Taylor Scott International says all signs are pointing to upwards momentum for the Bulgarian property market, with a new report from Bulgarian National Television indicating a rise in sales. Real estate agents claim transactions have increased by 20 per cent this summer compared to 2012, econ.bg reported. Interest is particularly high in the luxury market, it has been claimed, with the southern part of Sofia and the foot of the Vitosha mountain particularly popular during the holiday season.
This comes after the Bulgarian National Bank reported property transactions increasing by 29,641 year-on-year during the first six months of 2013. Standard reported that during the first half of the year (H1) there were 109,636 real estate deals, up from the 79,995 recorded in the same period in 2012. Increased domestic activity is helping to drive this trend.
However Taylor Scott International research show that property purchases financed through mortgage loans are falling in the country. It seems Bulgaria is increasingly becoming a cash market, with confidence in banks low. In May 2013, bank deposits of Bulgarians decreased by BGN 12.4 million compared to April. This is the first time this has happened since September 2010 and reflects disillusionment with the financial sector as interest rates fall. A new tax on savings has also caused people to move away from traditional banking options.
Yet according to Taylor Scott International the appetite for investment doesn’t seem to be too dented in the country, with Varna, Burgas, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Blagoevgrad reaping the benefits of increased property purchases. Taylor Scott International’s overseas buyers are also focusing their attention on the Black Sea coast. Sofia’s Nadezhda residential district is expected to be popular too, thanks to improved local infrastructure, econ.bg reported.
Taylor Scott International has two-bedroom apartments that are the most in-demand, which make ideal holiday let opportunities. Prices vary between €500 and €1000 per square metre depending on location and property type. Values remain stable, however, with brokers telling Standart that the market has already bottomed out. This has allowed Bulgaria to start to turn things around.
Real estate prices continue to remain reasonable too, Taylor Scott International research shows that H1’s pleasing performance unsurprising for many. Brokers told the newspaper that the market has already bottomed out and things are beginning to turn around.