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1707 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 8,2018
Chinese Companies Interested in Investing in Sofia Region

Sofia, December 8 (BTA) - Sofia Regional Governor Ilian Todorov has conferred with representatives of the State Agriculture Department of the Chinese Jiangxi province and with officials of some of the biggest companies in the farming sector in Jiangxi, the Sofia Regional Administration said in a press release.

The participants in the meeting expressed their intention to invest in the Sofia Region, in the production of organic tea, potatoes, and rice. One of the biggest Chinese companies expressed an interest to invest in the development of mineral springs, real estate, and copper mining.

The participants in the meeting discussed opportunities for the implementation of project in the Sofia Region as part of the One Belt, One Road initiative.

The Chinese guests included the deputy head of the Jiangxi provincial department of agriculture, the head of the department of foreign affairs, and directors of some of the biggest companies in the province.


August 28,2018
Foreign Direct Investment Plummets in Recent Years

Sofia, August 28 (BTA) - Foreign direct investment in the Bulgarian economy has taken a nosedive in recent years, Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) Executive President Radosvet Radev told journalists on Tuesday. Radev noted that in 2017, foreign direct investment amounted to 1.858 billion leva, which was 9.8 per cent of total investment (foreign and domestic). This compares with 17.711 billion leva in foreign direct investment in 2007, accounting for 98.6 per cent of total investment.

Between 2007 and 2017, the annual amount of total investment (foreign and domestic) in Bulgaria remained relatively steady at around 18 billion leva, peaking at 24 billion leva in 2008, but the share and the absolute amount of foreign direct investment plummeted, Radev said.

BIA Vice President Kamen Kolev said the Bulgarian economy has been decapitalized and clearly needs more investment. According to him, the standard ratio of foreign direct investment to GDP is 1 to 10. Given that Bulgaria's GDP is approximately 100 billion leva annually, this means that the country needs about 10 billion leva in foreign direct investment a year but the actual level is far lower.

In the first six months of 2018, foreign direct investment stood at 250 million leva, which was half the level in the first six months of 2017, Kolev said, citing data from the Bulgarian National Bank.

In 2017, the money which Bulgarians working abroad remitted to recipients in Bulgaria exceeded foreign direct investment by far. The gap is even larger than officially estimated because statisticians only take into account remittances of 2,000 leva and over. Transfers of smaller amounts of money and physical deliveries of cash remain unregistered. This kind of money goes mainly towards consumption and only a small portion is used for investment, but even so, it has a positive effect on the economy, Kolev said.

The largest share (one-fifth) of foreign investment flows into the manufacturing industries. The real estate sector, banking and insurance services also absorb notable amounts of foreign investment, Kolev said. He remarked that, on a regional level, the ratio of foreign direct investment to GDP in Bulgaria is still higher than in Romania but Bulgaria's lead used to be much more significant. Compared with Serbia and Croatia, the situation in Bulgaria is far worse.

Radev proposed that some of the major infrastructure projects in Bulgaria, including the building of another nuclear power plant, should be carried out on a concession basis. This will push foreign direct investment up to the necessary level. Smaller investors are discouraged by the cumbersome bureaucracy, corruption and the large number of licences and certificates they need to obtain, Radev said


August 6,2018
The Four Neighborhoods in Sofia, where the Most Homes are Currently Sold

"Dianabad", "Manastirski livadi-Iztok", "Geo Milev" and "Oborishte" are the four neighborhoods in Sofia, where there is the largest number of purchases of housing at the moment. Of these, prices are the lowest in Dianabad - an average of 950 euros per square meter, and the highest - in Oborishte - an average of 1300 euros per square meter. This shows analysis at the end of the second quarter of the year by Arco Real Estate, which specializes in real estate. Overall, however, the valuation of specialists showed a slight growth of 2.28% in real estate supply over the period. First of all, the number of offers for three-bedroom apartments, the average price for the capital is about 1000 euro per sq.m. Following are those for one-bedroom apartments with an average of 1020 euro per sq m.

Which are the preferred neighborhoods for buyers?

With regard to the preferences of the buyers are the estates in the districts of Iztok, Reduta, Oborishte, Krastova vada, Vitosha, Borovo, Geo Milev, Mladost 1, Center "," Dianabad "," Lozenets "and" Malinova dolina ".

