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1702 Years From
The Edict of Toleration

On April 30, 311, Galerius proclaimed the Edict of Toleration at Serdica (today's Sofia - the Capital of Bulgaria) ending the Christian persecutions. Galerius died on May 5, 311. He was succeeded by Constantine I, his longtime rival. Constantine's rule marked a significant turning point for the Roman Empire, for he was the first emperor to convert to Christianity, but even prior to that had strengthened the original 311 edict of tolerance with his own Edict of Milan in 313, which banned all forms of religious persecution in the empire.


December 20, 2013
Bulgarian Property Market Expected to Revive in 2014

The Bulgarian housing market activity is expected to increase in 2014.

Prices will vary depending on the quality of the property.

The major market driver will be buyers with stable income and cash savings, according to the prognosis of the Bulgarian real estate agency Adres.

"Deposit interest rates are expected to drop further in the next 12 months and the decline of real estate prices will stop, which will activate buyers," Georgi Pavlov, executive director of Adres said.

"We expect that a lot of people who have savings accounts will consider investing in real estate, once they note the decrease in interest rates. Property investment is a safe bet, and a possible price hike would make it even more profitable," Pavlov explained.

According to Pavlov, the real estate market will be predictable and without any significant risks in 2014. The price drop is already in the past – some properties may become a few percent cheaper, however residential real estate in sought-after areas will rise in price.

The market already indicates property shortage and new construction is a scarce commodity.

Some 60% - 70% of the apartments in certain buildings still in the construction stage, have already been sold.

According to the company's expectations, many new residential properties in prime neighborhoods will be constructed next year. These new quality properties will meet buyers' requirements and will further boost the market.

The real estate market stability will result in increased transactions for EUR 55 000-60 000. More people will invest in property next year – some 15% compared to 9% in 2013.


December 19, 2013
Price Hike of Office Rental Rates in Bulgaria Expected

Premium class office space rents in Bulgaria will reach new heights in 2014.

The top office rental rates will rise in price up to EUR 10 per sq/m.

The prognosis is of the advisory company Forton, an Alliance Partner of Cushman & Wakefield for Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia.

According to a survey held by Forton this December, the demand for office buildings has increased substantially in the last months and many leaseholders face the prospect of a rental price hike. The tendency will continue next year, including the cities of Varna and Plovdiv.

Rental rates in Sofia fluctuate around EUR 7-10 per sq/m, while the prices in Plovdiv vary between EUR 6-9 per sq/m. These rates have remained almost unchanged throughout 2013, except for the oversized office spaces and those in the Sofia city outskirts which may drop to EUR 3-4 per sq/m.

According to the National Statistical Institute (NSI), only 64 commercial permits were issued in H1 2013, which is a decline of over 15% compared to the same period 2012.


December 19, 2013
Russia, Ukraine Beat Traditional CEE Retail Investment Markets - Colliers

A growing proportion of the investment in shopping centers in Central and Eastern Europe is being made in Russia and the Ukraine, with the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary seeing their share fall.

That is the key finding of a new report published by the commercial property company Colliers, entitled "The Dynamic of Dominant Shopping Centers."

The report described Warsaw, Budapest, Prague and Bratislava as the "traditional safe havens for investment" and their respective countries as "the driving forces of retail investment activity."

By 2012/13, however, Ukraine and Russia accounted for about twice as much retail investment activity as these former driving forces.

"The potential for growth into Russia and the Ukraine has become a significant interest to many major retailers," Colliers said in a statement.

Until around 2005, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary accounted for the overwhelming majority — more than 90 percent — of annual investment in major retail complexes in the wider Central and Eastern Europe region, figures published by Colliers indicate.

Within just two years, the picture had changed significantly, with Russia and Ukraine accounting for about 1.5 billion euros worth of retail investment activity, close to a quarter of the region's total.

There was a similar level of investment in Southeast Europe, which includes Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia, during the same year, again up from almost nothing a few years earlier.

