Bulgaria is one of the three most attractive and affordable European countries for living

Bulgaria is one of the three most attractive and affordable European countries for livingWhen planning the purchase of real estate, or moving for permanent residence abroad, it is not superfluous to consider whether the country you are thinking about is comfortable and affordable for living. At the end of last year, the European agency Schengenvisa released an updated report, according to which Bulgaria has become one of the most affordable countries in Europe to live in. The ranking is topped by Romania which is followed by Bulgaria and Albania. After them goes the Czech Republic, Poland and the final in this ranking is Slovenia.The study results were influenced by such indicators as: the average level of income in the country, prices for the purchase and rental of real estate, as well as the cost of food, transportation, etc.

If you are interested in detailed information about the cost of living in Bulgaria in 2023, we would like to introduce the analysis carried out by the Apart Estate specialists to you. It supplements the results of studies from other reputable sources.

Monthly expenses in Bulgaria in 2023

It is impossible to see the real level of living expenses in Bulgaria without staying in this country for at least six months. Coming here for a couple of weeks on vacation in the summer, you will catch only some pieces of the puzzle – the prices of groceries, transportation costs, or tickets to the theater or cinema. Staying here for a few months, you will be able to see the full picture.

Let's start with the main expenses that you will have living in Bulgaria permanently. It is clear that they vary a lot depending on a person, but we will try to bring them to some average statistical data.

  • Communal charges. This is cold water and electricity, used not only for cooking and electrical appliances, but also for the boiler and air conditioner (heater in winter). In summer, for a family of three living in an apartment in Burgas, Pomorie, or St. Vlas, these costs will be about 50-100 euros. In winter, due to the use of electric heating, expenditures increase by about two times. If the apartment has central heating, you will have to pay for it all year round.
  • When living in a cottage or a house, communal charges can be lower because of heating savings. Many families use pellets and firewood, others combine them with air conditioners and radiators.
  • Transportation. If you live in the center of a city or in a small town, such as Ravda or Tsarevo, and do not have a car, your transportation costs will be minimal – about 10 euros per month. All the infrastructural objects, schools, and shops are within walking distance. 
  • The public transport charge in Burgas is 0.75 euros as of the moment of the analysis completion. Children have special transport cards, which cost 10 euros per month. Thus, if regular trips are necessary, a family of father, mother and child can spend about 70 euros monthly.
  • If you use a car, the costs will increase. Estimated costs will be 60 – 150 euros, excluding maintenance, repairs, insurance, and parking.
  • Food. Quite cheap vegetables and fruits, flour products, and fish are available in Bulgaria. Good meats, cheeses, and delicacies are expensive. On average, a family of three spends 450 euros on food.
  • Medicine. The cost of services depends on the status of the person living in Bulgaria. If we are talking about citizens and persons with permanent residence without chronic diseases, the cost of regular medical care and medicines will be on average not more than 10 euros per month. Charges of 13 euros per person should be added to this amount; it is an analogue of insurance premiums covering medical services.
  • While the children are school or university students, these payments are covered by the state. 
  • People with a residence permit or tourists will have to pay from 15 to 25 euros for each visit to the doctor.
  • School and kindergarten. Admission to these educational institutions is free of charge. However, one must be prepared to pay for textbooks and school uniforms. The annual costs are about 150 euros or 12.50 euros per month.
  • Clothing and footwear. If we assume that the family is used to savings and seeks to purchase more or less cheap clothes and shoes, then the costs will be about 50-70 euros per month.
  • Additional education and sports. Attending foreign language courses, sports activities will cost about 35 euros per person.
  • Holidays. At least once a year, even the most economical family gets out for a picnic, a beach, or a ski resort. On average, the cost per person can be 10 euros per month.
  • Additional expenses. Various fees, taxes, administrative, telephone and postal charges are at least 20 euros. 

So, if you do not take into account apartment rental expenses, repairs, and emergencies, the average monthly cost per person living in Bulgaria is 350 euros. According to other sources, the expenditures can reach 500 euros. In any case, in terms of costs, Bulgaria is indeed quite a comfortable country. If a family or a single person rents an apartment, the additional costs will be between 200 and 400 euros.

Average prices for real estate in Bulgaria

In terms of monthly expenses, living in your apartment or house in Bulgaria is profitable enough. This is true especially if you managed to buy cheap real estate without loans and credits.

Taking into account the rental costs, the purchase price of an apartment pays off in an average of 10-15 years. For example, you bought a wonderful two-bedroom apartment with the Apart Estate’s assistance for 50 thous. euros, and your friends rent a similar apartment for 350 euros. In about 11 years, your investment will pay off in full.

Prices for Bulgarian property are expected to remain fairly high in 2023:

  • It will be possible to buy a studio apartment for 23 thous. euros in Sunny Beach or Ravda. In Burgas, such a flat without repair and furniture in a living building under construction costs from 30 thous. euros. A finished studio can be bought for 35,000 euros or more.
  • One-bedroom apartments are usually in high demand. Developers sell flats at 750 euros per sq. m. Prices in finished buildings start from 850 euros. Figures are given for Burgas remote neighborhoods. In Ravda and Sunny Beach residential complexes, as well as in Chernomorets, you can find cheaper apartments. In the center of Burgas, the average cost per square meter is 1,500 euros.
  • Prices of two-bedroom apartments start from 800 euros/sq. m. This statement is valid for real estate in the buildings under construction in Meden Rudnik, and in a remote part of the Slaveikov quarter. In the neighborhoods of Lazur, Izgrev, Sarafovo, and the downtown, it is necessary to count on the cost above 1200 euros.

A few years ago, in the Apart Estate catalog, one could find cheap houses and cottages near Burgas, in Kamenar, Kosharitsa, as well as in Strandzha villages. Recently, real estate in the countryside has again become attractive, and its value has increased significantly.

Today you can buy a small house for 100-150 thousand euros. Modern cottages reach the price of 450 thousand euros.

Income level

Having discussed the costs, it is worth paying attention to the income that the residents of Bulgaria receive.

The average monthly salary in November 2022 was:

  • Sofia – 1,200 euros;
  • Varna – 800 euros;
  • Plovdiv – 750 euros;
  • Burgas – 700 euros.

The data is provided by the National Statistical Institute. Salaries do not look high, however, they are enough to cover the main costs for comfortable living and recreation.

It is worth noting that the majority of people living in Bulgaria also have additional income. This is either another job, or a passive income from the real estate rental business.

On average, the amount received, minus the necessary payments (e.g. support fee, taxes) is 150-200 euros per month.

What else is so attractive in Bulgaria

Many residents of Bulgaria consider their country comfortable for living, not only in terms of the ratio of expenses and income.

Bulgaria has a pleasant climate, many sunny days, wonderful opportunities for recreation, rich history and culture.

Excellent culinary traditions, fresh vegetables, fruits, and fish allow you to diversify the menu, eat inexpensive, healthy high-quality products.

Convenient transport schemes, new roads, and modern airports make it possible to travel, live, work and study in different cities.

Bulgaria is a wonderful country to live in. It is affordable and comfortable from a financial point of view. It pleases with quality food, good education, and opportunities for business development. It is more convenient to choose an apartment or a cottage for permanent residence with the help of the Apart Estate agency. Our database always has attractive options at an affordable price.

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