Russian buying boom prompts Bulgarian property recovery

Bulgaria's crisis-hit real estate sector is pinning its hopes on Russian holiday-home buyers rediscovering one of their favourite communist-era travel destinations, AFP reported.

Russians with money to burn are replacing British property buyers who rushed to buy second homes on credit several years ago and are now re-selling at half-price following the economic crisis, according to Antonia Wirt, Bulgarian section chief of the International Real Estate Federation FIABCI.

"In the past three or four years, over 200,000 Russians have bought property in Bulgaria, worth over a billion dollars (726 million euros)" in total, FIABCI president-elect Alex Romanenko told AFP on the sidelines of a conference in the ski resort of Bansko. "Bulgaria occupies a dominant position in the real estate market in the Balkans, which has a great potential," he added.

The similarities of the Bulgarian and Russian languages, which both use Cyrillic script, close cultural ties and the common Orthodox religion facilitate contacts and make Russians feel quite at home in Bulgaria, real estate agents say.

Source: Focus Information Agency