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Russian Property Buyers-The Facts

Is the market for Bulgarian properties on the rise again ? Buyers from Russia are leading the way now.

The global economic downturn, which started in 2009, has clearly left its mark on the Bulgarian property market. Although the boom of 2004-2008 - when property in Bulgaria gained a lot of popularity abroad - remains a bit of a distant memory, there are some signs of ongoing recovery.

Who are the most prevalent foreign buyers nowadays?

Without doubt clients from Russia have gained No. 1 status on the market. Those are being attracted not only by the affordable property prices, but by the country itself. Language and culture are closely related, natives are friendly, cost of living is lower, especially in comparison to the large megapolises in Russia.

Buyers from the UK, who once stood for the majority of the demand, have almost completely lost interest in purchasing Bulgarian properties, while existing property owners from the UK are looking for a quick sale, offering considerable discount rates.

What is the average profile of a property buyer from Russia?

Firstly, there are those who intend to acqure a small apartment or a studio to spend their holidays. Preferable locations are the seaside resorts, where the most popular ones are Sunny Beach, St. Vlas, Nessebar, Pomorie to the south, and Golden Sands, St. Constantine and Helena Albena, Kranevo, Balchik to the north. Among this group of clients there is a significant interest for first line apartments or for suites, which at least provide a beautiful sea view. Entirely finished and furnished apartments enjoy a higher demand, since those clients usually have little desire bothering with finishing works and furnishing. Average prices range from 25,000 up to 50,000 Euro. There are plenty of deals in that price region, due to the gradual price drops since 2009.

Secondly, there are people from Russia who are planning to move to another country and consider Bulgaria as the most suitable one. Here they find a lower entry barrier, both financially and in terms of integrating into the society. Compared to the first group, their preferences are much broader. They consider purchasing apartments in the cities, as well as houses in the countryside.

Bulgaria attracts a significant number of retirees with its mild climate, the lovely seaside and the better quality of life. Many of them are just tired of their busy and boring daily round in one of Russia's megapolises. It is important to mention that Bulgaria provides favourable terms for retirees to obtain a permanent residence permit. They are required to present a retirement certificate and a proove that a certain amount of funds is available in a bank account. The required sum is 240 leva per month for a single perion. However, the retiree income those people receive from Russia is rarely sufficient for a comfortable living in Bulgaria.
The average Russian retiree, who is looking for a property in Bulgaria, usually has some source of secondary income - by renting out an apartment, or from a business ownership. At the top of his preferences is a house in a rural area with a price tag 20,000 - 50,000 Euro. He is not about to be discouraged from purchasing a home in case repair work is needed. The ideal house should have a plot large enough (500 m2 at least), a garden with some fruit trees or a vineyard. And he is really excited about the opportunity to maintain a tiny-scale agriculture, something he has never been able to do in Russia.

The acquisition process is very carefully planned. Choosing a desirable location may take up to 1 year, in course of which sometimes multiple trips from Russia to Bulgaria are performed. Information is being gathered on the Internet or with the help of local property agents and priorities are being laid out. In some cases people decide to avoid travelling back and forth, and rent an apartment for a longer period of time. That gives them more flexibility when planning viewing trips all over the country.

A quick word about Sandanski. Foreign buyers have always shown some special interest to the region of Sandanski when looking for a property in Bulgaria. Russian citizens make no exception. The mediterranean climate, the nearby mountains, the mineral water springs, the proximity to Greece and the Aegean Sea, have turned the south-western corner of Bulgaria into a preferable location. There are interesting new property developments here, at attactive prices - much lower than the prices of seaside properties. One can acquire a lovely studio apartment for as low as 25,000 Euro near the park of Sandanski.

Dao Real estate agency is offering Bulgarian Properties, while operating mainly on the Russian market