Modern economic environment is a system of complex dependencies and connections – change in one of its elements inevitably results in change in the others. The Sofia property market is not an exception. The improved economical environment in the past few years and the remarkable development of the IT and the outsourcing sector energised the market of quality office properties. An increasing number of companies in these fields arrive in Bulgaria or expand their local operations. The sensible prices of the office properties in Bulgaria and their high quality are one of the reasons for international companies to open offices in the country.
That is why at the moment the property market in Bulgaria, and particularly in Sofia, is dominated by deals in office, administrative, sales and manufacturing spaces.
The first half of 2017 is considered the golden period for this type of deals, but the trends for 2018 are more than encouraging. In the beginning of the year were introduced for exploitation first-class business spaces of a total area of about 37,800 sq.m. According to data by the Cushman & Wakefield Forton consultancy company, in the first half of 2018 were finalised rental deals for about 67,000 sq.m. Over a half of the rental deals from the first trimester of 2018 are for properties that should be ready by the end of the year.
The unoccupied office properties at the moment are about 10% – a sign for a mature market with potential for development.
The demand for this type of construction has led to increase of the supply. At the moment in the Bulgarian capital are under construction about 334,000 sq.m of class A and B office spaces. Of those, by the end of the year or the beginning of the next one, about 166,000 sq.m will have permit for use. According to prognoses, by 2020-2021 about 300,000 sq.m of office properties will be completed.
Even when you don't look at the numbers and the statistic data, a drive around Sofia is enough to get an idea about how drastically the office environment and the property market have changed. In Bulgaria's capital rise high, ambitious projects with memorable silhouettes and creative design solutions.
What are the trends on the office properties market in 2018?
The rental prices remain unchanged. In the class A properties they are in the range of 13-15 euros per sq.m, and in class B of 7-10 euros. According to prognoses, in the future these levels will hardly change. The most significant interest is in offices with area over 1,500-2,000 sq.m, but inquiries for significantly larger spaces are not rare, too.
As the office properties market is set into motion by companies in the most lively and innovative sectors in economy – IT, ВРО, outsourcing, fintech, the new business projects reflect the desires and the needs of such companies.
Location remains crucial for the choice of an office. There is a preference towards places with good communications, and the all time favourites in Sofia are the environs of Tsarigradsko Shose Boulevard and Business Park Sofia. Places like Lozenets and Hladilnika neighbourhoods and boulevards Todor Aleksandrov and Bulgaria are also popular.
The building's amenities are another crucial factor. Contemporary companies develop quickly and need space that can be easily adapted to fit their changing requirements. The flexible space arrangement and the full technical equipment are also key.
The modern desire of companies to provide their staff not just with an office, but with a place where they can sufficiently relax to be more effective and creative, is reflected in Sofia's new office spaces.
They offer opportunities for sport and relaxation, greenery, fresh air and light.
Quality office properties also meet the requirements for energy efficiency and green building. It is no more enough for a building to have enough parking spaces – it has become a sign for quality for it to also have electromobiles charging stations, for example.
Finding your property among all the offers on the market is not an easy thing to do. To succeed in this, you need the help of a company with experience in the field of real estate deals.
T.I. Homes Ltd. (Sofia, Students' Town, 2 Prof. Aleksandar Fol St, shop 2 next to entrance G, phone: +359 2 417 4353, www.tihome.bg) is such a company. Established in 2007, it has turned into a form of art the ability to meet people with their new homes. The young and motivated T.I. Homes team includes experienced professionals in the field of not only real estate, but also engineering, banks and finance, insurance. They will help you quickly and properly with everything that has to do with property deals, regardless of whether you buy, sell, or want to rent or to let. The company also works with established developers of new properties and will help you with a loan or a mortgage at preferential conditions with banks which are its long-term partners.
The optimistic prognoses for the development of the office properties market in Bulgaria seem justified. The increased supply of such buildings in the next few years will hardly significantly change the picture of the market. The most active companies in the local economy continue to plan their future development in Bulgaria, while the work force is getting increasingly adequate to the needs of the labour market.