Over 29 per cent of the property deals concluded in Bulgaria in 2006 involved foreign participation, executive director of real estate company Asta Bridge Anton Pankev said.
Nearly 66.87 per cent of all foreigners who bought property in Bulgaria came from UK, he said as quoted by Bulgarian National Radio. The British interest was attributed to regular flights between Bulgaria and the UK.
Irish investors concluded nearly 13 per cent of the property deals in 2006. Americans were involved in six per cent of the deals, Germans in four and Italians in three per cent.
Data showed that 39.93 per cent of investors were interested to buy the bulgarian property in winter resort property, followed by sea resorts with 31.13 per cent.
The capital of Sofia attracted 8.11 per cent of property buyers, Pankev said.
UK citizens were interested mainly in bulgarian property investment and their main motivation for purchase in Bulgaria was price.
The largest number of deals involved the purchase one-bedroom apartments in the popular resorts worth from 30 000 to 80 000 euro.
Irish bought one or two-bedroom apartments at the seaside or in the mountains, investing from 50 000 to 100 000 euro. The most popular areas that Irish clients are purchasing in are Bansko, Varna and Kavarna. Bansko is located 180km south of Sofia, it was already a residential area boasting mineral spa’s as well as the Rhodope Mountains, Rila Mountains and the Pirin Mountains. The area attract clients with skiing, hiking and now golfing available from June 2007 with the 18 hole Ian Woosnam designed golf course. Investors will be now be able to rent apartments over a 12 month period. The main reasons for clients purchasing in the Varna and Golden Sands area is first the accessibility, with frequent flights direct from Dublin to Varna. The coastal area will also have 3 golf courses completed by the end of June 2007 which again will extend the rent ability from 5 months to 6 months.
The bulgarian property market is beginning to attract Spanish and Maltese investors, seeking construction sites at the seaside and the mountains.
The average property value at the seaside in 2006 amounted to 46 900 euro and that of property in winter resorts reached 90 000 euro.
Apartments in Sofia varied between 30 000 and 80 000 euro in price, Pankev said. Property prices in winter resorts are higher because of the year-round usage possibility.
The Bulgarian property market recently experienced increased foreign interest in the development of spa centres like those in Sandanski, Asta Bridge said.

Buying off-plan in Bulgaria

How popular is buying off-plan in Bulgaria property?
Buying off-plan has become one of the most popular ways to become the bulgarian property owner.

What are the advantages of buying off-plan property in Bulgaria?
Scheduled payments allow buyers who don`t have the full purchase price to join the market. Buying at an early statge of a project also give the opportunity to get a good discount if you are paying the full amount up front. Furthermore, as prices continue to rise you benefit from the growth of your capital during the construction period, which is usually 12-18 months.

Have there been any changes in building standards in Bulgarian property busines?
New standards have been established in the last 10 years, with on-going improvements to materials, architecture, construction quaranteed, completion times and even the bulgaria property maintenance. Standards are now high. Stiff competition between developers means every new development tries to have better on-site facilities, such as security, playgrounds, swimming pools and fitness centers.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying off-plan ?
Check that the developer has previous experience. Research the best area to buy and the bulgaria property best location within each area. Also, many people buy off-plan without having a clear idea of the exact location, characteristics and specifications of the bulgarian property development, which causes misunderstanding later. Always compare the price with other developments and check what is included (VAT, furniture, facilities ect.)

Interview with Anton Pankev, CEO of Address Bulgaria, published in "Buying in Bulgaria" magazine

Bulgarian Property

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