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Right Place to Rent?

Bulgaria's rental market is still in its infancy but over the last five years demand for rental homes has increased dramatically: both from the side of the supplier and the side of the consumer. Yet those buying for rental income alone, should proceed with caution rather than be swayed by hype from over-enthusiastic developers and real estate agents. There is money to be gained by investing wisely, but before you buy, research the market carefully and assess realistically whether the rental income can pay a part of the mortgage on the property.

Summer Season Holiday Lettings. The tourist season on the coast is short compared to established markets like Spain. The main holiday rental season runs from May to September, peaking in July and August.


In the future as Bulgaria increases its tourist facilities to include more year round activities like golf, the season will extend and thus increase rental income potential.

The pleasant Bulgarian climate, which offers scorching summers for sun lovers and a warm spring and autumn, which is ideal for people who do not like extreme temperatures. Low cost airlines are also breaking into the Bulgarian market and this will increase the number of off season visitors in the future.

Winter Season Holiday Lettings. In the mountain resorts, the ski season runs from December to mid April, with peak times being January and February.

 

Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo offer great potential for year round tourism and the current low prices of property in these areas now provides a great opportunity for investors to invest in a market with the potential to grow like Austria and Switzerland.

Traditionally, the mountain resorts have relied on package holiday companies to supply the influx of tourists and yet, the increase in cheap flights to Sofia has meant that more people are making their own way to the resorts and demand for rental property is increasing.

 

Village Rentals. There is much available in the way of low cost village properties and the market to rent to those people who want to get away from the commercialism of the tourist areas or even those who want a long-term rental away from the hustle and bustle of city life is growing. When choosing village property for rental purposes, it is important to ensure the property has comfortable interiors and pleasant outdoor areas, preferably with a swimming pool. Choosing a village within easy reach of an airport is also a sensible option. Village rentals are proving popular with visitors from neighbouring countries like Romania who tend to drive over to Bulgaria. Clever marketing on a European level is the key to winning in the village rental market.

The Real Estate Agents and Developers View. Many developers promise guaranteed rental incomes of 10% and are prepared to manage your property for two years on this basis. Yet these figures are often used as a hook to lure clients to a development. Often, the developer will build the cost of rental income into the price and is effectively giving you your own money back over the two-year period. Once this is over you are left to find your own clients – although there are many good rental agents who can help you find clients.

The Rental Agent’s View. Pride Property Services, a company with a wealth of experience in property rentals have witnessed a switch in the profile of their holiday rental clients. Initially the UK and Ireland accounted for the largest majority of rental clients.

 

However, since Bulgaria’s EU accession made travel to the country much easier for other Europeans, there has been an increase in the number of young families, who drive to Bulgaria from other Central and Eastern European countries. Richard from Pride Property Services says that, “the most popular holiday rental properties now are villas with pools and pleasant outdoor areas, close to the coast, with areas around Varna, Kranevo and Balchik being the most sought after.”

 

 

The Rental Hotspots. The Bulgarian rental market is still in its infancy and has the potential to grow as tourism , business and facilities in the country develop. In the last two years, the city rental market has taken off, fuelled by the construction of new business parks, shopping malls, university buildings and an increase in city-based jobs through the expansion of foreign companies moving into the Bulgarian market. The city rental market is year round and provides modest, but regular returns.