There was a tailing off everywhere in 2008/09 as a result of the global financial crisis, then a recovery before another heavy drop hit in 2010/11.

Russia and Ukraine have recovered much more significantly from this second dip: In 2012/13, Central Europe accounted for about 0.75 billion euros of retail investment activity, while in Russia and Ukraine the figure was well above 1.5 billion euros.

It is Russia and Ukraine that dominate the charts when it comes to shopping center space in the pipeline, with Moscow's "massive" total of 1.16 million square meters more than 10 times the figure for the whole of Central Europe, where just 110,800 square meters of new space is planned.

"Moscow appears unsaturated and the scope for further expansion remains high," the report said, with a "well below average" figure of 243 square meters per person at present.

"All the traditional [Central European] markets of Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava and Budapest seem relatively full — although there is capacity for some niche developments and extension or remodeling of existing projects — whereby any new schemes entering the market are likely to cannibalize other existing centers, or simply struggle to succeed," said the report.

Growth in online retailing is another factor likely to increase competition for physical shopping centers in these markets.

Bulgaria ranked first in the European Union in the number of new shopping malls in the first half of the 2010, but now the number of malls is on the slide.

Most malls and shopping developments are clustered in Bulgaria's capital Sofia and the process of mallification continues unabated in its southern districts.

Bulgaria Mall, Paradise Center and Sofia Ring Mall, which is yet to be opened, dominate the new retail supply in the Sofia, cumulatively, delivering to the market in Sofia approximately 180,000 sq. m.

The opening of furniture giant IKEA, which took place in September 2011, stimulated the competition in this segment, being a major determining factor for the price and product policy of many operators on the market.


December 13, 2013
ABB Receives Bulgarian Building of Year 2013 Award

ABB Bulgaria EOOD has been awarded Bulgarian Building of the Year 2013.

The building was chosen because of its high quality, energy efficiency and sustainability characteristics.

ABB Bulgaria EOOD received the award for Bulgarian Building of the Year 2013 by 'The City Media Group' for its newest industrial building in the town of Rakovski Thursday December 12.

The official ground breaking ceremony was held in December 2012. The industrial building in Rakovski is the second significant ABB Group's investment in the town. The site covers a total area of 15 000 square meters and the plant will function as ABB's internal supplier once production starts in late January 2014. When fully completed, it is expected to employ about 600 people.

The award winners are the building owner ABB, the designer Lindner Immobilien Management EOOD and the construction company Sienit Ltd.

'We are honored to receive this award as a high recognition of our new investment in Rakovski, the result of which is the rapid construction of this high quality building, owing to the positive atmosphere and cooperation in Bulgaria,' said Ekkehard Neureither, ABB Country Manager for Bulgaria at the awards ceremony Thursday.

The main criteria for the selection of ABB's building concern the surrounding infrastructure, energy efficiency, sustainability, environmental characteristics, originality, transport accessibility, and the architecture and execution quality.

The national contest Building of the Year organized annually by 'The City Media Group' is the most prestigious event in Bulgaria, which reviews the trends in investment projects, construction and architecture, and recognizes the best achievements of the year. The contest was founded 12 years ago; the winners are selected by professional organizations representatives, specialists and businessmen.

ABB EOOD operates in Bulgaria through a company with a head office in Sofia, as well as offices and branches at five other locations. ABB production units for low voltage products, for high voltage products and transformers, and for low and medium voltage products are located respectively in Petrich, Sevlievo and Rakovski. The company has a turbochargers service center in Varna, as well as an accounting and human resources center in Rakovski. ABB has more than 1600 employees in Bulgaria.

ABB ( is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable public and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering negative environmental impact. The ABB company operates in approximately 100 countries and employs 150 000 people.


October 31, 2013
Bulgaria Rebounds after Falling off Investors' Radars - Colliers

Recent evidence on the ground points to a rebound in activity in the main markets of Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania after falling off the radar for many investors, particularly those seeking core and core plus assets, according to Colliers International.

