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Investing in Silistra

Silistra, the capital of the municipality of the same name lies in the north east of the country on the banks of the River Danube. It is steeped in history and has played a strategic role in the history and economic development of Bulgaria.  This is a town surrounded by beautiful scenery, fresh air and historic sites and for those looking to experience the real Bulgaria away from the tourist hordes and yet close enough to a vibrant town offering all of the usual amenities, then look no further than scenic Silistra.

 

 

Silistra Municipality

Silistra province is made up of seven counties consisting of one town, Silistra, the capital of the municipality and 18 villages. The municipality’s population is 76,585 of which, 62,357 live in the town and 14,228 in the surrounding villages.

The Local Economy

The most important area of the local economy is agriculture thanks to the fertile land, which covers around 2,000,000 decares. The key crops grown here are wheat, corn and sunflower and they account for 84% of all crops produced here. The breeding of livestock also plays an important role.  The area also has a healthy light and heavy industrial base with one of the country’s largest meat meat-packing companies being located here. There is also a large chrome factory, which manufactures most of the chrome ware sold in Bulgaria. In addition to these two significant industries, there are also companies producing parts for farming machinery, fire extinguishers, electronic cash registers and clothing.

Growing Tourism

This is an area with great tourism potential, which is currently underexploited, but thanks to a progressive municipality, all this is set to change. The region has many historic and natural sites, which can be further exploited to increase niche areas of tourism in the fields of hunting, cultural, religious and eco tourism. Anyone considering a move to Bulgaria and wanting to run their own niche business away from the traditional tourist resorts should consider Silistra. The municipality aims to build on the current tourist draws of the Danube River, the Srebarna Biosphere Park and the many archaeological and cultural sites. Anelia Krushkova, head of the State Agency for Tourism (SAT) also commented that Silistra has great tourism potential. She visited the town and met with representatives of the municipality and tourism sector to discuss plans to develop this area and to invite the town to take part in the agency’s annual competition to find the best tourist destinations. This year, SAT will focus on finding the country’s best nature preserves and protected areas and Silistra’s Srebarna stands an excellent chance of wining.

A Buoyant Property Market

Average prices in the town are 32,500 Euros. There are several business opportunities for sale and it would be possible to run your own guest house here for as little as 125, 000 Euros. At the bottom end of the market you can still pick up rural bargains for as little as 2,500 Euros, but such properties are not habitable and will need thousands spending on them. Renovation projects are generally found in the villages around 30 km from Silistra, they are generally one storey buildings with around 70 sq m of living space on large plots, which would enable you to build another property if you so wished. Properties priced at between 15 to 20,000 Euros still need substantial work but are in a semi habitable state if you don’t mind roughing it. If you have around 60,000 Euros to invest you are sure to get a fully renovated property in a beautiful rural location. There are plenty of properties to choose from in this price range and given the current economic climate, there is some room for negotiation on the price.
Small residential properties are coming back into vogue in this area as more foreign investors are hit by the credit crisis. Renovation costs have become cheaper, some by almost half, as many local building firms are dropping their prices to attract more business. Land prices are exceptionally cheap now in this area and the reduced costs of building materials make new builds another popular choice.

A Foreign Invasion

Romania and Bulgaria are currently planning to build a bridge linking the two countries at Silistra and Romania’s Calarash. This would make access between the two towns much easier and would also stimulate the Silistran property market. Many Romanians are buying property in Bulgaria because it is far cheaper than property in their own market. In addition to this Bulgaria has a much lower cost of living and many Romanians are happy to live on the Bulgarian border and commute to work in Romania and get the best of both worlds – a higher salary and a low cost of living.

Pictures courtesy of www.bulgariaphotos.net