On the other side the least interest is in the districts "B-5", "Svoboda", "Xladilnika", "Knyazevo", "Opolandovtsi" and "Poligon".

"Leading demand remains for an apartment to buy - about 84% of our customers are divided into groups who look for different types of apartments," the experts explain.

Most searched are two-room apartments

"The analysis of the Agency's search shows that in the second quarter of 2018 the most preferred are again two-room apartments, which represent 33% of the total demand at an average price of 65,000 euros, followed by the three-room housing - 30% of the total demand at an average price of 105,000 euros, "the document says. As for the new construction with an upcoming or having an Act 16, the demand for a three-room apartment is predominant, with the price that buyers are willing to offer ranging from 110,000 to 130,000 euros.

"Arco Real Estate reported a growth of 16.29% in the second quarter of 2018, compared to January-March 2018, and a 61.3% increase compared to the same period in 2017. In contrast, in the first quarter of the year, the second one is characterized by increased demand for plots and less interest in buying houses, "said the experts.

The rent for one-bedroom apartment reaches BGN 1200

The average rental prices for a dwelling in Sofia are growing, whereas in the first quarter of the year, those for one-bedroom apartments are in the range 950 - 1200 euro, and for the two-bedroom - between 1300 and 1600 euro, according to the analysis Colliers International. Houses for rent in the capital are available at prices above 2000 euros.

"In the first half of 2018, a 3% growth in supply in the middle and high-end housing sector was recorded and reached 8,200 units." The number of active construction projects continues to grow - 2,900 residential units or 14% growth over the previous period, "says the document. Colliers reported an increase in property purchases for an investment of 25% to 45% in the first six months of the year.


August 2,2018
Bulgaria's Residential Building Permits Decrease

The number of residential building permits issued in Bulgaria in the second quarter of 2018 fell by 10.4% year-on-year, to 1,476 , the statistical office, NSI, said on Thursday.

Compared to the first quarter, the number of residential building permits issued in April-June added 27%, the NSI said in a statement.

A total of 32 permits for construction of office buildings were issued in the first quarter, down 20% compared to the same period of last year. Compared to the previous quarter, construction permits for office buildings increased 23.1%.

Regarding other types of buildings, a total of 1,274 permits were issued in the quarter under review, down 35.3% year-on-year and 24.2% higher quarter-on-quarter.


July 11,2018
Sofia is ranked 18th among 150 cities in the world with the fastest rise in prices of housing, according to an international report by the consulting company Knight Frank.

The survey shows that the rise of European cities continues - 11 of the cities in the first twenty are in the Old Continent - Rotterdam (14.8%), Edinburgh (12%), Porto (11.7%) and Sofia (11.3%) already join longtime leaders Berlin (14.9%) and Reykjavik (11.8%).

The chart shows that Sofia is one place and 0.1 percentage points ahead of San Francisco, which is 19th with an increase of 11.2%. Among the cities of Central and Eastern Europe is the Hungarian capital Budapest, where residential properties have risen by 14.4% for the year, placing it in 7th place.

Zagreb (25th, + 9.8%), Skopje (39th + 7.2%), Bucharest (40th, + 7.1%), Warsaw (49th, + 6%) .

Leader in the ranking is India's Surat, where homes have risen by 22.3%, followed by Izmir (16.5%) and Hong Kong (15.6%). In more than 30 cities at the bottom of the list, housing is cheaper. Last is Abu Dhabi, where homes have lost 7.2% of their price a year. Before that were Moscow (-6.1%), Turin (-6.6%) and Genoa (-6.7%).

Here are the first 20 cities:

  1. Surat
  2. Izmir
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Vancouver
  5. Berlin
  6. Rotterdam
  7. Budapest
  8. Hobart
  9. Ahmedabad
  10. Seattle
  11. Edinburgh
  12. Amsterdam
  13. Reykjavik
  14. Frankfurt
  15. Dublin
  16. Porto
  17. Hyderabad
  18. Sofia
  19. San Francisco
  20. Utrecht


July 6,2018
Regional Development Minister Signs Framework Cooperation Agreements with Five Chinese Companies

Sofia, July 6 (BTA) - Regional Development Minister Nikolai Nankov Friday signed framework cooperation agreements with five big Chinese companies, his Ministry said. The projects envisaged in the agreement include a tunnel under Shipka Peak, the Black Sea motorway, the Hemus motorway, the Rousse-Veliko Turnovo motorway and the Vidin-Botevgrad expressway.

