Property in Sofia

Skiing in Sofia

Vitosha mountain has become very much a part of Sofia owing to its accessibility by means of cabin lifts and road. Cherni Vrah, the highest point, gives wonderful views over the whole region. The winter ski-resort of Aleko lies at 1,868m altitude and the ski season lasts from December until late spring.The beautiful scenery makes the whole area attractive throughout the year. It is possible to take a 20-minute taxi ride from the centre of Sofia to the start of the ski lift. The ride to the top of Vitosha takes about another 2o mins, so you can be skiing within an hour of leaving the centre.

Property in Sofia

The property market in Sofia is the most unique and complex in the country, thanks to the great demand for space, be it residential, retail or office.

view to sofia

Before the British started buying in Bulgaria there were already several well-established domestic and international real-estate agents operating in Sofia, which served the diplomatic and business community, selling commercial and residential properties in Sofia. If you are considering investing in central Sofia you are advised to stick to an established agent, or one that actually has an office in Sofia, rather than go to one of the companies that specialise in holiday homes, by the Black Sea or in the ski resorts.

The general picture of property prices in Sofia is complex. Generally the most popular areas are in the centre, where apartments are €1,000-2,500 per square metre. Areas such as Lozenetz and the Doctor’s Garden retain their position as the most popular for expats living and working in the capital. The suburbs of Simeonovo, Boyana, Dragalevtsi, Bistritsa and Pancharevo are exclusive residential suburbs on the edge of Sofia. Several major residential developments have been completed or are under way here, offering apartments to western standards though often in gated communities more reminiscent of the USA than of a European capital.

According to the National Institute for Statistics, average house prices in 2007 are around €1,340 per square metre for the central area. However, with the huge variety of housing stock this should taken as a benchmark only.

Rents are high in Sofia, and anyone considering buying a property in Sofia purely for investment would find Sofia as good as anywhere to buy-to-let.

Recent figures from the National Institute of Statistics show there has been a 14 per cent increase in prices for the first quarter of 2007 compared with 2006 – so if you are an investor it is probably as well not to hang around too much longer before taking the plunge. When the British property interest levels off elsewhere in the country, the chances are that Sofia’s property market – built on strong domestic demand and the growing national economy – will ride the waves better than other areas of Bulgaria.

Expatriate Communities in Sofia

Depending on your opinion, you may wish to avoid or gravitate towards fellow Brits or other countrymen. At one time the expat community was pretty much limited to Sofia, with Brits only lightly scattered throughout the interior. In the 1990s the typical expatriate was living in Sofia and working as a consultant on an aid project or as an expert in some ministry or as a technical assistant and adviser on an EU-funded project. There was also a small diplomatic community, plus a growing number of business-community expats working for foreign companies with business interests here. In addition, international companies such as Colliers and KPMG were setting up in Bulgaria to aid local and foreign business in the new economy.

Recently the growth of the economy and the property boom has seen a more complex picture emerging. British people particularly are spread throughout those regions where the property boom is more prevalent – particularly along the Black Sea coast and inland around the Stara Planina mountains. Some local estate agents in VelikoTurnovo have even been advertising properties as’traditional old house, lovely view, in established British community’. A car with British plates was a rare sight even a few years back, but in towns like Veliko Turnovo they are now commonplace.

One Response to “Property in Sofia”

  1. Buying Holiday Homes…

    Very cool post….

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