Why Choose Bulgaria for Property Investment

Bulgaria is a country of immense variety, both geographically and culturally. As a destination, the country has received widespread recognition within the last couple of years. Although Bulgaria is fast becoming one of the most popular countries for tourism, there are still many locations that have not yet been discovered so if you are looking for an up and coming resort, this could well be the country to start your search.

Also Bulgarias full potential has yet to be fully recognised or achieved. With the economy growing at 6% per year and unemployment falling fast (just 12% currently), Bulgarias economy is quickly integrating into the EU prior to its anticipated membership in 2007. Internal investment continues apace with international organisations predicting continued economic prosperity for the foreseeable future.
bulgaria property
Initially the interest from International investors in the property market was generally concentrated in the coastal beach resorts of the Black Sea. Now as the market has developed and matured there is an ever-increasing variety of property becoming available which appeals to the differing interest and needs of international buyers. If you are looking to invest in property in Bulgaria, you can now choose between the beautiful mountain ski resorts, historic villages, the Black Sea Coastal Resorts or the capital city of Sofia.

One thing to bear in mind is that the weather in Bulgaria is definitely season controlled, so although buying one or more apartments in say Sunny Beach should also bring you a rental income through the summer months, it will not be rented over the winter, as temperatures are often below freezing not a nice place to be when the resort is not equipped for winter letting. If however, you decide to go for a mountain resort like Bansko, then you will obviously find that the best rentals are often going to be during the skiing season, but as Bansko in particular is an established town, there is still plenty to see and do during the other seasons. So you would normally expect to receive a longer rental period for a property in Bansko than in for example Sunny Beach.

Is this the right time for investing in property?

There has not really been a better time to invest in property in Bulgaria, and record property sales have been recorded recently. As an example the sale of holiday apartments in Bulgaria’s Black Sea and Mountain Ski Resorts increased by up to 40% in the 12 months to Dec 2004, and a further 25-30% in year to Dec 2005. Forecasters expect prices will continue to increase 20%-30% annually until at least2007 which is when Bulgaria is expected to become a member of the EU. Bulgaria has made a bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, and if successful these would be in Vitosha (Sofia), Bansko and Borovets. If this was to go ahead then there would be great improvements within those areas, again giving a good chance of gains on investment property.

The tourism industry in Bulgaria is now well established and it has in fact become one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe. The number of tourists visiting Bulgaria is expected to reach between 4-5million in 2006. As tourism continues to grow, rental opportunities for the right property are high, which in turn makes this a good opportunity for property investment.

The currency (leva) in Bulgaria is stable, and is linked to the Euro, and this together with the fact that Bulgaria is politically and economically stable, that NATO membership was achieved in 2004 and it is in a good strategic geographic location are all pointers that would indicate a good return on property investment here is a real possibility.

At the moment one slight drawback is that no foreigner can own land within Bulgaria this would not cause a problem with an apartment, but if you wanted to buy a village house or have a new villa built you would have to buy in the name of a Bulgarian company which you would need to set up. Although setting up a Bulgarian company is a fairly simple process (for those who know what they are doing) I would always advise using a solicitor for this. It is likely that once Bulgaria is in the EEC then the rules for foreigners buying property will fall in line with the rest of Europe.

If you decide to look at buying a property in Bulgaria either for an investment, or for a holiday home, then do lots of research to see which area you would prefer to buy in, ask lots of questions of your agent and most of all if you are intending to buy as investment and for personal use, make sure you go and visit the areas you have shortlisted.

Submitted by: David Clayton

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