The companies expressing an interest in Bulgarian road infrastructure projects are China Communications Construction Co., China Road and Bridge Corporation, CITIC Construction, Mizrahi Real Estate Group inc. together with China Machinery Engineering Corporation, and Quantum Global Solutions with PowerChina International Group Limited.

Nankov noted that in addition to its strategic location with direct access from Europe to the Middle East and Asia, Bulgaria offers advantages including a good business environment, stability and EU membership. He said his Ministry maintains dialogue with China, recalling a cooperation agreement signed with its Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in 2016.


June 29,2018
Housing Strategy Sets the Overall Policy for the Sector in Bulgaria by 2030

The National Housing Strategy project will be published within a few days for public discussion. The strategy defines the overall housing policy and has a long-term vision with a horizon of 2030. This was stated by Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Malina Krumova at a conference on "Energy Efficiency Financing in Central and Southeastern Europe" the press office of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW) announced.

Refurbishment of the housing stock, creation of technical documentation for all dwellings and correction of imbalances in the market mechanisms of the housing sector are among the main goals of the Strategy, according to Kroumova.

The forum was organized within the framework of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU and took place a day before the summit of the Ministers of Central and Southeastern Europe for Energy Efficiency in Sofia.

Krumova noted that the housing sector provides enormous potential for meeting energy efficiency goals - energy security, reducing energy poverty, improving the living environment for people, reducing health care costs, and so on. It is therefore necessary to develop a sustainable program for long-term renovation of all residential buildings in the country.

She explained that more cost-effective and innovative ways to finance energy efficiency need to be made, including the active participation and partnership of both homeowners and business owners.

"After the implementation of the energy efficiency measures under the National Energy Efficiency Program for multifamily residential buildings, the heating and electricity costs of households are reduced by 40 to 60%, while renovation of the residential buildings will require mechanisms to capitalize these positive effects". Krumova also reminded that 44,000 buildings in Bulgaria are in need of renovation.

To date, about 2000 of them have been upgraded to the National Energy Efficiency Program for Multifamily Residential Buildings, and efforts are being made to create mechanisms for renovating more buildings.


May 30, 2018
The Villages Around the Resorts in Bulgaria Attract with Cheap Properties

It is natural for the villages near the big resorts to attract the interest of the buyers with their low prices.

"There are many constructions around Sunny Beach to Kosharitsa, Tankovo, where closed complexes of houses or small complexes with blocks have been built, and over the years they have attracted little interest because the prices are very good - they can be around 300-350 euro per square meter. In Bansko, around the golf, there are offer prices for nearly 200-250 euros per square meter, and in Borovets is similar - about 350 euros per square meter. Sometimes the prices in the satellite settlements, which are 10-15 km away from the main attraction of the resort, can to be lower by 40-50%, " Ms Stoykova said.

This year's trends are to boost the interest in the sea properties and this is expected to happen mainly because of Bulgarian buyers.

This is a process that has been going on for the past 1-2 years, but in the Summer we may see its materialization as the Bulgarians searched, observed at last Summer and now they will be more interested in the properties of the sea. Statistics from the Registry Agency may be noted that after the withdrawal of the Russians, transactions have fallen in the sea properties for 2-3 years. Since the end of last year, the decline has already ceased and in the first quarter, there is an increasing interest in Nessebar's properties, which includes the Sunny Beach area, 26% on an annual basis compared to the first quarter of 2017", Stoykova told Bloomberg TV Bulgaria.

According to the expert, a similar process has been taking place in ski resorts since the middle of last year.

"We saw the increased interest in Bansko, Razlog, Samokov, and Smolyan. All three registration offices reported a growth that we see now continue to the sea."

Traditionally, from the Summer resorts still remains the interest in buying properties in Sunny Beach and the Southern resorts and from winter resorts - Borovets, where the supply is already exhausted.

