Bulgaria’s holiday property market remains one of the most active segments. After the strong year 2021, the great interest in this type of property is maintained in the current season as well. The upward trend in the market that appeared in the conditions of COVID-19 in 2021, combined with high inflation, pushed many of the buyers to invest in this particular segment, as the high property prices in the big cities are already largely overwhelming for many of them. The increased interest and lack of supply has led to a sustained increase in prices for vacation properties as well, and they are currently being offered at levels not seen in years. Mass transactions are carried out with personal funds, although an increase is also observed in transactions with additional financing through bank credit.
The profile of the buyer remains unchanged – once again Bulgarians are the main participants in deals with holiday properties. There is no increased interest in buying from Ukrainian citizens who have been living in Bulgaria since the beginning of the year.
Investors whose properties sat intact for years sold off their holdings and now the choice of new construction is significantly more limited. The market mainly offers secondary sales of holiday properties. But the lack of quality properties remains a problem for the market. To a large extent, this is due to the fact that the largest share of vacation property owners are Russians, for whom, at the moment, selling property in Bulgaria is a complicated process.
The current analysis examines the most popular destinations for buying a vacation property in
seaside and mountain areas of the country during the third quarter (Q3), which is usually one of the strongest periods of the year. The indicated price levels of real estate by region were obtained by averaging the data. It should be taken into account that the prices of the properties offered for sale on the market vary widely, but the most numerous are the offers in the middle price range, and the prices at which the purchase and sale transactions are realized are with a discount within 5- 10% of the offer price.
Usually, the most popular destinations for buying a holiday property are on the Black Sea, with the greatest interest in those in its central and southern parts.
Northern Black Sea
For the region of the Northern Black Sea coast, these are the areas of Kavarna, Balchik, while the interest in the resort areas around Varna – Golden Sands, St. St. Constantine and Elena.
Average property price levels for the Balchik region
The average price per square meter for apartments in the Balchik area is around 800 euros.
One-room apartments (studio type) are offered at average levels of 35,000 euros. Most of the transactions with this type of property are carried out at average prices between 25-30 thousand euros.
For two-room apartments, the average offer prices are at the level of 60 thousand euros, and it should be noted that in this area there is a large selection of properties at prices between 35 and 45 thousand euros. This type of apartments are the most like offers for sale on the market.
Three-room apartments can be found at an average offer price of 96,000 euros, with offers here ranging from 70,000 to 130,000 euros.
On the outskirts of the city of Balchik, mainly in the villa area (between Balchik and Albena), houses and villas can be found for sale in wide price ranges. Prices for this type of property in the area start from 50 thousand euros – for an old small building with a private yard, up to levels of 250 thousand euros and above. The largest selection of houses and villas is in the average price range of 120-150 thousand euros.
Number of transactions in RA Balchik service
In Q3 of 2022, property sales transactions in the Balchik region increased to 422 units, compared to 381 units. in Q2 and 272 pcs. in Q1 – which represents an increase of 10.7% compared to the second quarter and 55% compared to the first quarter of 2022, respectively. The number of transactions remains at similar levels compared to the same period of 2021, when they totaled 430.
Average property price levels for the Varna region
Vacation properties can be found in the resort areas located north of the sea capital – Golden Sands, St. Konstantin and Elena, Alen Mak, Chaika.
The average price per square meter for apartments in the Varna region is around 1150 euros.
Studio apartments are offered for sale at average prices of 50,000 euros, with the most sought-after ones priced up to 35,000 euros.
The most desirable are the two-room apartments, which are offered at an average offer price of 85,000 euros.
For three-room apartments, the average prices in the Varna region are around 150,000 euros.
In the resort area of Varna, you can find many options for a holiday home, the average prices of which are around 350,000 euros. There are significantly fewer offers for a detached house with a yard at prices below 150,000 euros.
Number of transactions in RA Varna service
The data on the number of transactions in the Varna region, where a slowdown in the market is observed, are interesting, as the number of registered transactions in Q3 2022 decreased to 3,921, compared to 4,328. in Q2 – representing a decrease of 10.4%. For the same period of the previous year, the decrease in sale transactions was 9.1%, when they totaled 4,280.
Central Black Sea
One of the most popular areas for buying a vacation property on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is that of the municipality of Nessebar, which is home to the town of the same name, Saint Vlas and the resort complexes Sunny Beach and Elenite.
Average price levels of properties for the area of Nessebar municipality There is a large selection of properties on the market in this area, with prices varying widely. The average price of apartments for sale is about 850 euros per square meter, for houses and villas about 1100 euros.
Town of Nessebar
In the third quarter of 2022, one-room apartments (studios) are available at an average selling price of 850 euro per sq.m, compared to 740 euro per sq.m for the same period in 2021.
Two-room apartments are offered at an average price of 1,000 euros per sq. m. A year earlier, similar apartments in the city of Nessebar were offered at an average price of 830 sq. m.
Three-room apartments are currently available at average prices of 1,100 euros per square meter.
The increase in property prices in Sunny Beach is significant, where the average price per square meter is already over 800 euros, while at the end of 2021 the average price per square meter is around 650 euros. Sunny Beach is one of the largest local holiday property markets in Bulgaria, with a large selection of apartments.
The studios are sold at prices between 25 and 30 thousand euros.
