Property market in Bulgaria in 2021: statistics, prices, trends
For the last several years, the market of real estate in Bulgaria has been dynamic as well as unpredictable. A year ago, it was overwhelmed with a lot of good offers, while these were buyers who controlled the market. Today, demand far exceeds the offers, and the terms are dictated by sellers. For more information regarding the residential and commercial property sales in Bulgaria in the second quarter of 2021, read the special review prepared by Apart Estate specialists.
Key trends of the property market in Bulgaria in 2021
In the second quarter of 2021, the Bulgarian property market demonstrated several main trends:
- According to analysts, the number of transactions in the second quarter of 2021 increased by 61.7% compared to the same period last year. In fact, we are talking about the return of sales to the pre-crisis level.
- The property price increase is noted both in large cities – Sofia, Burgas, Varna, and in the Black Sea resorts –in Sveti Vlas, Pomorie, Sozopol, Sunny Beach.
- Most of the buyers are Bulgarian citizens, including those living abroad. Apartments are purchased for permanent living, investing, and renting out. The main reason for the increased interest in the Bulgarian property is the desire to profitably invest free money. Buyers are afraid of possible inflation. They believe that due to the expected entry into the euro zone, real estate prices will increase drastically. On the other hand, the position of banks also encourages buying apartments and houses. Many of them reject deposits, and those who still approve the deposits, ask for an additional fee.
Most of the buyers from other countries are citizens of Israel, Germany, or Poland. They buy property in Bulgaria to get an additional income, to have housing for family vacations, or to move for permanent residence. If you are looking forward to getting a residence permit in Bulgaria, Apart Estate can assist in obtaining necessary paperwork.
There is a great demand for townhouses and apartments by the sea, in the mountains, as well as houses in Bulgarian villages located close to the Black Sea coast. Simply put, any decent property gets sold.
Most wanted property in Bulgaria
Traditionally, apartments in Sofia and Plovdiv are in the highest demand. In the second quarter of 2021, the number of signed transactions here was 9,736 and 5,070 respectively.
Varna ranks third in terms of sales. In April-June, almost 3.5 thousand apartments and houses were sold here.
In Burgas, in the 2nd quarter, about 2 thousand property sales were registered. This number does not include apartments in Sunny Beach, Nessebar, and Sveti Vlas as well as in the Southern Black Sea region resorts – Chernomorets, Sozopol and Tsarevo. However, the growth in these towns is also significant.
Some numbers will demonstrate the detailed picture. In Nessebar, where Sunny Beach and St. Vlas real estate sales are taken into account, 2,257 properties were sold in January-June. Compared to the same period in 2020 the growth was 32%. The sales increase in the 2nd quarter of 2021 compared to the 1st quarter in Sunny Beach was 22%, in St. Vlas – 10%, in Kosharitsa – 6%. In Pomorie, 869 objects were sold in the first half of 2021 (growth - 32%). In Tsarevo, 523 transactions were concluded, which is almost 97% higher than last year.
It is worth noting that foreigners and Bulgarians living in other countries buy property in Sunny Beach and Sveti Vlas, while people permanently living in Bulgaria traditionally target real estate in Burgas, St. Vlas and Pomorie.
Most demanded property in 2021
An analysis of the property demand in Bulgaria in 2021 shows following:
- 66% of all properties sold are apartments. In Sunny Beach, Sveti Vlas, Sozopol and Chernomorets, these are the flats in living complexes. In Burgas, including the remote district of Sarafovo, and Pomorie, buyers are looking for apartments in living buildings without a maintenance fee.
- Villas and houses account for 28% of the total volume of the real estate sold. Since the beginning of the crisis in 2020, the demand for private houses has only grown. Many experts even believe that it makes sense to talk about a boom of sales in individual housing. Cottages are being bought by retirees and families with children. People are interested in ordinary village houses in Kamenar, Medovo, and Aleksandrovo. They are also interested in villas built in cottage villages near Pomorie and Sveti Vlas.
- Townhouses account for 2% of sales. According to Apart Estate data, the demand for this type of real estate is huge, but the offers are limited. Townhouses under construction in Sarafovo (Burgas) are sold as soon as the developer receives a building permit.
- The share of land sales is 2%. Low demand is related to the lack of interest in agriculture as well as legal restrictions on the purchase of land by foreigners. Citizens of Russia, Israel, Germany, Great Britain and other countries may not buy land. Apart Estate, however, can offer a legal opportunity to purchase land through a legal entity and provide full transaction support.
- Commercial property accounts for 2% of all the sales. Recent trends include development of the rental market. Many businessmen consider purchasing to be unreasonably risky.
Property prices in Bulgaria in 2021
In the second quarter of 2021, prices for apartments and houses have increased considerably.
According to statistics, most of the transactions are concluded in the price segment between 25,001 and 50,000 Euros; this is 38% of all the sales. These are one-bedroom apartments in complexes and in ordinary residential buildings in Ravda, Pomorie, Sozopol, and Sunny Beach. The price segment also includes studio apartments in Burgas, Varna, and premium-class studio apartments in Elenite.
Property sales at prices up to 25 thousand Euros accounts compose 36% of the market. This price segment includes budget studio apartments in the ski and sea resorts of Bansko, Pamporovo, Sveti Vlas, Chernomorets.
Transactions at prices ranging from 51 to 100 thousand Euros take only 16% of the market. At this price, in the second quarter of 2021, one could buy one- and two-bedroom apartments in Burgas, Sofia, Varna, as well as small unfinished townhouses without furniture.
Property at the price from 100 to 250 thous. Euros takes 6% of the market sales.
Real estate that costs more than 250 thousand makes up 1% of the market. These are luxurious apartments, cottages and townhouses.
The increase of property prices in Bulgaria began in the first quarter of 2021. In the second quarter, the growth trend has only strengthened:
In Sunny Beach, the average price per square meter in April-June was 500 Euros and reached the level of 2016-2019. Note that prices were higher only in 2013-2015. This was the period when
Bulgarian real estate by the sea was in great demand among Russians and British. In 2020 a one-bedroom apartment in Sunny Beach could be bought for 25-30 thous. Euros, then a year later prices increased to 32-35 thous. Euros.
Apartments in Sveti Vlas have also become more expensive. The average transaction amount in April-June was 35-40 thousand Euros. The interest in property is associated with the possibility to live in Sveti Vlas all year round.
Apartments in Sozopol and Lozenets located in the southern Black Sea region of Bulgaria are popular as usual. The average price at these sea resorts is 1,000 Euros/ sq. m. Property on the first sea line costs up to 2,000 Euros.
In the cities of Burgas, Varna, it is difficult to find a renovated apartment cheaper than 1000 Euros/sq. m. The average price in elite areas is steadily approaching 1.3 thousand. If you want to buy something cheaper, then look for the property from developers or in remote areas.
The average prices in this case are 750-850 Euros / sq. m.
Despite the positive dynamics of the real estate market in the first and second quarters of 2021, the second half of the year may be weaker. The main reason is the lack of high-quality property offers. New living buildings are constructed in limited quantities. The owners of studio, one-, two-bedroom apartments who wanted to get rid of them, have already sold them. Nevertheless, Apart Estate agency specialists are constantly updating their real estate catalog. Here, you can find inexpensive two-room, three-room apartments in Burgas, Sozopol, Nessebar, private houses in Bulgarian villages and townhouses by the sea, as well as property in Bansko and Pamporovo.