"Less offers go on the market and the price is rising accordingly. For the first three months of the year, the price exceeded 700 euros per square meter."


May 30, 2018
42,000 Buildings in Bulgaria Need Renovation

Tens of thousands of buildings in our country need to be renovated and the state will look for new ways to fund it. Among the suggestions are the people who have the opportunity and means to participate with co-financing. "These are just proposals and there is no decision on how the program should go on," Malina Kroumova, Deputy Minister of Regional Development, told Nova TV.

"The only thing that is clear is that the effects of the program are extremely high and we should continue to implement similar housing renovation programs."

Krumova confirmed that the idea of co-financing by the owners, differentiation depending on climatic or demographic circumstances in different areas and municipalities, and depending on the economic situation of the citizens is discussed.

"42,000 buildings need renovation. The resources needed for this are extremely huge. That is why we need to look for a more sustainable model. Therefore, the introduction of co-financing, prioritization, differentiated approach is considered, "Kroumova said.

"We are considering different options. A unified model does not do enough work. About 40% of people are willing to provide part-financing. This should be used", the deputy minister added.

According to her, the new financing model should be ready by the end of 2018.

"There will be a clear long-term vision for at least the next 25 years", Kroumova told Nova TV.


May 21, 2018
The Luxury Property Market in Bulgaria

The luxury property market in Bulgaria is moderately high during the first quarter of 2018, according to an analysis by the consulting firm Unique Estates.

Activity during the first three months was mainly in the lower price segment - up to 300-350,000 euros. Transactions were made mainly in the central regions of Sofia and around Doctor's Memorial, with much of the demand for investment.

The main demand in these areas is for apartments in old aristocratic buildings. Buyers are mainly people with free capital who are interested in homes which they can renovate, and resell them at a later price.

"In recent years, this type of purchase has gained popularity among people looking for a lucrative investment. Recently, however, this kind of offers are rarer and this limits the potential for deals, "commented Galina Grodova, senior partner at Unique Estates.

The other type of apartment search in the central part of Sofia is again with investment purpose. In recent years people give these apartments mainly for renting in Airbnb-type platforms. There are also no purchases for residential use.

Relatively active are the transactions in the lower segment of the luxury market. In the first quarter these were the southern regions of Sofia, around Bulgaria Blvd., as well as the neighborhoods of the Vitosha collar. And there, sales were mainly flats to cover housing needs.

In the middle price segment of the luxury market - 500-800,000 euros, transactions in the first quarter were significantly less. The reason is the poor supply of houses and apartments that meet the demand of buyers.

According to real estate agents, the requirements for apartments in this price segment are high. People want to have a large square - at least 200 square meters, at least three bedrooms with a bathroom to each of them, wardrobes, at least two parking lots and a nice view. For most houses, the requirement is also for modern architecture, a large yard and "smart" property management.

Unlike the apartments, however, houses in this price class are expected to have a more balanced market with the release of several projects for closed complexes in the coming months. They will offer both flats and detached houses in the neighborhoods of the so-called. Vitosha collar - Boyana, Dragalevtsi, Simeonovo and Kambanite locality.

The interest in the purchase of exclusive houses and residences, whose prices usually exceed 1-1.5 million euros, also remains high. After several strong deals in this segment last year, however, supply is currently limited.

The total activity of the luxury property market in the first quarter remained at last year's level (both in sales and in rents). Unique Estates' forecast is that the sales volume will maintain almost the same due to the shortage of both suitable under construction projects and plots with a good location for future construction.


The year began with an ongoing rise in property prices in central Sofia regions, which are already sold on average at 2300 euros / sq. m, in the region of Doctor's Memorial - about 2700 euro / sq. m.

In contrast, the increased supply of rental properties has led to a drop in prices over the last year. Then there was a growing interest, especially in apartments in the center of Sofia, because of the EU Presidency. Many homes have been rented in advance, and this has led to high activity in the market, which continued until the autumn of 2017. In recent months, however, the demand has fallen to its usual levels. At the same time, the peak of investment purchases led to a further oversupply of the rental market, so prices in many areas went down.

