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Lifestyle and Property in Bulgaria

Watch out on car insurance. If you want proper insurance cover for your vehicle in Bulgaria and be safe in the knowledge that you will be paid out in the event of an accident, then do not underpay for your insurance. We have heard of many expats who are paying only 20 leva a month for what is claimed to be full cover! However, the price of third party car insurance alone in Bulgaria for the lowest classed car is 250 leva, although those who had more than two accidents in the previous year will pay nearly 700 leva according to Novinite.

Good news for Bulgarian property as Dnevnik reports several banks lowering interest rates on mortgages and loans. Information from the Credit Centre also reveals more credit activity last month (September) with enquiries up 15% from the month before. The report goes on to say that the average mortgage increased to just over 32,600 euros and some borrowers were taking loans of over 70,000 euros.

Lenders have also shifted their stance on the amount being lent of valuation, with 70 to 80% now available. In the main this is on properties which are being offered under market value.

Potential price wars
Good for consumers, the first Carrefour in Bourgas forced a price war amongst local supermarkets, with Metro and others being obliged to cut prices of goods almost every hour on opening day. Now Lidl has signed up for a plot of more than 20,000 sq.m. in the city of Plovdiv. This is excellent for consumers who are starved of choice for supermarkets across the country, where frequently prices are too high for much food produce.

First modern waste processing plant
Boyko Borissov opened Bulgaria's first waste processing plant near Plovdiv. The plant has been the subject of much investigation. It will initially commence with a single production line processing 125,000 tonnes of waste a year. A second line is to be launched later.

Environmental warnings from the EU
The EC has sent warnings to Bulgaria regarding environmental failures. A section of Pirin mountains where a ski centre was constructed, Tsarevo on the Black Sea coast has a large protected area under threat and the Emine-Irakli protected area where construction is continuing. Bulgaria has two months to respond and if the country fails to do so, the EC may start legal proceedings.

Agricultural land prices holding up
A recent report from Savills international property advisors, shows that farmland prices in Bulgaria will be particularly strong. From 2004 to 2008, Bulgaria farmland shot up in price by 300% and remains well below gloal property averages.

The hand of Boyko
Reported recently by Novinite, the Director of the Rousse branch of the National Revenue Agency and twelve of his staff have been fired due to VAT abuse. The NRA stated that they had refunded large amounts of VAT to a local firm and they are now being investigated by police and the prosecutor. Excellent news!