being sought - new construction at prices about 800-900 Euro/sq.m.

The other thing that makes individual projects more preferable than others is how the areas are designed - both interior spaces and common areas. Because for similar projects - in one case there may be very large common parts or too large rooms that increase the area and make the price higher than another product that is better considered and allows for a lower budget for purchase.

So, these are the opportunities for prices below the market ones - to have well-designed dwellings, well-priced and to take into account the ergonomics of use and the space required.

What moves the market right now?

Low interest rates on loans are perhaps the most important factor driving the market at the moment. The interest rates are also supported by an increase in the economic well-being - incomes, low unemployment, and so on.

Unfortunately, for the moment, the second major engine - the foreign interest that has been lost in recent years - is still missing.

Forecast for 2019

2019 will be more relaxed and with lower price rises, i.e. prices will remain similar to what has been achieved and the growth rates will be within 2-3% per annum, in the next 1-2 years. This year will be calm and favourable for both buyers and sellers.

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