2008 Bulgarian Property Market Review
The year 2008 was a difficult time for the real estate market and, unsurprisingly, 2009 is expected to be even tougher. However the picture is not all negative.
It is evident that the holiday market has suffered the most. Prices in the ski resorts and along the coast have on average been falling dramatically and indeed also in fringe rural locations. However not all sectors of the market have suffered so badly. Properties in good locations (i.e. front line) and high spec offers have faired better than the lower end of the market. Also in urban areas good central offers have performed well over 2008. This has been a result of a buoyant domestic market although the last quarter of 2008 saw some tailing off in the prices as the credit crunch started to hit the domestic market. In 2009 we can expect a continuing fall in prices with holiday locations and fringe rural areas suffering the most.
This may seem all negative if you are a seller facing falling prices. However if you are looking to take your money to the UK you should bear in mind that the sterling/euro exchange rate has depreciated by 30% over the last year so even if you are selling at a lower price now you may still find you have a good profit. Likewise for all those who are looking to buy now there are some real bargains out there to be had.
As a company we have noticed a shifting in the profile of our clients. Initial interest was from the British and Irish markets but now we are seeing growing interest from other countries in particular Russia and Romania plus growing numbers of buyers from Scandinavia and other North-European destinations. This new profile of clients are tending towards investment properties whilst from our traditional markets of Britain and Ireland we are seeing a growing proportion of clients that are looking to immigrate permanently to Bulgaria.
During 2008 quite a few of our foreign clients who had bought properties some time ago have sold them for a good profit. If you consider selling please let us know and we can discuss the market opportunities.
How will the market develop in the 2009?
The main trends of 2008 are likely to continue in 2009. Whilst there are some signs of recovery in the US economy the cycle of the Bulgarian economy is following the EU and the worst months of the crisis, i.e. decline in demand for the local producers, increase of unemployment and so forth are still on the horizon.
In the resort areas 2009 will be time of reconciliation after years of property boom and fast growth of the tourism industry and, hopefully, of planning improvements for the infrastructure and services both on national and local level. This will be connected with growing interest in the rental market from people who had been hoping to sell their properties. Those who have made wise decision and bought in good locations will gain from the trends.
In the cities the credit crunch will continue to have a holding effect on the market. The rental market will continue to develop and high-spec properties will be doing better.
It is difficult in the current climate to predict for how long the difficulties will persist but as always there will be a recovery in the market and we expect to be here when it comes around to offer our services to all clients past, present and future.
Monthly Travel Guide
Below is a link to the Jamadvice HRG Bulgaria Monthly Travel Guide. It provides useful information as well as some interesting facts from the travel industry.