In the case of two-room apartments, deals are mostly concluded at price levels between 45-50 thousand euros.
The three-room apartments are sold at an average price of 65,000 euros.
In Saint Vlas, which has established itself as one of the most sophisticated resort towns on the Black Sea, the average prices per square meter of apartments reached 950 euros this season.
If in 2021, the studios were bought en masse at prices between 20-25 thousand euros, then in Q3 of 2022, the transactions are carried out at prices above 30 thousand euros.
For the most sought-after two-room apartments, buyers paid an average price of 60,000 euros, and for three-room apartments, most often between 80,000 and 90,000 euros.
Number of transactions in RA Nessebar service
A total of 3107 transactions were registered in RA Nessebar in Q3. (legal mortgages – 38, contractual mortgages – 93) compared to 1,438 transactions in Q1, and 2,915 transactions in Q2. For the same period of 2021, there were a total of 2,572 transactions. The increase in deal volume for Q3 2022 over Q3 2021 is 20%.
Transactions for all populated places of the municipality of Nesebar are entered in the RA – the village of Ravda, the town of Nesebar, the village of Kosharitsa, the village of k. Sunny Beach, the town of Sveti Vlas, Elenite, as well as the surrounding villages.
South Black Sea coast
Average property price levels for the Burgas region
Holiday properties in Burgas are located in areas such as Sarafovo and Kraimorie. The average price per square meter for vacation apartments here is around 1,000 euros.
The studios in the Burgas area are offered at average offer prices of 38 thousand euros, with the cheapest offers starting from 25 thousand euros.
Two-room apartments are offered at average offer prices of 65,000 euros.
For three-room apartments, the average selling prices are around 120,000 euros.
Average property price levels for the Sozopol area
Holiday properties in destinations such as Sozopol are the main sites offered for sale on the local market. The choice is large, although in the past 2 years, the quality properties in this area have already run out. Due to the high demand, the leading construction and investment companies building in the Sozopol area did not experience any particular difficulties in making sales over the years, and at the moment, mainly properties are offered here on the secondary market.
The increased interest in vacation properties in Sozopol also determines the highest price levels on the Black Sea, as the average price per square meter for apartments here is around 1,200 euros and for houses around 1,500 euros.
The most sought after are two-room apartments, which are available at an average price of 75,000 euros.
In the next season, the completion of several new buildings is expected in one of the largest complexes in Sozopol – Green Life Beach Resort, which will provide new construction apartments on the market.
Number of transactions in RA Burgas service
In Q3, the purchase and sale transactions in Burgas recorded a slight decrease of 4% compared to Q2 (Q2 – 2259 transactions, Q3 – 2164), but increased by 28% compared to Q1. More significant is the reduction stopped in the third quarter of 2021, as it is in the amount of 16%.
The interest in buying a vacation property in the mountainous regions of Bulgaria towards the end of Q3 2022 remains. Below are considered the most desirable destinations such as Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo.
Average property price levels for the Bansko region
Bansko is the most popular winter resort in Bulgaria, which offers the richest base of vacation properties for sale. The high competition among sellers keeps the price levels relatively low compared to other areas, which to a large extent affects the demand due to the better affordability of the properties.
The average price per square meter for apartments in Bansko is around 750 euros. This is one of the lowest prices per square meter at which a vacation property can be purchased in Bulgaria, and it should be noted that it is a populated place with good infrastructure and the possibility of year-round use of the property.
One-bedroom apartments (studios) are preferred by buyers who are purchasing property for investment purposes, as they are most suitable for renting out and at significantly lower prices. The average price at which a studio can be found in Q3 na 2022 is 28,000 euros, with prices starting at 20,000 euros. The largest volume of apartments offered for sale in Bansko have two-room apartments, and those in the price range of 35-55 thousand euros. In this range are also the most bought ones, as the ratio of price, quality and investment potential is the greatest. The three-room apartments have an average price of 75,000 euros, and they are mostly bought by families for personal use. The supply of houses and villas in the Bansko region is not very large, and the prices for this type of property here are at average levels around 200 thousand euros.
Number of transactions in AV Razlog service
The data from the office of the Registration Agency in Razlog, which records all transactions in the area (which also includes Bansko), show that the number of sales remains at similar levels compared to 2021. In Q3, the total number of concluded transactions was 734 , compared to 593 in Q1 and 682 in Q2.
The first two periods of 2022 marked an increase compared to the same periods of 2021, but the third quarter saw a slowdown in the market, with the number of transactions decreasing by about 4%.
През 2022 пазарът на имоти в Боровец е много ограничен, като средните цени на апартаментите надвишават 1100 евро, което е покачване с над 20% прямо цените от 2021 г. Къщи могат да се намерят в непосредствена близост в селските райони и в гр. Самоков.
In Pamporovo, the available properties on the market are also very few, with average prices at the level of 700 euros per sq. m. Despite the affordable prices, the interest in buying a property in Pamporovo is much lower compared to other mountain resorts. According to AV Chepelare, in Q3 the number of transactions also decreased compared to Q2.
From the analysis, it can be concluded that in Q3, in most regions of the country where vacation properties can be purchased, prices increased, but the number of transactions decreased. This could turn out to be a turning point and the market could start a correction, against the background of the policy of raising the main interest rates by the ECB.
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