Eastern European Tier 1 locations, Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic have recently been characterised by a more active investment market and greater availability of debt finance, says Colliers International new research report called, Closing the Gap, which considers the investment risk appetite for the main Tier 2 locations in Eastern Europe.

The report also points out that Bulgaria’s GDP has adapted well since EU accession in 2007 and from a yield perspective Bulgarian asset classes are well above the CRE 3.0 per cent yield premium threshold over local 10 year sovereigns, which is a very positive investor message from a macro perspective.

Romanian prime yields are trading at a similar discount of those in Bulgaria at around 300 bps to bonds, also putting the market in a strong light from a macro investor perspective. However, Romania is similar to Bulgaria in that debt availability is low and expensive.

This yield message is reinforced when comparing these markets to the Tier 1 cities in the region and wider European area. There are discounts of at least 200 bps available relative to the likes of Warsaw and Prague, or even Madrid which is now re-emerging from its post-crisis nadir.

Just as importantly, property values remain below peak and par values in these Tier 2 cities, and office markets look like they are finally recovering from a long bottom with take-up and absorption improving, pushing down vacancy rates.

Yields may need to soften a little more to encourage investors back into the markets but overall sentiment suggests that the Tier 2 markets, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, are worth considering as a target for investment capital, the report concludes.


October 29, 2013
Number of Repossessed Properties in Bulgaria Increases, Says Stats

There has been an increase in the number of properties repossessed due to loan defaults, according to data by Bulgaria Chamber of Private Enforcement Agents.

There has been an increase of 31% in the number of repossessed properties in Bulgaria since the beginning of the year, according to data by Chamber of Private Enforcement Agents, informs “Trud” newspaper.

Even though there is a slow-down in the increase of bad debts, according to bank stats, there is a significant increase in sales of foreclosed properties in Bulgaria, according to private enforcement agents.

4800 foreclosed properties has been sold out in the first half of 2013, while the total number of sold foreclosed properties for the whole 2012 was 7780, according to Georgi Dichev, a private enforcement agent, as cited by “Trud”.

The market of foreclosed properties of all type – residential properties, office real estate, hotels, buildings and storehouses becomes more popular, because the properties are offered for sale at prices which are way below the ones at the traditional real estate market and customers are turning to this secondary market in search for low-price offers, explains the enforcement agent.


October 23, 2013
Bulgaria Residential Property Prices Edge Down in Q3

The average asking sales prices for residential property in Bulgaria continued to fall, though slightly, in the third quarter of 2013, data of realtors shows.

Even though prime neighborhoods had a negligible, average decrease of 1.8% in an year-on-year comparison, 2013 was the fourth year in a row when residential property prices in Bulgaria edged down.

The average asking sales prices in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia stood at BGN 1 444.83 per square meter, in the coastal Varna – BGN 1 381.33 per square meter and Burgas – BGN 1 113.33 per square meter.

Residential property prices marked the sharpest fall in towns, plagued by high unemployment rates, such as Vidin, Vratsa and Dobrich.

The fall in prices this time was not due to soft demand, but rather to the need of sellers to dispose of their property and get cash, as well as due to the limited budgets of the buyers, experts say.

Developers remain flexible; willing to offer attractive schemes for installment payment, finishing works or parking spaces as well as rent-to-buy opportunity.

Buyers are careful and have high expectations from the developers. Few, if any, transactions are closed on the asking sales prices.


October 11, 2013
Sofia Citizens Ride in to Buy Coastal Holiday Homes

Citizens of Bulgaria’s capital Sofia are steadily joining Russians, Brits and Irish as buyers on the market of holiday properties on the country's Black Sea coast, according to realtors.

The resorts of Tsarevo, Kiten, Lozenest and Primorsko are currently hot spots for Sofia citizens, looking to buy a second home in the sun and by the sea.

The offer price of vacation properties on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast most in demand is about EUR 60 000.

But the trend is new and the capital Sofia continues to be the most active location on the Bulgarian market.

