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A Buyers' Market?

Property market trends in Bulgaria. One minute the darling of the press, the next to be avoided at all costs. What is going on in real estate in Bulgaria? In this article Quest Bulgaria provides an up to date look.

There are certainly less British buyers now because of their own problems at home. However, it's all too easy to forget that there are other foreign buyers out there and, not least, the ever increasing local market.


Buyers deserting in droves?

The British only ever accounted for 15% of the market at its peak. The remainder of the market was always local based with a smattering of one or two other foreign nationals thrown in.

The market is still growing and prices on the up, fortunately in a more stable and sustainable way than the last three to five years.

It's generally the speculators who bought on the coast or in ski resorts, who are looking to sell now and move on to pastures new, rather than the individual buyer. The problem, of course, is that they are taking a "lemming" attitude and many are selling at the same time, putting downwards pressure on prices in the resorts because of this sudden supply.

Those buyers who purchased away from the resorts did so for a lifestyle choice and were primarily wanting to get away from the rat race and buy in the sun. Often these buyers were more mature and did not buy with a mortgage. They have little interest in selling, so the villages, towns and more rural areas are not feeling this impact.

The tourist areas may be suffering with over-supply but the remainder of the country, where the market is sustained by locals, is showing regular price increases and good activity.

Whilst there may be plenty for sale, it is clear that buyers have become more demanding and are placing emphasis on quality, character and location. This current situation will help the market to regulate itself and the best news is that only the best developers and agents who have clear business ethics and financial resources behind them will survive.

The Bulgarians are becoming more affluent and are buying properties, frequently without taking on mortgages. These purchasers are becoming more active - and are also more demanding. They are looking for the best location. Not just the sea or ski resorts but also for original, historic and authentic houses.

Greeks are also investing heavily in Bulgaria, along with others. A survey by Green Life Property Development shows a steadily growing number of Russian, Scandinavian and Romanian buyers, which has come as a satisfying substitute to any downturn in British purchasers, with Russian-speaking clients making up to 90 per cent of all buyers.

The company remarked that there are two groups of buyers coming into the Bulgarian property market. One is affluent Russians who are looking to buy large top end apartments for use as holiday homes. The second group, who are not as wealthy, are wanting smaller homes for an investment. It is this latter group which are replacing the British customers.

Romanian newspaper Financiarul reported ,that Romanian property buyers are shifting their focus to Bulgaria and are especially interested in holiday property.


Experts said that Romanian buyers have struck property deals worth 3.6 million euros in Bulgaria. Additionally a growing number of Romanian investors are purchasing in Bulgaria because it provides better returns, particularly near the town of Rousse on the Danube which has seen prices of apartments double.

Not to mention the Italians, despite the credit crunch, they certainly have not been put off buying property. In the first half of the year the quantity of real estate, bought by Italians has increased by over 16% compared to last year.

Just because some Brits are no longer buying due to home economics, does not mean that nobody is buying or that Bulgaria is not a good investment.