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10.11.2010 The Property Market Is Stable, but There Are No Clear Recovery Signs

Imam Imot Magazine, November 2010, excerpt

Polina Stoykova, Chief Operations Manager of BULGARIAN PROPERTIES
In its November 2010 issue the magazine Imam Imot published an article with the 3Q real estate analysis of BULGARIAN PROPERTIES drawn up by the company's Chief Operations Manager Polina Stoykova.

Two months before the end of 2010 we can summarize that this year is turning out to be а zero point for the Bulgarian property market as there has been no significant change in the number of deals, in the prices of sold properties or in the listed properties compared to 2009. This is what the data of real estate agency BULGARIAN PROPERTIES show for the period July-September 2010.

Of course, this year is very important for the market the reaching of a balance and stability is an important moment, especially after the years of property boom followed by a significant decrease of property prices in 2009. From this point of view 2010 was like a breath of fresh air for the players on the market who had time to get used to the new market realities, to think, to make decisions and to develop action strategies. After the contradictory signals the real estate market gave in the second quarter of the year the number of deals returned to the balance levels from the second half of 2009.

However, the number of deals did not manage to return to the levels from March and April 2010 which according to BULGARIAN PROPERTIES data were record months since the beginning of the crisis.

Different trends are observed in the various market segments from retention and increase in prices and number of deals to decrease. There are still no convincing and clear trends showing the beginning of a recovery, which once again shows that the markets coming out of the crisis will most probably be a long process. According to BULGARIAN PROPERTIES the main trends in the third quarter of 2010 can be summarized as follows:

- An increase in sales in Sofia compared to the summer of 2009. The average price based on actual concluded deals is 840 EUR/sq.m. The price decrease compared to the second quarter of 2010 is 3.5%.

- Increase in the number of sales in the regional cities like Bourgas, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, etc. These markets were stagnated since the beginning of the crisis and sales were made mainly in the capital Sofia.

- Increase in the number of sales of beach holiday homes by 20% compared to the summer of 2009. There is no change in the prices and the preferences of the buyers compared to last year and to the previous quarters of 2010.

- Regarding rural properties there is a decrease in the number of realized deals by 13% since July compared to the same period in 2009. Prices of rural properties have dropped by 20% compared to the second quarter of the year when they had registered an increase.

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