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1708 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.


April 24,2019
100% Increase of Property Prices in Sofia in the Last 15 Years

Property prices in Sofia have increased with 100% for the past 15 years, according to the statistics of the National Association of Building Contractors. Extremely cumbersome procedures and inadequate over-control of institutions have made a significant contribution to this increase, says Chairman of the Association Georgi Shopov. And while a private investor may take up to three years to issue a construction permit, only five days are planned for the design of an entire city square, but now under public procurement.

The Territorial Development Act has been changed 88 times for the last 10 years, says Georgi Shopov, Chairman of the Association of Building Contractors.

With each change, the procedures for preparing a private building are becoming more and more complex, and the whole process of issuing a building permit can be up to 3 years. The result of this situation is higher prices for the properties that people buy, not only in Sofia.

"These 30 years in the administration, pressed by the political model, where the protest is a loss of voters, and not the economic growth and the welfare of the population, have been made, and we have allowed an increasingly complicated and difficult regulatory framework not working in the interest of of society. We will see an example, I will not give names - there is currently a case with a building in Sofia. Do you think it is normal for a developed society with a legal base of 150 years in this area not to say for week whether the building permit is valid or not, "Shopov said.

While it takes three years for different government authorities to verify the intention of a private entrepreneur to invest money in a construction, when public funds are spent, the deadlines for such procedures are unrealistically short. This was made clear by the words of the deputy chairman of the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria arch. Petkana Bakalova: "Strengthening a school in Pancharevo to be a public school promotion order means that it has constructive problems and is dangerous. For 4 days, it is impossible neither to calculate stats, nor to make inquiries nor to provide quality design solutions. Other such cases - Slivnitsa, a square of 5000 sq.m 5 days. These are some of the most striking cases that want to show that these public contracts have two options - either the designer is pre-selected, the project has been drafted and the procurement is being conducted to get it, or the municipalities sometimes put out design deadlines after transmission of the documentation in the so- time to remove the remarks, "Bakalova said.


April 23,2019
Housing Prices in Sofia Froze, Growth of New Construction Purchases

Housing prices in Sofia have frozen. According to information from Bulgarian Properties during the first three months, the average price in the capital is € 1,080 sq. M, compared to € 1,085 sq. M in the last quarter of 2018.

"This is a slight retreat against the 2018 values, but should be interpreted as a retention of levels, as it is mainly due to a change in the characteristics of the purchased properties, the large share of new construction and the redirection of interest to areas with lower prices, "the agency said.

For the first quarter the average final purchase price of the dwellings in Sofia is € 90,960 at around € 91,550 on average for 2018

Price rises peaked at the end of 2017 and early 2018, and in the spring of last year we saw that buyers stepped back and took a wait-and-see position. This led to a dampening of price rises and the year ended with growth below expectations - only 4% on an annual basis, pointing out.

The agency predicts that 2019 will bring long-awaited market equilibrium through a balance between supply and demand while maintaining stable property prices.

Bulgarian Properties also reported an increase in sales. Some days ago, the Registry Agency recorded 5,641 real estate sales for the three months since the end of the year at 5,631 for the same period in 2018, which is only 10 transactions per year.

Bulgarian Properties, which specializes in sales of new-build properties, claim that the real volume is far greater - and is growing significantly.

The data of the Registry Agency does not include the purchased new-built dwellings, which will be entered as sales upon their completion. According to Bulgarian Properties, "in previous periods, new construction accounted for 60-70% of the deals, and now it reaches 90%."

New building permits issued in Sofia increased by 26% in 2018 on an annual basis. It is the increased supply of new construction that brought balance to the market and softened prices as it managed to meet the increased demand they felt from there.

Half of the purchased apartments are two-bedroom apartments and 42% are two-bedroom apartments. Unlike in previous quarters, in early 2019 we have seen a significant increase in the share of purchased three-room apartments at the expense of a reduction in the two-storey property, which previously reached 65% of the total volume of transactions.

"We attribute this to the activity of families who are looking for a new home for their own use, stimulated by the available supply, as well as by the possibilities of buying with credit even in new-build buildings", say Bulgarian Properties.

The average area of ​​the purchased dwellings is 89 sq.m. - a growth of about 10 sq.m. compared to the last months of 2018, precisely because of the increased share of three-room apartments.

"Within the framework of our expectations, the growth in property prices in Sofia has subsided and we are entering a period of retention at stable levels with slight fluctuations - a plateau in which we will stay in the next 1-2 years", commented Polina Stoykova, executive director of Bulgarian Properties .


March 25,2019
Property Prices in Sofia Fall at the End of the Year

In Sofia, even in the most distant neighborhoods, prices of 600 euros per square meter of living area are a mirage. This was told to Darik radio by Shtelian Kalchev, co-founder of a real estate agency with more than 10 years of experience in commenting on the scandal with the prices of the apartments of ruling party figures.

"One property has its market value. This is not on the basis of any economic trends, "he explained. In his words, one can not talk about a market deal.

Arteks is one of the most serious companies on the market. They keep on quality. But also at high price, "he said.

"I am sure that the deal things have been done legally sound," Kalchev said.

However, can a buy-in discount reach four times lower than the market price, he replies that it obviously can. "But I say again, this can not be an indicator for the market."

