Bulgaria has more Russian property buyers than British

  • 12 years ago
  • Uncategorized

As the property market in Bulgaria begins to recover, it’s Russians that have overtaken Brits as the main foreign buyers.  And, with more and more Russians entering the market, many experts believe that the time is right for other foreign investors to return to the Bulgarian property market, as we see here.

Some great property bargains available in Bulgaria

Bulgaria was one of the stars of the property boom of the 2000s. During the period from 2000 to 2008, house prices in the country grew 300 per cent.  And, from 2004 to 2008 it was British investors that drove the market.  Speculative buyers bought everything from holiday homes to ski chalets -many from floor plans alone – as they anticipated capital gains from improved infrastructure in the country.

Kostadin Darakchiev, a Bulgarian real estate expert, said: “The British went crazy in the Bulgarian market because they thought it would be a second Spain.  Apparently, there was a property market boom in Spain in the mid-’90s, when the sun seekers wanted to have a second home to escape to. And many people made a lot of money speculating, and they wanted to do the same thing in Bulgaria.”

However, during the credit crunch of 2008, overseas buyers dried up.  Zhelyazko Georgiev, aproperty agent in Sofia, said: “The market went into downfall after 2008 due to the heavy financial crisis in the United Kingdom and Western Europe.  The sales decreased by about 80 per cent, and many real estate agents could not survive this.”

While the market has yet to rebound, Russian buyers are the new driving force.  Foreign buyers account for around 15 per cent of the market in Bulgaria, up from 8 per cent in 2009.  Russians now account for about four fifths of that group.

And, with property prices around 40 per cent lower than their 2008 peak, there are certainly bargains to be picked up in the country.

“The major advantage for the buyers now in the period after 2008 is that they can see finished apartments and houses before they buy,” Mr. Georgiev said.


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