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Varna - Best to Invest

Varna, of all of Bulgaria’s cities has to be top of the list. It outshines the capital with its idyllic coastal location, retro architectural style and abundance of greenery. For the last two years, it has been voted “the best city to live in Bulgaria” and attracts around 30,000 new residents each year. Varna is a trendy town with a large student population supporting a vibrant entertainment scene, but this does not deter from its flipside, a sophisticated city full of history and culture with excellent shopping and plenty of upscale entertainment catering to its increasingly wealthy population of middle class Bulgarians.

The infrastructure continues to improve

Varna lies 469 km to the north east of Sofia and is the third largest city in Bulgaria with a population in excess of 350,000, although economically it ranks second to the capital. Its biggest revenue streams come from tourism and its port, which provides Bulgaria’s primary trade link with Russia. Financial services, in the city in particular insurance, banking and investment management are strong as is real estate – despite the economic recession. The city’s infrastructure has improved tenfold over the last five years with upgrades to inner city roads and the motorway to Sofia as well as better air connections including more daily scheduled flights to the capital with Wizz Air and Bulgaria Air. The German company Fraport has a 35 year concession to run Varna Airport and is investing heavily in improving the facilities in the terminal and refurbishing the runways. The city has also cleaned up its act by improving waste management systems and introducing recycling schemes and this has had a noticeable effect across the whole of the city.  

More to come

Kiril Yordanov, three times mayor of Varna promises there is more to come; the port of Varna will relocate  to the west of the city freeing up the area around the Galata quarter to create the best marina on the whole of the Black Sea. The area will be developed to include new luxury apartments, villas and hotels with plenty of up market retail outlets and entertainment facilities. As if this isn’t enough, Yordanov also announced last year that an artificial ski area with a winter sports centre and an ice rink will be constructed and that there was already 100% investor commitment to support it. In addition to these exciting new projects, Varna will continue to grow in terms of new office space, business parks and shopping malls. It is already home to the largest mall in Bulgaria, Varna Mall but this may change once Varna Towers is completed later this year. There is also talk that in the distant future Varna will have its own Metro system.

Real estate overview

There are numerous areas throughout the city offering some fantastic luxury accommodation. The area around the enormous park known as the Sea Garden has been developed of late and offers some excellent deals to offset the emerging financial crisis. The area called the Greek Quarter lies nearby and consequently is only a five minute walk to the beach and in the opposite direction to the city centre.  Property in this area is high with prices hovering around ranging from 2,200 euro per sq m and this for a pad in a four storey communist panel block and up to 3,000 euro per sq m for a new apartment or a refurbished town house. Most of these properties overlook the park and the sea, but living area in old and new blocks is small running at 50 120 sq m. There are still many fine neoclassical buildings in the area awaiting redevelopment, but their inclusion in the property market is unlikely to offset demand against supply and prices are likely to remain high.

The outskirts of Varna around the Briz and Evksinograd areas on the coast road to Golden Sands also offers some attractive new build apartment blocks with easy access to the beach, sea garden and retail facilities and you can still pick up a bargain with an off-plan deal starting at 48,000 euro for a 2-bed apartment covering 60 sq m in Briz. Evskinograd, 8km from the centre is home to Evksinograd Palace, the former Bulgarian Royals summer residence and seven years ago this area was no more than a stretch of greenery bordering the sea. Today, apartment blocks are shooting up making it a good place to buy for rental income as well as investment. Most properties in this area not only overlook the sea, but lie very close to it. Apartment blocks dominate with prices starting at around 50,000 euro with nearly all blocks offering outdoor pools and some offer further amenities like exercise rooms too. The area is close to St Konstantin and Helena beach resort, Piccadilly Park shopping centre, the Sea Garden and the lively Varna beach restaurants.

In the south of the city overlooking the bay, areas like Asparuhovo are becoming more fashionable. For years this area housed shipyard workers in rows of concrete blocks, but developers have moved in and the urban landscape is rapidly changing. Bord a local developer is constructing a luxury complex of three buildings to be known as Varna South Bay. Prices here range from 1,700 to 2,500 euro per sq m and there will be a wealth of high end facilities from swimming pools and a fitness centre to medical facilities and a ferry service. Looking for something speacial? Look no further than the wonderful Varna.