Shtelian Kalchev noted that, alongside the power property scandal, people have heard and seen what the deal is about. "Many people do not believe there are deals in Sofia at prices of 2000-2500 euros per square meter."

The real estate market in the capital is cooling, but a real drop in prices may be at the end of the year, said Darik broker Shtilian Kalchev and added: "A property bubble is a phenomenon that also occurs in many other sectors, and in real terms this is a sharp inflationary influx due to a sharp downturn."

Kalchev explained that cooling the market is a natural phase of the property market cycle. "We are currently in a wait period. Buyers are waiting for better deals, and builders are catching up with more and more new items. Sellers are willing to negotiate. "

Price correction will surely be there, he said. A mass fall in prices can not be said, but there will be a correction. It is expected to be at the end of this year or more realistic next year.


March 6,2019
Housing Loans in Bulgaria with Strongest Growth from the Beginning of the Year Since 2009

Housing and consumer loans on the Bulgarian market recorded the strongest start of the year since 2009. They reported the most serious growth in January 2019 compared to the last decade, according to the data of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), reports

For the first month of the year housing loans rose by 11.1%. By comparison, in January 2018 their growth was within 8.2 per cent. At the end of the first month of the year, new home loans amounted to a total of BGN 10.565 billion at a level of BGN 9.506 billion a year earlier. The growth of this category of loans did not exceed 10% , and last was above this limit in January 2009. At that time, it reached 35.1% on an annual basis, according to the BNB calculations. Only a year later the growth rate was only 8.6 percent, and between January 2014 and January 2016, housing credit shrank. It goes back to positive territory in 2017 when it rises by 1.8 per cent.

Earlier this year, even stronger growth was reported for consumer credit. BNB data show that at the end of January 2019 the increase in this category was 17.6% on an annual basis to a total of BGN 9.142 billion. At the end of December 2018 consumer loans increased by 17.7% at a level of 5.8% a year earlier. For the same period in the last decade, consumer lending has five years of negative territory. The largest decline was recorded in January 2016 when it was at the level of minus 3 per cent. On the other hand, in January 2009 it grew by 21.1% and a year later by 6.6%. In 2011 consumer loans started to contract. They stagnate in positive territory again in January 2017, rising by 2.8 per cent on an annual basis.

As far as household deposits are concerned, in January they grew 8.5 percent, with growth of 7.7 percent at the end of December. The total amount exceeds BGN 51.647 billion.


February 25,2019
Large Investor has Admitted There are Bureaucratic and Market Problems with Home Sales in Sofia

Estonian real estate group Arco Vara had a bad year. In 2018, the company reported a net loss of € 544,000, with a profit of € 785,000 in the previous year. In the 12 months of last year, revenue from real estate sales declined by 81 percent to € 2.8 million. At the same time, the company recorded an increase in revenue from the property maintenance business by 65 percent to € 857,000. The company's assets have grown 37 percent to € 33.5 million. The reason for the bad result and the accumulation of assets is due to the company's failure to turn its projects into marketable, reports

"We are not happy with the loss that was caused mainly by the failure to sell Iztok Parkside in Sofia." The project remained unresolved within the expected period (the fourth quarter of 2018) because we remain caught in the Bulgarian bureaucracy network, "Chief Executive Officer Taramo Silver said in a statement together with financial results.

"We have to get permission to use and sell the apartments by the end of the second quarter of 2019," he said. In 2019, the company expects to sell the second phase of the Kodulahe project in Estonia. "By adding 100% of the apartments in the building of Madrid Boulevard (in Sofia), we expect to achieve sales revenues of over € 20 million and a net profit of over € 2 million in 2019," the executive director also said. He also said that "despite the obvious financial anorexia," the group still managed to achieve operating profit (€ 101,000 in 2018 against € 1.56 million in 2017) and the main losses come from interest expense, " mainly from the bank loan linked to the building on Madrid Blvd.

"Our land and cash holdings of over € 2 million remain strong and are sufficient to complete the current projects and start new ones in 2019 if market conditions and bureaucracy allow it," the Chief Executive also said. As an alternative scenario, Arco Vara can cache its assets and stand on the land with the right to build.

As has already written, the Estonian company has sold the brokerage agency in Sofia to the management team, but still has access to the transaction database. "Based on this data, the real estate market in both Tallinn and Sofia moves from one dominated by vendors to dominated by buyers." The agency itself in Bulgaria brings a net loss of € 18,000 in the last three months of the year and a net profit of € 1,000 for the whole of 2018. In the previous year, the net profit was € 50,000.

Archive: 2018 |  2017 |  2016 |  2015 |  2014 |  2013 |  2012 |  2011 |  2010 |  2009 |  2006-2008

Above information courtesy of and Financial Times


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Whilst every care is taken to ensure that all general information and descriptions of property is correct we advise all clients to make their own checks and take legal advise when purchasing property overseas. Information and price guides subject to change. All properties shown are to the best of our knowledge genuinely for sale at the time of publication (unless clearly marked "Under Offer" or "Sold"). Although the properties have been visited by our staff and details are produced in good faith, no responsibility is taken by us for any discrepancies, inaccuracies or omissions. All introductions and referrals to agents, lawyers and other services are made in good faith but no responsibility is taken by us for any problems or negligence which may arise. All background information about Bulgaria is taken from that available in the public domain and is not a recommendation from us or our staff although of course we may add comments and suggestions based on personal experience (such as restaurants)
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