The major buyers of holiday homes in Bulgaria over the last few years have been Russians who focus mostly on the Southern Black Sea coast but have also started to consider Bulgaria's mountain resorts and the village homes along the Bulgarian Northern Black Sea homes.

The British who several years ago invested in cheap vacation properties still under construction later drove the entire market of "secondary" vacation properties, this time by selling.


October 9, 2013
Bulgarian Property Sales Improve During 3rd Quarter

Bulgaria's real estate market has experienced a 1.42% growth in sales on an annual basis during the third quarter of 2013.

A total of 59 475 real estate properties were sold during the third quarter, reveals Bulgarian Properties.

The property sales in the bigger regional cities account for 53% of the total national sales.

The highest increase compared to the same period in 2012 is registered in Burgas, with a rise of 23,43%. This is attributed to a much higher interest in sea-side properties from Ukrainian and Russian nationals.

In the capital Sofia, 7.74% more properties were sold compared to the same period in 2012. Plovdiv registered a similar increase, at 7.64%


August 20, 2013
Bulgarian Real Estate Agencies Report 20% Increase in Property Sales

Real estate agencies are reporting a 20% increase in sales compared to the summer of 2012.

According to reports of the Bulgarian National Television (BNT), as cited by, there has been a strong upsurge in interest in the luxury property market.

However, property purchases financed through mortgage loans have decreased.

In the season of summer holidays, sales of property located in the southern part of Sofia and at the foot of the Vitosha mountain are traditionally active.

In the summer of 2013, the next most popular location is Sofia's Nadezhda residential district, where three new subway stations were built.

Bulgarians mostly opt for two-bedroom apartments.

Prices currently vary between EUR 500 - 1000 per square meter.

The average price in downtown Sofia is around EUR 700 per square meter.

Top areas for buying property in the summer of 2013 are Varna, Burgas, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, and Blagoevgrad.

Foreigners mostly buy property on the Black Sea coast.


July 27, 2013
CEE investors to Get Out of Govt Bonds into Real Estate - Survey

Recent nervousness over a possible bubble in sovereign fixed income securities have prompted some investors to get out of government bonds and into real estate, a survey says.

The trend has been set by Norway's sovereign wealth fund Norges and reports suggest others like JP Morgan, M&G Real Estate and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) may soon follow suit, attracted by the gap in prime yields between bonds and property.

A short-term mild hardening of yields looks likely in core CEE markets, to be followed by a medium term softening in line with bonds some 18-24 months down the linel, according to a Colliers International's research paper Mind The Gap.

With no dramatic changes in rents anticipated on the downside, prime office property continues to look a good bet and warrants the shifts in allocations being reported and realised.

"As for where the money goes in the future, that appears to depend on investors' attitudes toward country risk and the availability of appropriately priced product", commented Damian Harrington, Regional Director of Research for Colliers International in Eastern Europe.

"Increasingly, allocations are likely to be driven by the availability of appropriately priced product which are typically found in the larger markets. As pricing really tightens and product dries up, however, we are likely to see a shift into peripheral locations and secondary assets as investors move up the risk curve in search of value".

Colliers paper looks at the implications of recent movements in 'safe-haven' government bond yields on the commercial property investment market and the sustainability of the superior yields and returns possible in commercial real estate over sovereign bonds in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

The report explains why government bond yields differ, shows how 10-year bond yields in CEE countries relate to benchmark German bonds, and compares German bond yields to CEE property yields.

It also asks are market pricing comparisons rational at all, and concludes that two conflicting forces appear to be at work with regard to prime yield pricing.

On the one hand increasing asset allocations to property looks set to continue as investors shift out of equities and bonds in search of lower volatility.

According to the paper this increase in the weight of money compared to a relatively illiquid supply of prime assets will harden real estate prices and ultimately shift money into secondary property assets and locations.

On the other hand, money switching out of safe-haven bonds (at all time pricing lows) coupled with increasing inflationary pressure in the general economy, should see bond rates continue to rise in the near future.

