For sellers

Russian resale market begins – Bulgarian property market further stabilises

11 December 13

For some years now it has been a market constant to see the trade of properties flow one way: from British and Irish vendors to Russian / ex Soviet state buyers. However, NewEstate is now clearly seeing a new trend where Russian owners who bought in the early stages of their Bulgarian market cycle (2009-2010) are now moving sideways within the market, upwards or exiting entirely and selling to fellow Russians.

As these buyers bought at post-recession prices, the losses for them are either small or non-existent, pretty much most Russian vendors are selling at about the same they purchased for, perhaps plus or minus only the agency fees and notary taxes etc. In these past 3-4 years the owners have either outgrown their properties, have achieved greater financial wealth and thus more spending power or they simply are selling up in Bulgaria and opting for something closer to the motherland.

These vendors are rarely motivated by financial gain or loss, as with their purchases their sales are also lifestyle orientated and motivation to move their holiday home is driven by style, location, quality, view and size rather than returns or running costs.

We still see a constant flow of Russian buyers interested in buying Bulgarian property in order to qualify for EU visa status as an owner of an EU home, generally the push factors that encourage Russians to access residential Europe are no less than before, arguably under Putin’s current term they are actually greater. As such, we cannot see a flight of Russian owners leaving, there is no exodus, more simply time moves on and along with it so do tastes, desires and affordability. There was never a resale market between British and Irish owners, very few purchased and then resold to either flip or upgrade their purchases, as such this really is new positive progress for the market as a whole.

For all active vendors this is only good news, it suggests the market is demonstrating greater diversity of buyers, requirements and budgets, which can only help sustain the marketplace and enable consistent demand for a wider array of properties. For British and Irish sellers of Bulgarian properties, the critical point is to ensure you are listed with an agency who are active within this new domestic market, who have the capability to sell from Russian to Russian. This will be an ever growing sector providing sustained returns for active agencies, as such if you are to have the best chance to sell your property for the best price, you should insist it is marketed with a firm with the capability to provide it with the best exposure and highest marketing budget.