The forecast of Unique Estates for 2018 is the limited supply to slightly raise sales prices in the luxury property market, while rents will remain at current levels or will fall.


May 14, 2018
Plovdiv, Burgas and Varna with most Residential Buildings put into Operation

According to the preliminary data of the National Statistical Institute, the number of new buildings put in operation in the first quarter of 2018 was 565 and the newly constructed apartments were 1 530. Compared to the first quarter of 2017, the buildings were 103 more, or 22.3% increase, while the dwellings in them decreased by 221, or by 12.6%, the NSI reported.

Of newly built residential buildings in the first quarter of 2018 76.6% were with reinforced concrete construction, with brick - 19.1%, with another - 3.4% and with panel - 0.9%. The largest share is of newly built houses (79.1%), followed by housing cooperatives (11.5%). In the first quarter of 2018, compared to the first quarter of 2017, the number of newly built houses, housing cooperatives and cottages increased, while the number of newly built mixed-type buildings declined.

Most residential buildings were put into operation in the districts of Plovdiv - 89 buildings with 290 dwellings in them, Burgas - 70 buildings with 249 dwellings, and Varna - 67 buildings with 349 dwellings. The share of newly-built three-room apartments (37.3%) is the highest, followed by those with two rooms (35.8%) and the lowest share of dwellings with six or more rooms - 4.9% the first quarter of 2018 is 147.7 thousand square meters, or 5.6% less than the same quarter of 2017, and the residential area decreased by 2.6% to 97.3 thousand square meters.

The average useful area of newly built dwelling increased from 89.3 square meters in the first quarter of 2017 to 96.6 square meters in the same quarter of 2018. The largest average useful area of newly built dwelling is registered in the districts of Silistra - 258.0 sq.m., and Targovishte - 240.5 sq.m., and the smallest - in the districts of Pleven - 73.3 sq.m., and Vratsa - 79.0 sq.m.


May 11, 2018
The Rents of Premium Offices in Sofia are Growing

Rentals of first class office space in Sofia has grown steadily in the first quarter of 2018 as a result of the active market. This shows the consulting firm Forton, which is an exclusive representative of the "Cushman & Wakefield" for Bulgaria and Macedonia.

The average offer levels in the segment are already EUR 14 /sq. m/month compared to 13.5 EUR /sq. m in 2017, as a whole in the high class offices vary between EUR 12 /sq. m and EUR 14 /sq. m depending on the location of the building. The highest prices are in the central projects areas and along the big boulevards.

Rental rates for lower-class offices (B) range between EUR 9 /sq. m and EUR 11 /sq. m

"Landlords remain in a comfortable position as a result of the still limited supply of premium office space and this led to a new smooth rental growth. The expected completion of over 190,000 square meters of new offices this year will, however balance the market and we do not expect rents to continue to rise, "commented Stanimira Pashova, Manager Office Spaces in Forton.

According to the company's data in the first quarter of 2018, rental contracts for 36 296 square meters were signed. This is 4% growth over the same quarter of the previous year.

The continued rise in market volume is the result of the momentum in 2017 when rental deals reached a record nearly 200,000 square meters.

The main engine remains the IT and outsourcing expand or search for better locations. Among the more significant deals in the first three months of the year is the rental of 6300 square meters in the the newly built building in "Central Park Office" by the company "60K" in the wide center of Sofia. The Kaufland Services contract for 2082 square meters in the building of the construction company Filto-C on Todor Alexandrov Blvd is another big deal since the beginning of the year.

Currently more than half of the office space planned to be completed this year are already occupied, reported by Forton.

In the first quarter there were no new finished buildings and the total office space supply was 1 728 233 sq. M. The average vacancy rate on the market decreased to 9.2% as a result of high rental activity in the absence of newly finished buildings. Forton's forecast is that rising supply will lead to a gradual increase in free space over the coming years.


May 4, 2018
Real Estate Prices Are Increasing

Nowadays real estate prices are increasing steadily ... Is the new home becoming a more distant dream? comments Bulgaria On Air TV show together with Nevena Stoyanova, a partner in a real estate agency, Snezhana Stoycheva, the manager of and the singer Nora Karaivanova.