This has the adverse effect of increasing target returns, which will lead to a softening of prime yields in the medium term in order 'to be rational', the report says.


June 19, 2013
City Center Sofia Goes for Major Facelift, Re-Positioning

City Center Sofia, Bulgaria's first shopping center of modern type, is about to get a major refurbishment and new anchor tenants in a bid to re-position itself on the market, the owners announced. The owners have hired ECE company to undertake a detailed feasibility study regarding the re-positioning of the property, following the positive results of an initial study, undertaken during the first half of 2013.ECE has over 40 years experience in planning, construction and leasing retail projects throughout Europe, including Sofia. Currently the company owns and manages 187 shopping centers throughout Europe, including Serdika Center in Bulgaria's capital. City Center Sofia (CCS) is the first shopping center of modern type in Bulgaria. Since it was opened in 2006, the project currently attracts over 13 000 visitors per day. The re-positioning and re-branding of the property will include securing new anchor tenants, the improvement of internal layouts, the revision of the main entrance and external appearance and new signage. CCS is located in the central business district of Sofia, on the busy intersection of Cherni Vrah and Arsenalski Boulevards.„Our retail expertise is underpinned by several decades of experience in the sector as well as the financial strength of the ECE Group and enables us to cater to the full range of needs and requirements of our clients", says Mr. Plamen Iltchev, Managing Director of ECE in Bulgaria.AIG/Lincoln and Colliers will continue to act as Property Managers and Leasing Agents respectively.The new cinema at CCS, operated by the Indian company Cine Grand, is due to re-open in the second half of 2013.


May 3, 2013
Nearly EUR 57 B Invested in European Office Property in 2012 - Colliers

Approximately EUR 56.7 B was invested in European office property last year, down by some 7% on the previous year, according to data of realtor Colliers International.

One of the most notable individual asset transactions completed was the sale and lease back of the Credit Suisse global HQ in Zurich to Norway's NBIM, which followed the sale of the Credit Suisse London HQ to the Qatar Investment Authority earlier in the year.

Economic stagnation in Europe continued to hold back rental growth, although regional disparities remain well apparent, the experts from the real estate agency commented.

Rental increase was registered in Dusseldorf and Munich, as the vacancy rate in the German office market reached a 10 year low, driven by above average take-up.

Noticeable increases were seen in Moscow, Oslo and Lyon.

Declines continue to be prevalent in those markets most directly exposed to the effects of the euro crisis such as Madrid, Lisbon and also in Geneva.

Colliers experts forecast that while further rental appreciation in prime lease rates is still expected in some German cities and Oslo, reductions cannot be ruled out in cities hardest hit by the economic crisis or dealing with quick supply growth such as Warsaw.

Rental values are expected to remain broadly flat in the majority of markets, but only for the best buildings and locations, while pressure on rents for secondary space is likely to remain steady or intensify.


April 11, 2013
Greek Fourlis, Danaos to Build Whole New District near Sofia

A whole new district with a residential complex and a business project will be erected in the capital, next to the future Sofia Ring Mall near Bulgaria's sole IKEA store.

Greek investors Fourlis and Danaos plan to invest EUR 70 M in a residential complex and a further EUR 50 M in a business project, both part of the EUR 300 M Sofia Ring Development.

Sofia Ring Development is scheduled to be fully completed in 2019.

Sofia Ring Mall, which is to become Bulgaria's largest retail and entertainment destination together with the closely located store of IKEA Bulgaria, will be the first building to be unveiled in the mega complex in about a year.

The shopping center will provide to its customers views towards the city and Vitosha Mountain and a lot of green areas.

It will feature a tenant mix of over 200 stores, including fashion and sport stores, entertainment facilities, a 10-screen cinema multiplex. More than 25 000 sq meters of gross leasable area are slated to anchor tenants and more than 20 000 sq meters to fashion brands. In total Sofia Ring Mall will have 69 000 square meters of gross leasable area, and 172 000 square meters of gross building area on 3 retail floors.

