For sellers

Sunny Beach Sales pick up in July, but only for the under 20,000 Euro market

01 August 15

With rival destinations such as Tunisia, Greece and Egypt suffering a problematic season, Bulgaria has benefited from overspill tourists seeking budget sunshine holidays. Sunny Beach is experiencing its best season ever, assisted by fantastic weather weekend numbers are topping 400,000 tourists in the resort, great business for any owner actively renting their property. Whilst the vast majority of visitors are purely holidaymakers there are still serious buyers amongst them, NewEstate made 13 sales in Sunny Beach in July alone, yet almost all were smaller less expensive studios.


The current market trend has been squarely focussed at the lower end: studios and 1 bedroom stock under 20,000 Euros are moving and typically sell within 6 weeks of listing at the market price, but for everything more valuable (25,000+ Euros) it is quite the opposite story as stagnation looms.


Despite heavy marketing, the bigger spenders with higher 1 and 2 bedroom budgets are far less active than 18 months ago at the peak of Russian demand. General interest is present, enquiries are constant, but firm offers and completed sales transactions are now few and far between. Even with the Rouble now considerably recovered from its 85:1 Euro crash eight months ago, its relatively stable current position of 63-66 Roubles per Euro is still a long way from the average of 40 that catalysed Russian interest throughout 2010-2014. For owners of more valuable property the immediate outlook is bleak, time on the market is long and renting to generate income should be seriously considered whilst awaiting market recovery.


Speculation of a new cold war and increasing anti-Russian rhetoric in Europe has been suggested as partially responsible for declining Russian property interest, but realistically from our perspective we see the motivation for Ukrainian and Russian buyers being ironically aligned. Most aim to leave their homelands to embark upon a property purchase followed by extended visa application and ultimately make application for a new passport, affordable emigration is the invisible but considerable pull factor that comes with every Bulgarian property offer. Bulgaria represents the least expensive doorway into a new life within the European Union, it is far from free and but legally possible and seemingly the desire of thousands. For as long as true democracy evades Russian society there will be demand for the less expensive habitable properties that Bulgaria has to offer, thus studios and alike are likely to continue selling without immediate threat of the demand curve changing. No obvious solution on the horizon for the rest of the market, ideally a rebalancing of the Rouble’s value and end to recession in Russia, neither of which are especially likely in the immediate to short term.