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Bulgarian property prices strengthening up to 12 percent

A recent report by the Association of Real Estate Brokers has highlighted growth in Bulgarian real estate prices of up to 12 percent when compared to the same period last year. 
After a rocky few years since the credit crash in 2008, Bulgaria’s property market began to stabilise in 2015 and many brokers have seen a noticeable upswing in sales and property prices. 
Recent data indicates that most types of property are benefitting from the upswing in prices and in particular, the most demand is seen for new build properties. In Sofia and most major cities, the demand for good quality apartments of around 60m2 is high on the list for many prospective buyers. However, the supply for such apartments is not matching demand.
Sofia based broker Iliyana Vasileva comments that ‘since the beginning of the year there has been a deficit in the supply of good quality property is most segments. We’re not just talking small apartments. But nice brick built, three room [2 bedroom] apartments with garages are very hard to come by. There is no choice or supply of these offers’, she said.
Bulgaria’s new build construction industry is taking some time to catch up with the renewed demand after years of stagnation. During the crash there were a glut of new build apartments in most major cities. However, these have been absorbed and worked through the system and with fresh buyer demand, Bulgarian home builders are taking time to catch up.
As well as new build city apartments, good quality tourist orientated accommodation has increased in popularity among buyers with many snapping up properties with land not far from resorts. 
Newer build apartments in heavily built up resorts such as Sunny Beach have not seen significant price increases the report noted however, well positioned, good quality units were seeing upticks in pricing. 
The news comes despite reports of significant dips in buying interest from Russians. A recent report by Green Life Development and resorts showed a threefold decrease in the number of Russian buyers of Bulgarian property since 2014. 
Russia’s involvement in Ukraine and Crimea has been cited as a primary cause of the dwindling numbers of Russian buyers, who were once a dominant buying force particularly one Bulgaria’s coastline.
But many real estate agents are positive. Property registration data shows that the strengthening property market in Bulgaria is being supported by Bulgarians investing their savings in properties and buyers coming from Western Europe.