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A Smart Move: Investing in Vratsa

There is no doubt that Vratsa located in the northwestern part of the Balkan Range is a great place to live and work. This little known treasure offers some great investment potential with low prices and a rising profile. Today the area still remains a destination for investors seeking out cheap rural renovation projects, but the potential to develop a business within the tourism sector is huge and well worth considering particularly if you are looking to generate an income from your investment here.


The Local Economy

Agriculture plays a lead role in this area, but it is not solely dependent on this sector of business; timber and electricity production are also very important with the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant being of significant national importance. Another company of national significance is the brewer Ledenika, who produce the famed Ledenika beer. More foreign investors are looking at this area to further develop their business goals; Detea building group is investing 3 million Euros in a Volvo trucks sale and service-station as well as a commercial centre both in Vratsa.

The municipality’s key ventures include the improvement of the infrastructure particularly in the areas of transport, water and waste management. In the agricultural sector, the growth and enhancements to vegetable farming, cattle breeding and the breeding of silk-worms for the thriving silk industry. Investments are also pouring in to strengthen existing heavy industry and the municipality’s long-term plan is to develop the economy by encouraging and aiding small and medium sized businesses.
Vratsa Municipality places huge emphasis on tourism and has many projects aimed at developing and generating tourism in the area with particular focus on cultural, rural, eco and sports tourism. Vratsa Municipality pays particular attention to applying the European Union’ s codes of practice for the protection of the environment and has put into place its own policies to ensure that the population of this area live in a healthy, relaxing and clean environment.

Land Prices on the Increase

During 2007, the volume of agricultural land increased by 30% in comparison with the previous year. The Ministry of Agriculture announced that prices for agricultural land had risen by 20% accomplishing prices around 235 lv. per 1,000 sq. m. Agricultural land in this region has become an attractive investment as laws governing the status of the land allow developers to change its usage to building land quite easily. Experts claim that land purchases in the Vratsa region offer more potential than any other in the country. Seres Jsc Investment Fund claim that agricultural land prices will continue to rise because of the rise in wheat and food prices as well as the EU subsidies now available. Managing Director, Svetlan Stanoev plans to increase its land bank to around 250 million sq. m and most of this will be concentrated around the north including Vratsa district. The company currently has 170 million sq. m of agricultural land and is the third largest fund in the country investing in this area.

Investment Opportunities

With tourism playing an ever increasing role here, there are many opportunities for those who wish to invest in long-term, profitable ventures such as hotels, restaurants or activity holidays. Rural tourism is growing in popularity and Vratsa has seen significant increases in the number of visitors it receives each year. The main attractions in the area are the multitude of natural and cultural sights, the ski resort and year round opportunities for activities like hang gliding, climbing, caving, and fishing, cycling and hiking. Property is still some of the lowest priced in the country with average prices of around 14,000 Euros, but investments are expected to rocket as tourism continues to grow and visitors choose this area in preference to the crowded establishes resorts on the coast or in the mountains.
Property in Vratsa is now very accessible and attractive. Over the last two years, the area has seen significant growth in domestic and foreign investments. During the last year the market segment of luxury estate has changed significantly. There are many opportunities to buy or build a dream home or business in an area which has fantastic growth potential.

Vratsa pictures courtesy of Peter Petrov