Russians dominate Bulgarian holiday homes

Photo credit:   Graham Chastney

Figures from BulgarianProperties.com show that there has been “an increased interest from various other countries” in the first few months of 2014. Indeed, demand for Bulgarian property climbed significantly on TheMoveChannel.com in April 2014, with the country re-entering the site’s top 10 most popular countries for the first time in months.

Nonetheless, Russian buyers are the major drivers in the seaside and skiing markets.

Skiing resorts are seeing strong interest from investors. The last winter was the strongest sales period since the beginning of the financial crisis, although transactions still remain below the market peak. As a result, prices continue to slide downward, with the average price of sold apartments in Bansko dipped 2.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the previous three months.

This offers strong opportunities to buyers with the capital to spend, such as Russians. Indeed, “almost 100 per cent” of buyers in Bansko are Russians, while Borovets is mostly the target of Bulgarians. Brits have stepped up investment in Pamporovo, although the majority of sales are divided by Russians and Bulgarians.

In seaside property markets, 80 per cent of sales go to Russian buyers. The largest variety of nationalities is found on the northern Black Sea coast, with Russians concentrated in Sunny Beach and Burgas.

Compared to the tourist-driven resort markets, though, Bulgaria’s rural property market has shrunk significantly, with sales down by half in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2013. The Russians and Bulgaris that are house-hunting away from the slopes and coast, though, are interested in cities such as Sofia.

The average price of the sold rural properties in the first quarter of 2014 was just €16,560.

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