Buying or renting a new home is accompanied by a lot of stress and ... money.

"People think that there is a real estate bubble because the prices are quite high, but that's not the case, they correspond to the built infrastructure, the quality of the construction, the prices depends on what buyers can afford", said Snezhana Stoycheva .

"We are in Europe, the salaries are rising, it is logical real estate prices to grow as well," said Nevena Stoyanova

More people are interested in buying properties in large cities, and this is due to the internal migration processes. Is there a satisfaction of the demand for property and does it respond to the expectations of the consumers is also a question that experts comment on.

It turns out that the main problem with the real estate agencies is the lack of consumer confidence.It is true that property frauds have increased. However, is it possible to recover the faith in brokers is also a topic that should be discussed.


March 29, 2018
Picmiller Creates New Quality Standard in Real Estate Industry

Sofia, March 29 (BTA) - Andrew Morris, CEO of The Blueprint and Picmiller, has received first prize at FIABCI World Prix D'Excellence Awards, the company said.

Andrew Morris got the top prize at the FIABCI World Prix D'Excellence Awards in Cannes, France for Services to the Real Estate Sector. There were 50 international judges in 13 different categories at the award ceremony.

Mr. Andrew Morris had the pleasure of hosting the gala dinner of The FIABCI Excellence Award, where he also received the top prize for services in the real estate sector.

"It is a great honor for me to be part of a globally recognized organization like FIABCI, and the award is a recognition I accept with joy and pride. Having got such a distinction, we understand that by striving for better quality of services in the business and the real estate industry, we found the right formula for success. As Chief Executive Officer of Picmiller and The Blueprint, it is extremely important for me that the services these two companies offer meet the high standards of customer development as well as all FIABCI members" said Mr. Andrew Morris. He also said that the main objective of the company is to offer a service to its clients allowing them to present their business in the best possible light.

As a host of the networking cocktail followed by FIABCI's official gala dinner on March 12, 2018 at the Hotel Barriere Le Majestic Cannes during the MIPIM Real Estate Exhibition in Cannes, France, Mr. Morris had another memorable experience in the past few weeks. During the 29th edition of the International Exhibition, Mr. Andrew Morris presented Picmiller and the services offered by the company to raise standards in the industry, improving the quality of the members' performance. The global real estate exhibition MIPIM aims at facilitating business between investors, corporate end-users, hotel professionals, industrial and logistics spheres, and other real estate professionals.

FIABCI World President, Mr. Farook Mahmood, presented the award to Mr. Andrew Morris with a special address: "By improving quality in the real estate sector, Picmiller as a global partner of FIABCI, is becoming an innovator in raising standards." It is a challenge and a responsibility for Mr. Andrew Morris to provide the most efficient product to the real estate professionals.

After the successful presentation of Mr. Morris at MIPIM, he was invited as a guest of honor to another important occasion: the official opening of the new FIABCI Global HQ office in the Tour CIT Tower building in Paris. The dinner on the opening day was held with the members of FIABCI, attended by the past FIABCI World President and member since 1963, Lawrence McCabe from Ireland. He congratulated the FIABCI Secretary General Narek Arakelyan and his team, as well as Fiabci France, "for organizing this wonderful event".


March 20, 2018
What is the Future of Real Estate in Sofia?

Usually we understand if there is a bubble in a market it is just before it bursts, and before that we make very clever conclusions. My very clever conclusion is that we still do not have a real estate bubble, or at least it is not so inflated that we can expect it won't burst soon. This is what Georgi Pavlov, executive director of Address Real Estate, told Bloomberg TV Bulgaria.

"My reasons for this opinion are that prices have not yet reached the peak of 2008, and at the same time, the income of the population for these 10 years has risen, so even if there is a bubble, we are at a much earlier stage, or we are much better prepared for it ".

One of the measures used to estimate the growth in a given sector has a real base or it is a bubble, is the current return on assets and their current price, the guest said. "With residential properties, this is the rental price of the property, it has not yet reached its dangerous levels."