One of the biggest advantages of Sofia Ring Mall is that it's a unique cluster of "big box" operators working in synergy with a classical "shopping mall" mix, making it and all-in-one offer catering all needs of visitors, the investors say.


March 21, 2013
Novotel Sofia Officially Inaugurated, Accor Upbeat on Bulgaria

The first Novotel Sofia, a high-class accommodation and office venue, part of the world's leading hotel operator Accor, was officially pronounced open on March 21, four months after it welcomed its first guests.

"We are proud that Novotel became the new place where business meets in Sofia for the short time we are here," Vincent Dujardin, General Manager of Novotel Sofia, told journalists in one of the hotel's conference rooms.

"For the past almost four months the hotel has been providing excellent service both for guests and corporate clients, and I am convinced that we will attract even more interest with our unique concept of being innovative and modern," he added.

Sofia is now the newest addition to the list of major capitals with Novotel hotels, promising to provide its customers with the same high level of comfort as everywhere in the world.

"The opening of Novotel Sofia is an important step in the company's development in Central and Eastern Europe," said Bruno Coudry, CEO Central & Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, Accor.

"We have an ambitious development plan for the region for 2013, mainly through management contracts and franchise," he added.

"Welcoming Accor to Sofia makes this day very special. Accor is France's stand in the global exhibition hall. I hope that its entry will herald the entry of more French brands," French Ambassador to Bulgaria Philippe Autie commented.

Bulgarian investment company MHQ is Accor's partner for the realization of Novotel Sofia. It is a daughter company of Markan Ltd. one of the top rated construction companies in Bulgaria, established in 1993. The investment exceeds EUR 22 M.

"Now are difficult times for implementing these types of projects in Bulgaria. But we are optimists because we have Accor as our partner. With a partner as Accor everything seems much easier," Valentin Karazirov, Markan CEO, said at the press conference.

Sofia municipality hopes that Novotel's presence will assert further the Bulgarian capital as a dynamic business and travel destination.

"This hotel is a big asset for Sofia not only with its new building with a modern look, but also with the many facilities that it provides for guests and businesses in the city," mayor Yordanka Fandakova commented.


March 18, 2013
Sofia Hotels Changing Hands No Sign of Crisis, on the Contrary - Expert

The recent developments on the hotel market in Sofia - some exchanging hands, others still up for sale - are no sign of crisis, on the contrary, according to George Veltchev, Bulgarian businessman, investment banker and long-standing investor in tourism.

"The recent sale of arguably the best located hotel in Sofia, and Bulgaria, Radisson Blu, is a testimony to the fact that hotels are back in vogue, that Bulgarian entrepreneurs are keen to put their money to work in Bulgaria, and that there is hope for the hospitality industry," George Veltchev said in an interview for and its Bulgarian-language sister version

Speaking shortly after the new Novotel opened doors, George Veltchev said there are signs that at least two new top-tier brands will be entering the market over the next 2-3 years.

He specified he is not talking about mid-range Spanish or French brands, but real world-class brands, such as Marriott, Hyatt.

"Às well as new, even above the so-called "Upper-Upscale" brands of the already present operators, such as Waldorf Astoria, Ritz Carlton, and W, normally categorized as "Luxury", Veltchev added.


February 11, 2013
Irish Quinn Group Puts Sofia Hilton Up for Sale

The Hilton hotel in the Bulgarian capital Sofia has been put up for sale by its present owner Irish company Quinn Group because of debts.

In addition to the Hilton Sofia, Quinn Group is also selling the Sheraton in the Polish city of Krakow, the Bulgarian paper Capital Daily reported Monday.

US company Jones Lang LaSalle is the consultant in Quinn Group's sale of the two hotels.

February 22, 2013, is the deadline for submitting non-binding offers for the Hilton Sofia, while the deadline for binding offers will be at the end of spring, the report said.

