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Autumn - A Season Of Rentals

Traditionally, the beginning of August sees a more dynamic rental market in the big cities and university centers in Bulgaria which is a result of the students looking for a home for the new academic year. This year is not an exception to the rule and since August we have been witnessing an increase in the demand for apartments for rent in the big cities by students, mainly in the city of Sofia.

Apart from Bulgarian students there are also many foreign students (mainly Greek) as well as people who have landed a new job or who are looking for a better place to live.

The requirements to the rental properties on the part of Bulgarian and foreign students differ mostly in terms of the price they are ready to pay. Bulgarian students prefer larger apartments which they can share with 2-3 other people, priced at 200-300 Euro/month for Sofia, 200-250 Euro/month for Varna and 100-150 Euro/month for Plovdiv. In order to fit into the lower price segment and into their budget Bulgarian students are ready to rent apartments that are not as close to the university or are not in the best possible condition.

Foreign students mostly look for apartments close to the university they will be attending. They prefer newly built fully furnished apartments, as they do not need to be big because in most cases they plan to live alone. The budget of foreign students is 300-400 Euro/month for Sofia and Varna and 200-250 Euro/month for Plovdiv.

Price statistics

Based on listing prices the average price of an apartment for rent in Sofia in the first 8 months of 2011 (based on data of BULGARIAN PROPERTIES) was 630 Euro/month or 5.7 Euro per sq.m. These are mostly fully furnished apartments in new buildings in the capital's more prestigious quarters. Based on the concluded rental deals in Sofia the average rental price for the period January-August 2011 was 400 Euro/month. If we are to compare to previous years the average price of rented apartments in Sofia has dropped significantly - from 790 Euro/month for an apartment in 2009 to 620 Euro/month in 2010.

For the city of Varna the average asking price for an apartment since the beginning of the year is 360 Euro/month (it is similar to the price of the actual concluded rental deals) or 4 Euro per sq.m. The decrease in rental prices in Varna also continues - from an average price of 520 Euro/month in 2009 to 450 Euro/month in 2010.

In the city of Plovdiv the average asking price for an apartment for rent is 490 Euro/month or 4.8 Euro per sq.m. while the average price of the actual concluded deals is 275 Euro/month.

Apart from students, the autumn is also a time when tenants who have a new job or want to move house also become more active, which turns autumn into the season of property rentals. We expect the rental market in the big cities to remain dynamic until the end of the year.

Article written by Polina Stoykova, Chief Operations Manager of BULGARIAN PROPERTIES