"In Bulgaria traditionally the yield on housing estates is about 6% and in the previous bubble it has dropped to 3%, which clearly indicates that the market is overestimated, yet this factor does not indicate the existence of a forming bubble. The increase in incomes has led to a rise in rents that people are willing to pay, which I think is currently between 4 and 5%. "


February 12, 2018
24% of the Apartments in Sofia are Uninhabited

Despite the continuous internal migration to the big cities, the number of uninhabited dwellings is large. The so-called dark windows in Sofia are 24% of the dwellings. In Sofia area, they reach 48%. The percentage is also significant in Varna - 30 per cent, and in Plovdiv - 26 per cent. This is shown by a Eurostat report on the demographic map of the European Union published last week.

Community statistics are close to the findings of a World Bank report commissioned by the Bulgarian regional ministry and published in early November last year. As the Sega newspaper wrote then, nearly 1.2 million homes in Bulgaria are uninhabited. This is approximately 1/3 of the total number of homes in Bulgaria. In the large cities, an average of a quarter of the dwellings are uninhabited, but in rural areas the percentage is far higher - an average of 43%.

The families who are almost under the poverty line or half of all people, 80% of the children under 18 and 595 of those between 16 and 29 live in a home which is considered overcrowded. 82% of the people who are renting their apartment also live with too many people. Over 3/4 of apartments in the country are in buildings which are over 30 years old and are not in good condition. The reasons for this unfortunate turnout are several factors: lack of care of the common spaces, oweners living abroad and not paying taxes and unreasonable expectations that the state has to take care of such problems. The problems are getting increasingly serious despite the popular rehabilitation propgramme for "free" funded with billions of leva by the state.

The trend towards urban migration continues to deepen, Eurostat data show. By 2016, the cities population in Bulgaria has risen to 75% of the total population. In the last 65 years the small villages in our country have been significantly vacated, losing 6 million people at the expense of the cities. By the middle of the last century, the urban population in Bulgaria was 20%. Only in four decades the citizens of the cities were already 67% of the Bulgarians in the country. Today, more than 5 million people live in the city at the expense of 1.8 million people in the villages.

This migration is extremely uneven. Only Sofia and Varna are the cities whose population has steadily grown in recent years. The growth in the capital is 30%, and in the seaside - about 10%. At the other pole are Vratsa and Vidin. In the most depopulated cities the decrease of the population is minus 23% per cent for Vratsa and minus 22% for Vidin.


More than 30% of the population in the cities in Bulgaria and 39% of the population in the villages are at risk of poverty, Eurostat data show. Romania is slightly better than us - the risk of poverty in the city is 24%, while for another neighbor - Greece, this indicator is over 33%. In 2016, one in four city residents (around 24%) in Europe was at risk of poverty. People in countries such as Austria, Belgium and Denmark are threatened with material deprivation in the city, while in poorer countries like ours and Romania the population is at risk of poverty in the countryside. Material deprivation is measured by the impossibility of paying a rent, a mortgage, the impossibility of vacation or the possession of items such as a TV set, a telephone, a washing machine, and a car, etc.


January 31, 2018
The Properties by the Sea: The Russians Leave, the Westerners Come

French, Germans, Belgians and other residents of Western Europe are asking to buy property on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. At the same time, real estate developers registered a drop in the number of Russians investing in holiday properties on the Black Sea coast.

The reason for the interest of Westerners is the declared intention of the government that our country should enter the Eurozone waiting room, say brokers. They explain the outflow of Russians, especially with the ongoing economic sanctions against Russia.

Growth of inquiries from French, Belgian and Swiss for purchase of property for holiday in the region of Bourgas and Sunny Beach is reported. This was explained by Deputy Head of the Association of Real Estate Brokers Iliyana Vassileva to Trud.

She also said that Turkish investors have appeared in Sunny Beach who are looking for luxury properties. Buyers are also Bulgarians who have saved money from work abroad and want to invest in a holiday home.

Interest in buying home in Bulgaria continues to be demonstrated by German pensioners. Recently they are heading to Varna.

"They like it here, in Bulgaria, the standard is good for them, but because of the language it is more difficult to socialize," said Deputy Chairman of the National Real Estate Association Deputy Dobromir Ganev.

He explained that because of economic sanctions against Russia and the aggravated situation there, its citizens are no longer the most active buyers of such properties in Bulgaria. And their return to this market is not expected soon.

