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1704 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 8, 2015
Sofia Apartments Yield 5.4% Average Rental Return – Real Estate Agency

Residential properties in Sofia currently offer average rental returns of 5.4%.

This compares with average interest of about 1% earned from deposits in local banks, according to central bank data, the Sofia-based real estate agency said on Tuesday.

The number of property deals in Sofia has increased by about 30% this year and residential property prices have grown by about 6%, according to data compiled by Bulgarian Properties.

The increase reflects an “upturn trend after several years of stagnation” and provides “opportunities for capital gains in the medium to long term,” the company said in a statement.

Monthly rents for one-bedroom apartments in Sofia are in the range of 300 to 550 euro, according to the real estate agency. For two-bedroom apartments, monthly rents vary between 400 and 800 euro. Rents for large apartments start from 900 euro.


November 18, 2015
Vitosha Blvd in Bulgaria’s Sofia Ranks World's 54th Most Expensive Retail Location

Vitosha Boulevard in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia ranks 54th among the 65 most expensive retail locations in the world, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s 2015/2016 report Main Streets Across the World.

With its EUR 528 per square meter (sq.m.) annual rent, Vitosha Boulevard goes down two positions compared to the 2014/2015 edition of the report.

Obchodna Ulica in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava is at par with Sofia, ranking 53rd in terms of annual rent per square meter.

Magheru Boulevard in Romania’s capital Bucharest is 52nd with rents of EUR 540/sq.m per year.

For a second consecutive year, New York’s Upper 5th Avenue scores first, with yearly rent of retail stores EUR 33,812/sq.m.

The second most expensive on the list is Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay where rents per square meter are worth EUR 23,178 a year.

With its third place in the global ranking Avenue des Champs Elysees in Paris remains the most expensive main street in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The average rent of retail property there is EUR 13,255/sq.m.


November 2, 2015
Building Permits, Construction Starts Increase in Bulgaria in Q3

Activity in Bulgaria’s construction sector is picking up, official figures showed on Monday.

Municipal authorities have issued 1,154 permits for the construction of residential buildings comprising a total of 4 670 dwellings in the third quarter, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) announced.

Compared with the prior quarter, the number of issued construction permits was 1.2% higher, while the number of dwellings in the future buildings has increased by 35.2%.

The gross built-up area of residential buildings, for which construction permits were issued in the third quarter, has increased by 27.5% compared with the second quarter, reaching 654,082 square meters.

Compared with the third quarter of 2014, the number of issued construction permits for new residential buildings has increased by 11.1% in the period July-September of 2015, the number of dwellings in them by 35.8% and the gross built-up area - by 47.4%.

Permits for the construction of 40 office buildings were also issued in the third quarter of 2015, down 9.1% compared with the prior quarter. The gross built-up area of those future buildings, however, has increased sharply, by 218%

The third quarter of 2015 also saw the launch of the construction of 741 residential buildings (up 23.5%, year-on-year) with a total of 3,006 dwellings (up 75.3%) and 446,375 sq.m. of gross built-up area, an increase of 103% compared with the same period of 2014.

The NSI also reported a rise in the number of construction starts of office buildings as well as an increase of the total built-up area.

The construction of 25 office buildings with a total of 51,410 sq.m. of gross built-up area was launched in the third quarter, an year-on-year increase of 13.6% and 139.4%, respectively.


October 20, 2015
Bulgaria’s Sofia Property Prices Rise 6% Y/Y in Jan-Sept – Report

Housing prices in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia have risen by 6% on the year in the first nine months of 2015 and the number of closed property deals has increased by 20% over the same period, according to data of Bulgarian Properties real estate agency.

The average purchase price of apartments in Sofia was EUR 781 per square meter in the first nine months of 2015 compared to EUR 738 sq.m. for the same period last year, Bulgarian Properties said in its latest Sofia housing prices report.

The real estate agency said that its calculations based on data from the Registry Agency also showed that a total of 16,838 property sales were completed in the period January-September 2015, compared to 13,888 for the same period last year.

The average price of the apartments sold in Sofia in the third quarter was EUR 794/sq.m., compared to EUR 780/sq.m. for the prior quarter and EUR 750/sq.m. for the third quarter of last year. The average purchase price of an apartment in Sofia was EUR 66,500 in the third quarter.

"Thus, we already have a clear vision of how the year is going to end – with around 6% increase of property prices and 20 to 30% more sales,” Polina Stoykova MRICS, Managing Director & Head of Research at Bulgarian Properties, commented in a statement.


June 17, 2015
Bulgaria 'Great Country for Rest and Stay' - Russian Website

A great many people are willing to acquire properties in Bulgaria, a local news outlet in Novosibirsk, south-central Russia, has said.

This is "the right choice", the brief report explains, pointing to several reasons to explain and to place focus on the ancient town (and now popular resort) of Nessebar in particular.

Property secures a means of low-risk investment, especially in terms of inflation, and in Bulgaria this is combined with the prospect of purchasing real estate at a lower price "than in other countries," suggests.

Tranquility, low crime rates and a relatively preserved environment also add to the appeal, alongside the fact that it doesn't take too much money to live here.

Seaside properties, on the other hand, are considered "a piece of heaven", Tayga adds.

It sets the example of the Black Sea town of Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which combines respite with cultural tourism due to its specific history and geography. Nessebar's Old town is described as something like "Bulgaria's main museum" since it draws a lot of tourists from across the globe.


April 14, 2015
Bulgaria's Agricultural Land Prices Rise 15% in 2014, Rental Prices Up 8%

The average price of agricultural land in Bulgaria rose 15.2% last year, reaching BGN 684 (EUR 342) per 1,000 square metres, the statistics office announced on Tuesday.

