Bulgarian Property good and not so good

  • 17 years ago
  • Uncategorized
The interest in Bulgarian property has slowed since the boom of last year but there still remains a great deal of interest from overseas buyers many of which are from the UK . ‘Quest Bulgaria’ (http://www.questbg.com/ )which is a Bulgarian based magazine assists overseas property buyers and investors with an  A – Z guide to Bulgaria’s greatest and latest hotspots.
Chris Goodall, managing director of Quest Bulgaria,
“This is an emerging country and there are still unusual and interesting areas that have not seen the mad rush and inflated prices experienced in the most popular regions. There is still time to bag a bargain.”
The August issue of the country’s leading English language magazine gives the following advice about the  established and up-and-coming locations in Bulgaria.
Pros: Quaint, interesting and with facilities as good as any modern European resort. The first ski resort to hit the property boom, land prices have rocketed 10 times above those three years ago. Studio apartments can still be bought for as little as £30,000 and offer good rental potential. With the development of nearby golf courses, investors are looking for year-round rental to turn Bansko into an all-season resort. Inexpensive for holidays it currently offers the best skiing in the country with new slopes planned. Another plus is that the slopes aren’t too crowded so queues are minimal.
Cons: There has been, and still is, massive construction and it will take many years before the ravages of this will disappear and complete the resort. Bansko is also in a valley so not a typical ski resort location; and the long journey time from Sofia in winter conditions is a big minus. Finally you can’t ski direct from your door which suggests the boom time is over and other ski resorts might be a better bet.
Pros: The ski resort for investors. More like Austrian and Swiss resorts, with excellent views, it makes an attractive destination for holidaymakers. The area is a cluster of buildings scattered among fir trees and ski runs and buyers have found that in many developments you can ski straight to your door. Cheaper than other ski resorts, the area offers larger properties and excellent value for money. Potentially offers the best returns over the next three years, especially with easy access to the Greek coast: once the new road is complete, the Med will be just 90 minutes drive away.  Set in the Rhodope mountains, Plovdiv is the closest airport with a journey time of just 90 minutes. The area also has more sunshine than other ski resorts so offers a longer season for investors wanting to rent.
Cons: Skiing is not very challenging or as good as Bansko and some of the lifts are old.
Lovech and Troyan
Pros: An area which can offer it all: ski, countryside and culture. Not as dramatic as the Alps, but the area has fantastic scenery. An excellent investment choice, it offers mountain surroundings, spas, monasteries and architectural reserves at a cheaper price than ski or beach resorts. Only two hours from Sofia airport, rural retreats abound at incredibly reasonable prices with town houses in Lovech costing just £30,000.
Cons: Skiing can’t be compared to other resorts and the area is much more low-key.
Pros: The capital of the Black Sea coast and a cosmopolitan city that’s the closest Bulgaria has to western Europe. The most sought-after and exclusive area for property buyers, offering more shops and better infrastructure than possibly the whole of Bulgaria. A vibrant city, it has year-round activity and access from the international airport is excellent. Charter flights during the summer make it very inexpensive to get to.
Cons: The main resort along the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, which started attention from overseas buyers, was Sunny Beach. But with mass development here, attention is turning to Golden Sands, Kavarna and Balchik especially with golf courses being built there.
Veliko Turnovo
Pros: located in the heart of rural Bulgaria, this is an extraordinary town with preserved architecture and a stunning location. Town houses in Veliko Turnovo are rare but large rural properties in surrounding villages can be found for as little as £20,000 and as the town is in the top 10 of most visited tourist destinations in Eastern Europe, it offers good potential for people wanting to rent property.
Cons: Described as ‘shabby chic’ it needs substantial development to turn it into a world-class destination. Many shops are empty and some old properties on the steep hills need substantial development to stop them sliding away. But that doesn’t seem to deter the investors who are buying in droves. The town is also a long way from either Sofia or Varna airports so for holiday-makers the three hour trip may be too long.
Up and coming hotspots
Plovdiv with its river and old quarter; Vidin and Rousse with historical and architectural interest; Melnik near the Greek border; Smolyan with stunning views; Kotel for its superb authentic national revival houses…these are all worth a good look.

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