Bulgaria’s ski resort renaissance

Bankso, Bulgaria Photo: Lizzzka_I4u

Bulgaria is currently enjoying a “renaissance” in its ski property market.

The country, which was once a favourite on TheMoveChannel.com, has seen demand decline in the years since the global financial crisis, but one agent is reporting a significant upsurge in the number of sales in 2015.

Russians have traditionally been active investors in Bulgaria’s real estate, but the country’s steady purchases have pushed up prices in Bulgaria’s beach resorts. As a result, with Russian investors absent from many international markets due to the rouble’s devaluation, properties have been too expensive to attract investors.

Bulgaria’s ski resorts, though, were less sought-after by Russian buyers, which has left their prices at a more attractive level. Indeed, an interesting characteristic of the vacation property market in Bulgaria at present is the diversity of buyers’ nationalities, says BulgarianProperties.com.

Despite the usual season slowdown, the summer season was “exceptionally active” in Bansko with a distinct increase of the number of sales of vacation properties to buyers with diverse nationalities, from British to Ukrainian to Macedonians and others.

As a result, prices have stabilised and there are signs of a slight price increase for the first time in seven years.

On a quarterly basis in Q3 there was a 1.3 per cent increase in the average prices of apartments sold in Bansko, according to Bulgarian Properties.com. “That is a second consecutive quarter with an increase in the property prices in the biggest ski resort and this comes to confirm that the property market there is switching to a recovery. The accumulated increase in property prices in Bansko for the first nine months of the year is 9.6 per cent on an annual basis.”

The average price of apartments sold in Bansko in Q3 was 380 Euro/sq.m. and the average overall purchase price was €26,000, up from €23,920 in the preceding quarter.

In Pamporovo, the average purchase price in Q3 was 340 Euro/sq.m., almost without a change throughout the whole year. In Borovets, the average purchase price of apartments was 570 Euro/sq.m.

“The prices have reached the bottom and we are already witnessing signs of recovery and an increased demand,” says Polina Stoykova MRICS, Managing Director & Head of Research. “We are witnessing a true Renaissance of the property markets in the Bulgarian ski resorts this year.”

“With the beginning of the winter season, buyers are getting more active and our expectations are for a strong Q4 of 2015 and even stronger beginning of 2016.”