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27.04.2016 Sofia Residential Property Market Makes Strong Start to 2016

A significant rise in sales, a sustained upward trend in prices and great interest in newly built homes have marked a strong start to the housing property market in Sofia in the first quarter of 2016, a Bulgarian real estate agency has said.

Buyers were much more confident in buying residential property even before the start of construction works, Polina Stoykova MRICS, Managing Director of Bulgarian Properties, said in a statement on Monday

Yet, buyers seemed to be lagging behind market trends, with a big share of demand for apartments that cost up to EUR 50,000 while the offer of such properties was rather limited, particularly in popular neighborhoods of Sofia, Stoykova commented.

The average price of sold apartments in Sofia was EUR 835 per square meter in the first quarter of the year, according to data of the real estate firm.

The average price of residential property in Sofia exceeded EUR 800 per sq.m. in the last quarter of 2015 for the first time since 2011 and the upward trend has been maintained with prices consolidating at levels above EUR 800, according to the company.

Apartments in Sofia sold for an average of EUR 815/sq.m. in the fourth quarter of 2015 and EUR 770 in the first quarter of the same year. Accordingly, the increase in property prices in Sofia for the first quarter of 2016 was 2.5% compared to the previous quarter and 8.4% year-on-year.

Half of total sales were newly built apartments or apartments under construction, including buildings at a very initial stage of construction, Bulgarian Properties said.

The average price of sold property in new buildings was EUR 950/sq.m. in the first quarter of 2016, about EUR 100/sq.m. above market average.

The average price of purchased apartments in Sofia for the first three months of the year was EUR 79,800, while the price paid for newly built residential properties was EUR 90,000, which illustrates the buyers willingness to pay higher prices for quality new projects, the real estate agency commented.

Apartments with two and three bedrooms had equal shares in sales over the past three months and together accounted for 85% of total sales of housing property in Sofia.

It is noteworthy that there was an increase in the share of purchased three- bedroom apartments, with most of them being in new buildings in the early stages of implementation which allows for bringing together neighbouring apartments to make more spacious homes with more rooms to meet the needs of the buyers, the company said.

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