Sunny Beach – one of the most popular Bulgarian property hotpots Photo credit: JürgenBOT
Russian investors have become increasingly dominant in overseas property markets, buying up holiday homes in everywhere from Bulgaria to the US. Which comes out on top?
Located almost directly westward across the Black Sea from Sochi is Bulgaria. Nearly 350,000 Russians are estimated to currently own properties in Bulgaria and the number is estimated to be growing by around 10% each year.
Carlo Walther, COO of Russia’s fastest-growing property portal, Idinaidi, comments: “Bulgaria has been attracting Russian interest in its property market for some time, to the point that Russians are now the main source of overseas buyers in Bulgaria. Real estate there is still fantastic value, making it a popular choice with buyers with budgets typically around €60-70k.
“Bulgaria is also close enough to Russia that those buying properties there can benefit from easier access to home than from many other countries. We’ve witnessed a snowball effect there in recent years – as increasing numbers of Russians have bought property there, even greater numbers have been begun to view Bulgaria as their destination of choice, encouraged by the strong community ties that exist there.”
Long established as Russia’s favourite holiday destination when it comes to holiday homes overseas, Turkey has become increasingly popular with Russian buyers in recent years. Indeed, property in the country is cheaper than in many parts of Russia and the cost of living is low.
A little further afield, Spain has captured the attention of Russians looking to take advantage of its sun-drenched location, depressed property prices and golden residence programme. Idinaidi’s Carlo Walther explains: “Spain is seen as enticing to many Russians due to its ‘golden visa’ arrangement, which permits non-EU citizens to obtain residency for themselves and their immediate family in return for investing a significant amount of capital.”
Indeed, searches for Spanish property are up by 55 per cent in the last month, demonstrating the country’s importance in the eyes of Russians looking for second homes or for a permanent residence in Europe.