No starting price for any of the two hotels has been mentioned but Quinn Group is said to be hoping to cover a EUR 121 M debt from The Bank of New York Mellon to one of its companies.

The consultant has stressed the good location, strong brand, and the recovering hotel services market in Sofia as advantages for the Hilton in the Bulgarian capital.


February 3, 2013
Emblematic Football Field to Be Blown Up in Sofia

The "A" sector of the emblematic football field "Georgi Asparuhov" in Sofia will be demolished in a controlled explosion Sunday afternoon.

Over 300 kilos of explosives will be used in the operation, which is scheduled for 4:30 pm.

The football field is used for the host games and training practices of one of the top football teams in Sofia and in Bulgaria - Football Club "Levski."

The explosion will take about 10 to 15 minutes, but there will be significant dust and debris. Police will secure the premises and access of people is banned. Adjacent buildings have been secured as well.

The most recent reconstruction of the football field was launched in June 2006. In the following years a new information board was mounted; the grass cover was replaced; new heating and draining systems were built, and sectors "G" and "B" were repaired in the spring and summer of 2011.

In October 2011, the CEO of "Levski," Ivo Tonev, announced plans for complete overhaul of the field. According to them, only the field itself and a small part of the benches will be preserved.

The field in the Sofia district "Gerena" is the third field of the "Levski" FC. In 1936 - 1949, the team had its own field, called "Levski," which was located on part of the current terrain of the National Stadium in downtown Sofia.

After the construction of the National Stadium was lunched, the FC temporarily used the "Yunak" field. In 1952, it moved to a new facility, which is currently the location of the swimming complex "Spartak" in the "Ivan Vazov" district.

The construction of the "Georgi Asparuhov" field in "Gerena" started in 1960. It officially opened on March 10, 1963.


January 31, 2013
Decline in Bulgaria's House Prices Slowed Down in 2012

The decline in Bulgaria's house prices has slowed down over the last several quarters, according to Eurostat.

House prices in the Balkan country saw a quarterly decrease of 1.1% in the third quarter of 2012. Bulgaria had registered quarterly decreases of 1.6%, 3.7% and 5.8% in Q2 2012, Q1 2012 and Q4 2011, respectively.

Among the Member States for which data are available, the highest annual increases in house prices in the third quarter of 2012 were recorded in Estonia (+8.4%), Luxembourg (+7.1%) and Finland (+2.1%), and the largest falls in Spain (-15.2%), Ireland (-9.6%), the Netherlands (-8.7%) and Portugal (-7.7%).

The highest quarterly increases in the third quarter of 2012 were recorded in Estonia (+2.6%), Latvia (+2.3%), the United Kingdom (+1.7%) and Ireland (+1.6%), and the largest falls in Romania (-4.2%), the Netherlands (-3.9%) and Spain (-3.7%).


January 23, 2013
Bulgaria's Dwelling Prices Slumped by 2.7% in 2012

The market price index of the dwellings in Bulgaria for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the third quarter of 2012 was 99.3%, i.e. the average decrease of the market prices of the dwellings was 0.7%.

The data was released Wednesday by the National Statistical Institute.

The market price index of the dwellings for the fourth quarter of 2012 in comparison with the corresponding quarter of the previous year was 98.6%, i.e. the average decrease of the market prices of the dwellings was 1.4%.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to the previous one, a price decrease was recorded in 23 regional centers. It was noted more considerably in Kardzhali and Razgrad - by 2.9%, and in Pazardzhik- by 2.8 %. Price increases were recorded in 4 regional cities - Vidin, Kyustendil, Burgas and Ruse) and in Sofia region.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, the average market price of the dwellings for the whole country was BGN 875.14 per sq. m. The highest ones were the average prices in the capital Sofia - BGN 1 440.50 per sq. m, followed by the Black Sea cities of Varna - BGN 1 424.93 per sq. m and Burgas - BGN 1 140.43 per sq. m.

The market price index of the dwellings for 2012, compared to 2011 was 97.3 %, i.e. the average decrease of the market price of the dwellings was 2.7%.

