For sellers

Bulgarian Property Prices 2012 - Time to stay or sell?

20 November 12

Bulgarian property prices fell again by 2.6% on an annual basis according to the second quarter results for 2012, according to the latest report from Global House Price Index from Knight Frank consultancy. In total the performance of property markets in 54 countries is compared, of which Bulgaria is currently ranking at 39th position.

The index suggest that between the second quarter of 2011 and second quarter 2012 Bulgaria is one of 23 countries that registered a decrease. However, this decrease in value has decelerated considerably, although there are no suggestions of its stopping or for growth to be likely soon.

Each of Bulgaria’s 27 property districts saw decreases from the start of 2012; the average price of residential property in September 2012 was 452 Euros / sqm, as estimated by the National Statistics Institute. The highest value of properties per sqm were in Sofia (730 Euros /sqm), Varna (725 Euros /sqm) and Bourgas (582 Euros /sqm).

Ireland again leads the European chats for decrease in property values, with house prices falling by an average of 14.4% on an annual basis in 2012. Hungary (11.2% decrease) and Greece (11.3% decrease) follow close behind.

Low prices continue to attract Russian buyers of Bulgarian property who purchase as a lifestyle choice, not for investment. Meanwhile, those looking to sell Bulgarian property continue to be largely British, Irish and now an increase volume of Polish vendors, most of whom purchased for investment based reasons and are now retracting from the market in huge waves.

Recent report by HiFX suggests that Brits are again buying abroad, but focussed on the classic destinations of rural France and coastal Spain. A smaller minority of purchasers are active in Italy, Cyprus and Portugal where distressed prices offer considerably cheaper alternatives. Swiss mountain resorts remains the solid choice for those with higher budgets and demands for world class quality over price. Unfortunately, all previously ‘emerging destinations’ such as Bulgaria, Romania, Cape Verde are no longer of any interest to the British and Irish buyers, with more than 95% of Bulgarian holiday properties selling to buyers from Russian / ex-Soviet states.