Банкеръ Weekly



The holiday estates market registered a 30-35% growth in 2007, an analysis of the Foros real estate agency shows. The company has been publishing annual reports on property trading trends in the country for two years. Foreign direct investments in estates amount to EUR2,864MN, 44% up compared to 2007 and 282.35% - to 2005.
Last year a total area of 976,672 sq m has been constructed along the Black Sea coast and 344,847 sq m in the most popular mountain destinations - Bansko, Razlog and Dobrinishte. Real estates along the northern part of the sea coast are now most demanded by developers - prices jumped 53.94% there. Growth registered to the south is 20.82 per cent. The highest number of holiday flats has been built in Bansko and its vicinity - spreading on 340,000 square metres. Newly-built areas along the southern coast of the Black Sea exceed 800,000 sq m, with Sunny Beach, Ravda and Sveti Vlas the leading resorts. As the major buyers - the British, withdrew from the Bulgarian market, flats in quiet areas are sold between EUR600 and EUR800 per square metre. To the north, the highest number of holiday estates has been built near Varna, mainly in the two resorts Golden Sands and St. Constantine and Elena, and in Kavarna.
Because buyers from Ireland and Great Britain withdrew, there is secondary supply of holiday flats. Some of the sellers are people who made greenfield investment planning to make a profit by re-selling it at a much higher price. Others invested in estates in resorts in order to rent them. The supply of a second home in SPA resorts is not so popular in the country yet. Demand is mainly registered in Sandanski, Velingrad and the village of Banya near Blagoevgrad.
Large investors are already interested in developing ecological and spa villages. They are planned to spread on 20 to 50 dka. The northern coast of the Black Sea seems particularly favourable for such projects, especially as three golf playgrounds are now under construction between Balchik and Kavarna. About 1,200 luxurious flats will be built around them in order to make the region a hot destination.
Russians are already among the major clients willing to buy holiday estates in Bulgaria. They prefer to acquire finished projects. The other foreign group - the Greeks, choose the region of Bansko where they buy furnished apartments. The do not rent them but use them every three or four weeks combining their holiday in Bulgaria with shopping tours. Macedonians and Serbs buy property in Bansko, too, while Romanians prefer to invest in the northern Black Sea coast. The number of Bulgarians willing to buy small flats in the resorts for about EUR25,000 is growing, too. They are mainly representatives of the local personnel who prefer to have an accommodation near their job. Especially in the active tourist season it is very difficult to rent a suitable apartment. About 20-25% of the luxurious flats are bought by Bulgarians.
The prices of holiday flats along the southern coast of the Black Sea start from EUR550 per sq m and go up to EUR2,000 for flats at the front line. Prices in Bansko are similar - the average value of a square metre as of December 31, 2007 was EUR1,190. Investors in holiday estates should assess their investments very prudently, analysts say, because the market has reached a certain level of saturation and wealthy buyers now prefer to invest in isolated luxurious villas in beautiful areas with reliable infrastructure and extra comfort.

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