Rental prices per 1,000 sq m of agricultural land also rose, reaching BGN 41 (EUR 20.5) on average, an increase of 7.9% compared to 2013.

Land under vineyards marked the highest uear-on-year increase in price in 2014, by 41.4%, reaching BGN 451. The average price of arable land for sowing wheat and maize rose by 14%, followed by land under orchards (+1.6%) and permanent grassland (+24.2%).

The highest price in agricultural land transactions, BGN 957 (EUR 478.5) per 1,000 sq m, was recorded in northeastern Bulgaria, often called the country's breadbasket.

Looking at the rental prices for agricultural land in Bulgaria, the sharpest year-on-year increase was registered in the price of orchards (+16.7%) and in arable land (+10.3%). Rent prices for vineyards, however, dropped by 29.4%.


March 11, 2015
Bulgaria Leads in Rise in Commercial Property Sales in EU in 2014

Bulgaria posted the biggest rise in sales of commercial real estate in the EU last year, a new study has shown.

According to the latest edition of Cushman & Wakefield's International Investment Atlas, commercial properties worth USD 286 M (EUR 254 M) were sold in Bulgaria last year, an increase of 226% over 2013.

The statistics cover sales of offices, hotels, industrial properties, retail centres and land designated for construction purposes

The annual study covering property markets in 62 countries in the world has been presented in Sofia by Forton International, the strategic partner of Cushman & Wakefield for Bulgaria and Macedonia.

The recovery of the commercial property market in Bulgaria had accelerated in 2014 led by a rise in demand and occupancy rate in the segments of office and industrial properties, Forton CEO Michaela Lashova commented.

This in turn led to a rise in investors' interest in launching new projects as well as acquiring existing commercial properties that operate and generate revenues, she added.

Investment activity in the commercial property sector in Bulgaria is expected to remain high this year, depending mainly on the economic growth in the Eurozone which is the country's biggest trade partner.

Domestic investors will remain the key driver of sales growth in Bulgaria's commercial property sector, while the share of foreign capital will increase mainly in transactions for buying land for construction purposes and launching new projects or restarting frozen developments.


January 29, 2015
Sofia Dwelling Prices Rose by 3% in 2014

Real estate prices in Bulgaria's capital Sofia saw a nominal annual increase of 2.9% in 2014, a real estate consultant has said.

This is well below an average nominal increase of 0.5% registered across the country.

Annual property proces have thus gone up for the first time since the crisis began in Europe and worldwide.

"This is fully in line with our forecasts and expectations throughout the whole of 2014 about the end of the downward trend and the beginning of a new stage of the market development," the real estate firm notes.

Compared to other big cities the capital's property market is recovering at a higher speed, with prices there accelerating in Q4 of 2014 when the real annual increase was at 5% (compared to Q4, 2013) and 1.72% (compared to Q3, 2014).

Bulgaria's second-largest city Plovdiv has also seen an increase in property prices over the last quarter of 2014 (4.5%) and in 2014 in general (4.3%).

For the Black Sea cities of Burgas and Varna, the real annoual increase was 3.4% and 0.7%, respectively. Varna scored lower, but the agency attributes this to a solwer reactions to "positive trends" it says will be more visible in 2015.

Stara Zagora, a smaller city lying in south-central Bulgaria, registered one of the biggest increases in real estate prices (4.26%) on a national level in 2014.

On average, selling prices of apartments are as follows: - Sofia - 757 Euro/sq.m.• Plovdiv – 487 Euro/sq.m.• Varna – 704 Euro/sq.m.• Bourgas – 581 Euro/sq.m.• Stara Zagora – 457 Euro/sq.m.• Veliko Тarnovo – 373 Euro/sq.m.

Real change of prices is estimated after inflation deduction, calculated with the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP). The deduction of inflation provides a more accurate estimation of the real price changes, so when using the NSI data we always make the necessary calculations to obtain a more precise market picture.


January 23, 2015
Dwelling Prices in Bulgaria Registered Increase at End of 2014

The market prices of dwellings in Bulgaria increased in the last three months of 2014, according to a study of the National Statistical Institute (NSI), which was released on Friday.

The prices of dwellings increased with 0.7 % compared to the preceding three-month period in 2014, and registered 1.2 % growth compared to the same period in 2013.

An increase has been registered in 13 of the regional centres and the district of Sofia, with Burgas, Stara Zagora and Ruse recording the most considerable growth in prices in the last three months of 2014.

The remaining 14 regional centres have registered a decrease in the prices of dwellings.

The average market price for dwellings in the country during the last three months of 2014 was BGN 874 per square metre.

The highest prices are recorded in the capital Sofia, followed by Varna and Burgas.

The average increase of the prices of dwellings in 2014 was 0.5 % compared to 2013.


January 4, 2015
Russian-Owned Properties in East Bulgaria Number 500 000

As many as 500 000 properties in Eastern Bulgaria are owned by Russian citizens, the country's General Consulate in the country estimates.

At the same time, five Russians have become Bulgarian citizens by paying BGN 1 M in 2014, an option allowed under Bulgarian law.

Most Russians, who are temporarily or permanently based in the districts of Varna, Dobrich, Shumen (in the north-east) or Burgas, Sliven and Yambol (south-east) are involved in business activities such as real estate or tourism.

Many tend to purchase a dwelling in Bulgaria to live here and not only for the holidays, the consulate says cited by private TV station BTV. The Black Sea coast their preferred area.

In a decade, Russians have invested nearly USD 2 B into Bulgaria. This corresponds to what Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted during his visit to Sofia in July, though he also put the number of Russian citizens having bought properties in Bulgaria at over 300 000.

However, recent reports also suggest the number of Russians buying housing in Bulgaria has dwindled, partly due to Russia's currency crisis.

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Above information courtesy of Bulgarian National Radio, and Financial Times


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