Because of the outflow of Russians there is a drop in transactions in 2017 compared to the previous year. Sales in Balchik are 11% lower, in Byala - 18%, in Kavarna - by 14%, in Nessebar - by 2% and only in Pomorie marked a growth of 4%.

The Southern Black Sea coast is more attractive due to its proximity to Bourgas airport. Only in Nessebar were bought as many properties as in Balchik, Byala and Kavarna taken together. The prices are in a wide range and vary between 400-500 to 2000 euros per square meter, added Ganev.

Realtors predict stagnation in the property market in Sofia after the growth last year. There will be an increase, but only on luxury homes.

The prices in the capital are in a wide range - from 700 - 800 euro per square meter per panel in the districts to 2000 euro per sq. M for a luxury property in a prestigious neighborhood. Buyers will again be young people who have arrived from other parts of the country to work in Sofia and take a home loan, experts explain.

In the city of Varna, there is no demand for urban housing. The lack of quality properties increases green prices to 600 euros per square meter, and in the most preferred neighborhoods like Chaika - up to 1000 euros per square meter. In Bourgas the prices are about 300-400 euros per square meter for city dwellings, but there is no new construction. This increased the prices of new apartments by 10%. For Plovdiv, real estate developers expect up to five times increase in urban construction due to the strong demand for new properties.

There will be a stagnation in prices in the region of Veliko Tarnovo and Gabrovo. Even after the crisis there was no interest of housing and the average cost per square was 200-300 euros. This year, an active demand for industrial properties in the region is expected due to the construction of the tunnel under Shipka - mainly for premises for restaurants and warehouses.


January 23, 2018
VMware has Negotiated the Largest Office Deal in Bulgaria

US high-tech VMware will rent more than 20,000 square meters in two of the buildings built in the Garitage Park complex. The announced rental area is the biggest office deal on the Bulgarian market.

Buildings will be put into use in mid-2019. VMware will provide more than 1,600 jobs, meeting rooms, leisure facilities, and employee entertainment.

"We aim to turn the office here into an even more attractive location for Bulgarian and foreign specialists to work and live in Sofia," said Diana Stefanova, Managing Director of VMware Development Centers for Bulgaria and EMEA.

Colliers International Bulgaria was the consultant for the deal.

Garitage Park is a residential and business complex located on 165,000 m2. The project will be realized in stages and fully finished will include:

  • 95,000 m2 of offices
  • 60,000 m2 of dwellings
  • 90,000 m2 of parkland with lake, children's and sports grounds
  • Primary school for 500 children
  • 4 500 parking spaces
  • Sports center with pool
  • Supermarket, restaurants, cafes and more.
Garitage Park is the first multifunctional complex in Central and Eastern Europe to receive a BREEAM Community intermediate certificate for social, economic and environmental sustainability. The complex is located in an area with well-developed infrastructure and direct access from the Ring Road, which provides fast and convenient transportation to the center, airport and various parts of the capital.


January 19, 2018
Bulgaria is Seventh in the EU in Increase of House Prices in 2017

9 percent the homes in Bulgaria have a higher price in the third quarter of 2017 compared to a year earlier. This places Bulgaria on the seventh position in the European Union on the rise in prices of houses, Eurostat data show.

The largest annual house price increases were reported in the Czech Republic (12.3%), Ireland (12%), Portugal (10.4%), Hungary (10.2%), the Netherlands (10.2%) and Latvia (9.5%). Only in Italy home prices have fallen by 0.9%, according to Eurostat data. On average, for EU, house prices have risen by 4.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 compared to a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the BNB has warned banks to pay attention to housing loans because the rise in property prices hides dangers. In its report on the state of the banking system for the third quarter of 2017, the central bank advised credit institutions to be more conservative in funding for economic sectors and high indebtedness. In addition, the BNB warns that rising real estate prices will not be forever, and banks should not lower their requirements for a healthy ratio between the amount of new loans and the value of mortgaged properties.

At the end of last year, in its report on excessive macroeconomic imbalances, the European Commission also warned of a risk in the property market due to the high indebtedness of businesses and households.

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Above information courtesy of Bulgarian National Radio, and Financial Times


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