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Investing in Lovech

Lovech area has been rather the poor relation to other similarly beautiful and historical towns, such as Veliko Turnovo, Arbanassi, Kotel and Sliven as regards buying property in Bulgaria, yet it has many similarities and low property prices. 

Strategically well placed, at only just one and a half hours from the capital, Sofia, with its international airport, this pretty historical town with its old quarter and river running through, has good rail and bus networks with regular connections to all major Bulgarian destinations.

The Central Balkan National Park which is one of Bulgaria’s largest environmentally protected areas is in this region. The mountain resorts of Ribaritsa, Teteven and Apriltsi, combined with the two spa villages of Shipkovo and Slivek, make this area ripe for tourism development and property purchases.

Lovech area is well noted for its cultural heritage. In most of the region’s towns, architectural monuments of considerable historical significance are preserved, the most outstanding of which is the Troyan Monastery, one of the four main Bulgarian monasteries, and of the Orthodox church.

 

A View on Property in Lovech

We spoke to agents and buyers in the area for their view on property investment in Lovech and its surroundings. Here are their comments :

Why invest or buy property in Lovech?
Lovech property offers good value for money like many other destinations in Bulgaria at the moment.

Lovech has a beautiful landscape, combining the River Ossym running through the town, the backdrop of breathtaking rock formations and the Stara Planina mountain range.

It is an ancient town of amazing potential, from its historical Varosha old quarter with ancient listed and protected houses and charming old streets to its new modern town centre.

Whether you want to live permanently in Lovech area, just want a second/holiday home or maybe you want a property that will appreciate in value in the near future - all are good reasons to choose the town.

When you consider that property prices in Lovech are cheaper than in nearby Veliko Turnovo.

The beautiful old authentic houses in the Varosha area, which is protected, are starting to be snapped up by eager investors, local Bulgarians and those looking for second homes, keen not to miss the amazing opportunity of bagging themselves a piece of ancient history, as well as the chance of making a great investment. 

So, what property can you get for your money in the Lovech area?
- A 2-bedroom villa within walking distance of the town centre is around 38,000 euros in Lovech compared to approximately 55,000 euros in Veliko Turnovo.

- The average price of a rural 3-bed detached house with garden which is habitable is 20,000 euros. For a similar town property the average price is 35,000 euros.

- An authentic original townhouse from the 18th or 19th century, 3 beds with walled courtyard garden and fully renovated will be around 80,000 euros

- Regulated (with planning permission) building land can be purchased from as little as 1,500 euros in nearby villages with beautiful views, if you are thinking of designing and building your own home.

- Can you imagine a 29 000 sqm forest for as little as 12 500 euros? In the UK this would be unheard of!


What has the town got to offer?
The town itself is famous for the production of leather goods and particularly leather clothes. There are also several producers of furniture in the town.

Traditionally within the town are all types of food production. Agricultural production has the capacity to provide twice the consumption of the population and Lovech municipality is a traditional producer of grain crops, vegetables, fruit, meat and milk.

Almost all sectors in food, the wine and tobacco industry are well developed.

In Lovech town centre there is pretty much everything you could want - nice shops and a modern shopping mall is being built, due to complete very soon now.

The town has wonderful restuarants, cafe-bars, an Irish pub and night clubs.

There are several traditional taverns which sell very well prepared local foods and wines which are still half the price of other towns.

In April 2009, Bulgarian company Litex motors signed a contract worth over 97 million euros with Chinese car manufacture Great Wall Motors to make three models near Lovech and create around 2 000 jobs.

 


Real life experience of Lovech

"I arrived in the town and my first restaurant lunch consisted of a wonderful moussaka with the most beautifully prepared and tasty shepherds salad and a cold glass of white wine on the side: absolutely wonderful. And when the bill arrived to my amazement the cost was less than 6 leva. I was about to call the waiter back as I thought that he had made a mistake, when my partner informed me that the price was quite right - what a bonus !

The history of the town ,the wonderful landscape and natural surroundings ,the fresh air and the resort villages in the area are real advantages.

The healthcare system is well developed and there are three medical centres. Transport is good with road, rail and buses.

I think that the biggest disadvantage of the area is the current low number of foreign investors although this has not to be said that this has not pushed prices high, but this is rapidly changing".

 

Hotspots for investment within Lovech

In the town of Lovech the hotspot area is the quarter of 'Varosha' which is the oldest historical part of the town.

This is full of 18th and 19th century houses, most of them two-storey, with the ground floor typically of stone, and the upper floor made of decorative wooden constructions.

The yards are generally surrounded by high stone walls rich with ivy and geranium, lilac and roses.

This is where the famous Covered Bridge with shops in it is located (see photo above), the Castle walls (lit up at night) and the town museum looking out over the River Ossym ,the rocks and the mountain views beyond.

 

Hotposts in the Immediate Surrounds

Apart from the town of Lovech itself, rural hotspots good for property investment and much sought after are Chiflik, Shipkovo, Devetaki, Krushuna and Presiaka villages also Slivek village which is a lovely villa zone.

 

Hostpots further afield

Ribaritsa
One of the most picturesque villages in the region. Numerous little country houses and villas.

Apriltsi
Apriltsi is a small town with about 5,000 inhabitants. Not an old town, but rich history and incredible nature.

Stefanovo
20 kms south-east from Lovech is the village of Staro Stefanovo Architectural Reserve with over 100 monuments of culture (listed buildings) from the beginning and the middle of the 19th century. Preserved as an entire ethnographical complex.

 

What about future property prices and growth?

Increases are expected to become the norm in Lovech as more people discover this lovely lost idyll with its fast access to Sofia Airport and its infrastructure.

The future of Lovech appears secure, with historical and architectural interest, wonderful natural resources and huge business investment as well as culture and tourism.

It is also within quite easy reach of an international airport and is an area sought after with local Bulgarians. The path is clear for this much undiscovered gem of a town.