In 2012 compared to 2011, a price decrease was recorded in 22 regional centers. It was more considerably noted in Montana - by 12.1%, Sliven - by 8.2.0% and in Vratsa - by 7.3%. Price increase was recorded in 6 regional cities - Gabrovo, Pazardzhik, Shumen, Ruse, Blagoevgrad and Targovishte.

In 2012, the average market price of the dwellings for the whole country was BGN 881.38 per sq. m. The highest ones were the average prices in Sofia - BGN 1 452.64 per sq. m, followed by Varna - BGN 1 429.69 per sq. m.

The market price index of the dwellings measures the total relative price change of the prices of existing dwellings - flats (newly built flats, houses and luxury dwellings are excluded). The object of the statistical survey is the prices of flats really sold, by households, in the district centers.


January 14, 2013
Bulgaria Residential Property Prices Down Again in 2012

The average asking sales prices for residential property in Bulgaria continued to fall, though slightly, in 2012, data of realtors shows.

Even though prime neighborhoods had a negligible, average decrease of below 5% in an year-on-year comparison, 2012 was the fourth year in a row when residential property prices in Bulgaria edged down, according to a report of

The average asking sales prices in prime neighborhoods such as the Doctor's Garden marked an average decrease of around 15%, but this is an exception, experts say.

Most Sofia districts saw a decrease in the average asking prices of 4-6% year-on-year, according to the report.

The fall in prices this time was not due to soft demand, but rather to the need of sellers to dispose of their property and get cash, as well as due to the limited budgets of the buyers, experts say.

Developers remain flexible; willing to offer attractive schemes for installment payment, finishing works or parking spaces as well as rent-to-buy opportunity.

Buyers are careful and have high expectations from the developers. Few, if any, transactions are closed on the asking sales prices.


January 8, 2013
Momento Plus Opens Two Restaurants at Sofia Airport Center

Momento Plus, a concept that blends fast food, sit-down service and catering, is about to open two restaurants at Sofia Airport Center (SAC), which was recently crowned Building of the Year for 2012.

Tishman International Companies' building will accommodate one Momento Plus four-star restaurant and a fast food outlet.

They will spread over 705 square meters within SAC and will be located in the center of the complex, near the lake.

The restaurants will be surrounded by well-maintained green park, open terraces and a parking lot.

The first clients will be welcomed in April 2013.

Tishman International Companies' Sofia Airport Center (SAC) captured two awards in the 11th national "Building of the Year" contest, sponsored by the Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development, in the middle of December last year.

SAC, which is Bulgaria's first commercial Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified development, garnered awards in two categories: "Public Buildings with Business Functions" and "Green Buildings."

SAC consists of 180,000 square meters (1.8-million square feet) of Class A office space and 30,000 square meters (301,489 square-feet) of logistics and warehouse space, which feature state-of-the-art security and safety systems. Future plans call for a high-quality, 175-room hotel with recreational, dining and conference facilities, as well as additional logistics space.

Tishman International Companies is currently active in the United States, United Kingdom and Central & Eastern Europe including Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.

The firm specializes, in the acquisition, development, management and financing of commercial real estate. Tishman has been a consultant and joint venture partner to some of the world's leading institutions and private investors and has recently been appointed by a UK Fund to provide asset and development management services for a portfolio of 12 properties located in Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia.

In 1986, Tishman International established its European headquarters in London, England. Since then, the company has developed and managed in excess of six million square feet of premier office and commercial space in the United Kingdom. Additionally, Tishman has provided acquisition and management expertise for millions of square feet of prime real estate assets in Europe, including several Supermarket Centres in the Czech Republic for an International Supermarket Company.

Its roster of clients and partners has included Metropolitan Life, New York Life, Teachers Insurance, Bank of America, Grosvenor International, Citibank, American Express, Fidelity Investments, Lend Lease, HVB Real Estate, and many others.

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Above information courtesy of Bulgarian National Radio, and Financial Times


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