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Buying Property: Ski & City

Vitosha mountain on the edge of the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia is the most underrated area for ski property in the country. The mountain is located just a few minutes from the city centre and was developed as a ski area during communist times. It is amazing that foreign buyers have not caught on to the excellent value property which the southern residential area of Sofia provides, given the great access to skiing on Vitosha and the proximity of this ski resort to the international airport.

There are few places in the world where you can buy a property in a capital, yet have ski within minutes of your doorstep!

It is true that Vitosha has not compared favourably with the likes of Bansko and Pamporovo but this is already changing and Vitosha is set to mark its place as a skiing hotspot.

Already the residential area at the foot of the mountain is the most elite in Sofia with house prices in six figures.

The gondola lift and chair lifts even start from these city outskirts, which makes property in the Simeonovo and Dragalevtsi areas very desirable.

There are predominantly luxurious quality houses in the southern suburbs and there are some wonderful panoramic views over Sofia from here. The building density is low.

Between Simeonovo and Dragalevtsi a large modern 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with landscaped gardens will rent for about 2,000 - 2,200 euros a month (

Apartments in Simeonovo can be obtained in gated complexes with secutiry, swimming pool, maintenance at about 83,000 euros for a 60 sq.m one bedroom (

Plots of land are available in these areas but given the number of wealthy buyers wanting to live in this prestigious part, plots are hard to find and prices remain high at around 100 to 200 euros a sq.m. (unregulated can be obtained for about 45 to 65 euros / sq.m.)

Another popular area in this part is that of Bistritsa. A large 140 sq.m luxury house, divided into two apartments in this residential area with good views and a garden of about 650 sq.m will set you back around 350,000 euros (

Alternatively a property for modernisation here, with 3 bedrooms and a small courtyard garden can still be found for about 70,000 euros.

Only 10 minutes or so from the centre of Sofia, there are always local Sofians on the slopes, which provide some really good skiing - and Vitosha actually has the highest ski slopes in Bulgaria.

Demand for property for sale and rental accommodation in Sofia continues unabated. In particular rental demand from both foreigners and locals cannot be quenched, making the city and the suburbs towards Vitosha highly suitable for buy to let.

This area is also within a few minutes of Sofia Business Park, where there are numerous multinational companies.

A two bedroom fully furnished apartment with gas heating, cable tv and internet, together with underground parking is commanding a rent of 750 euros a month (

The huge advantage of the southern suburbs is easy access to the city and to fine skiing on Vitosha, other like minded affluent neighbours and many foreign embassies and banking institutions.

The Super Vitosha project is predicted to expand the ski areas, create improved infrastructure and add new ski lifts and gondolas. It was one of the contenders for the 2014 Winter Olympics and although failing in that bid, will no doubt be one of the contenders again. This is excellent news for property buyers as prices would no doubt increase rapidly in advance of any Winter Olympic games and Vitosha area would enter a period of extremely strong growth.

Vitosha will soon become a well planned international ski resort, just a few minutes from the city centre and the airport, yet providing upmarket properties in quiet and beautiful surroundings.