For sellers

Rubel continues to devalue, Bulgarian Property now 50% more expensive for Russian buyers than 18 months ago.

12 November 14

As the Western sanctions continue to impact the Russian economy, the Ruble only shows signs of weakness and not a glimmer of recovery. To provide perspective: in March 2013 a Russian buyer needed 39.7 Rubles to buy 1 Euro, today they need 58.9 Rubles.

The impact is abundantly clear, your property is now 50% more expensive for them to acquire and thus the decision of most is simply not to proceed.

Russian buyers report to us directly that the situation is actually worse than our media purports, no bank or exchange agency will offer close to the actual Central Bank exchange rate as they hedge their bets for further devaluation beyond their usual profit margin. The reality is that for a member of the public the achievable rate is 62-63 Rubels to the Euro.




If Bulgarian property appealed to a wider audience the segment shopping with Rubels would be of less concern, however as Rubel spending Russians make up more than 95% of current demand the effect is a drastic reduction in the volume of sales. The general consensus from the largest agencies is that sales are now down by a third across the board and properties advertised at the market value are taking on average 2-3 months longer to sell than this time last year.


As the supply of vendors remains constant there is now an ever growing volume of available property stock, amongst the supply prices are falling as owners seek to release their equity and get a cash return sooner rather than later. The overall impact is negative for all concerned; vendors are fewer and those successful can only expect to achieve a lower net return, yet buyers have to pay upwards of 50% more.


Even with the recent reduction in prices, an average 1 bedroom apartment in Sunny Beach is now 1.5 Million Rubels. Much like stamp duty brackets in the UK (which buyers typically wish to spend up to but not more than), spending more than 1 million Rubels is a psychological barrier for the average middle class Russian family seeking an overseas holiday home, previously hard for agents to sell past, now nigh on impossible.