Why should you invest in Bulgaria?
Official figures show that property prices rose by 24%-100% in 2003. The increase in property prices exceeded 100% in many areas in 2004! Lower interest rates and the straight-forwarded state foreign policy are considered among the main reasons.
Increased foreign direct and indirect investment in real estate - determined by the EU membership perspective and constantly expanding tourist industry.
Bulgaria is a country with extremely low real estate and land prices compared with Western European and most Eastern European states. By now, Bulgaria is probably the cheapest country in the whole European Union.
The harmonisation of Bulgarian legislation with that of the European Union means that the actual process of a real estate transaction in Bulgaria is not that much different to the procedure that exists in other European countries, although there are still some major differences that need to be more defined if the market is to develop in a meaningful way.
The costs associated with property transactions in Bulgaria are generally much lower than in developed economies, as are the running costs or the costs of refurbishment or improvement. All properties are bought freehold and more than 90% of occupied residential property is owner occupied.
Following Bulgaria's transition to a market economy, the development of the retail property market has been difficult, but steady. With the initiatives to increase tourism, a large number of new construction projects have already been commenced along the Black Sea coast. In 2003, the tourism income increased by 21% - over 4 million visitors. The British tourists increased by over 40% in 2004! The growth in tourism is expected to be maintained in the forthcoming years.
Property and land prices are without doubt good value in Bulgaria. This may be due in part to the general historic neglect of its assets and also because the Bulgarian currency (the Lev) is undervalued. In addition, the current restriction on foreigners to own land is further affecting the liquidity of the market.
Bulgaria has joined EU in January 2007. This combined with the removal of certain remaining constitutional restrictions on foreign investment in land (due to its incompatibility with EU membership) should cause a further upward surge in property prices.