Bulgarian property booms… on eBay?

Photo credit: Jess Judge

More buyers are purchasing Bulgarian property than ever before, one company announced this week. But this Bulgaria boom is different from the last one: this time it is taking place on eBay.

Budding investors are increasing turning to the bidding portal thanks to Bulgaria's low-priced property, the firm reports, with customers relying on the site's rating and feedback systems to provide transparency and inspire confidence in their transactions.

But other agents paint a different picture of the eBay property buying boom.

Speaking to TheMoveChannel.com, Bulgarian estate agent Yantra Homes Ltd agreed that property prices in the country were low: "We currently have over 85 properties for sale at between €2,500 and €10,000," said Managing Director Andy Turver.

Indeed, according to Knight Frank, the value of Bulgarian homes fell by 2.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. That decrease saw enquiries for Bulgarian property increase in July as the country become the eighth most popular destination on TheMoveChannel.com.

But while quality bargains can be found in good locations, Turver does not believe they are necessarily on auction sites.

"We are very aware of Brits buying cheap rural property on eBay," he told TheMoveChannel.com. "In fact, we have had several in our offices in tears because when they arrived to view their new purchases they found that they were nothing like what they expected, for example in the middle of nowhere."

"One couple that had bought on eBay earlier this year showed us the photos that were displayed on eBay, clearly years out of date," he continued. "When they went to view their new property the roof had collapsed, the garden was a jungle and the wiring had all been ripped out of the wall."

"They asked if we could sell the property to get some of their money back; we had to advise that their property had almost no value and we couldn't possibly advertise it for them for anything other than the land value (which was less than 20% of their bid price on eBay) and that we did not even want to do that because the village was in the middle of nowhere."

"They were obviously distraught," he added.

According to Turver , the number of auction horror stories is a cautionary tale for curious investors.

"I find it hard to believe that anyone would buy an overseas property without viewing it first," he commented, "especially when you consider that a flight to Bulgaria is very inexpensive with operators such as Easyjet flying daily from London to Sofia. It seems a crazy way to buy when the alternative is so easy."

Would you buy property on a bidding site?

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