There are two conditions for a stable interest in real estate. The first is the economic and financial stability. This includes the access to banking credit for purchasing apartments, offices, or shops, as well as the satisfactory level of buyers' demand. The second condition is connected to the first one, and it is political stability. Recently, the country emitted mixed signals to foreign investors with the second snap parliamentary elections in less than two years. The results from the vote on 5 October are key for forming of a strong political majority, which is important for the predictability of the business climate.
The overall state of the Bulgarian real estate market is an indication that despite some challenges, the economy is not affected by significant shocks. The average home price of apartments in Sofia for the second quarter (the last one for which the Bulgarian Statistic Institute has official data) is 1,474 leva per sq.m. This is the highest value since the beginning of 2011.
According to the property consultancy Bulgarian Properties the prices of real estate in the Bulgarian capital have dropped by 42 percent from their pre-crisis peak. The correction is healthy, though the market is more difficult than it was in the times when every investor assumed more or less that the profits were guaranteed. The positive side is that the country is far from speculative bubble, and there are signs that the bottom has been reached.
Brokers report of recent increase of deals. The property sales in the Bulgarian capital for the first two quarters of 2014 have risen by 1,6 percent on a year on year basis. During the second quarter of the year, an average of 85 deals were made daily in Sofia. There is also a surge in new mortgages, which speaks for the trust of banks in the potential of the real estate market. For the second quarter of 2014 the mortgages are 7,865, which is a rise of 5 percent in comparison to the same period of 2013.
But how about the offices? According to Forton, during the second quarter of this year the newly rented space in Sofia was 37,500 sq.m, which is twice more than for the same period of 2013. The quarter to quarter rise in the first half year of 2014 was 27 percent. Forton also points out that office buyers were attracted from the excellent return on investment, which for first class offices in the capital was 9.25 percent.
The picture in the resort real estate is more diverse. There are exceptional properties in unique locations that are interesting for affluent international buyers. Of course, the more "ordinary" and affordable offers dominate the market. The properties in the resorts are not as liquid, as the ones in the big cities, but there are good opportunities for profit to be made in them too. The rise in sales are indicative of this: in Nesebar municipality the deals have risen by 12 percent. The situation is similar in Samokov, where the ski resort Borovets is situated; there according to Bulgarian Properties the surge is 10 percent. In Smolyan and Chepelare the deals are up by respectively 23.6 percent and 27.5 percent. In Razlog, the trend is in the other direction, the sales there are down by 12 percent in comparison to the second quarter of 2013.
When you look for a reliable partner in Bulgaria, it is important to pay attention not only to the projects on which a company is working at the moment, but also at its history that certifies professionalism. Yavor AD (Varna, 117 Republika Blvd, phone: 0898 711 658; www.yavorad.com) was established in 1945 and today specialises with construction, real estate, and consultations. The company is open, transparent, and adaptive. After the political changes in Bulgaria in 1989, it was privatised, and in 1998 was listed on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. During the last five years the realised projects of Yavor AD have a combined area of 15,000 sq.m. Over 20 million leva were invested in them.
Among the properties the company is offering is a luxurious apartment complex on the Northern Black Sea. The complex is among an oak forest, only 250 meters away from the sea shore, and is situated on 2.5 ha of quietness, beauty and greenery. The complex is 10 kms from Varna, 8 kms from the Golden Sands resort, and 16 kms from Varna Airport. The apartments face east and south, and boas a magnificent view from cape Kaliakra to cape Emine. The owners have access to a large and a children's pool, a barbecue with summer house, and many other extras, the most valuable of which is the unique nature.