Although in comparison with other Central and Eastern European capitals the property market in the Bulgarian capital Sofia is not so profitable at the moment, still in 2011 it has displayed signs of stabilization. In comparison to 2010, there was not much change in the demand and in the properties on offer. The situation in Sofia looked similar to the one in Budapest, Kiev, Bucharest, Zagreb and Ljubljana. However, the experts claim that this is the beginning of stabilization. The volume of the purchases in 2011 has increased steadily and at the same time there was a slight increase in the number of the properties for sale. The decrease of the selling price in the last year has not been so drastic as in 2009 and 2010. However, Sofia is far away from Warsaw and Ljubljana where the average prices were close to 90% of the prices during the property boom years.
Archive for February 2012
According to analysts the prices of apartments in Bulgaria will not decrease further. The experts refer to the prices of actual purchases, underlining that the advertised prices sometimes are unrealistically high. There is already are a mismatch of the demand and the properties on offer. The most desirable properties have sold and there is a lack of good quality homes. At the same time developers can not launch new projects because there is no financing. The off-plan sales have completely stopped. Some experts recommend that the properties prices in Bulgaria should not be calculated per meter, as this can some times lead to confusion.
According to the National Statistics Institute, Bulgaria’s GDP is still 4.4 % bellow its highest pre-recession level of the last quarter of 2008. It is expected to catch up in the end of 2012. The economic growth is expected to be about 2%. The slowing down of the economies of the major economic partners of Bulgaria continues and this is the main reason to expect slowing down of the Bulgarian economy in the short term. The share of industrial production is shrinking while the share of the services keeps growing. The share of the net export has decreased while the share of the domestic demand has increased. Bulgaria’s foreign trade keeps performing well despite the limited economic growth in the Eurozone and the shrinking of the domestic demand in the major economic partners of the country. The general turnover in 2011 has increased by 25% nominally. FOB has increased by 30.6% and has reached 18.5 billion Euros, while CIF has also increased by 20.6% and has reached 21 billion Euros. The FOB/CIF deficit has decreased by 23.5% in comparison with 2010 and is about 2.5 billion Euros or 6.3% of the expected GDP. The direct foreign investment for 2011 will most likely not exceed 1 billion Euros.
In 2011 the prices of offices in Bulgaria continued dropping, although the average decrease of 3.48% on an annual basis is nothing near to the 18% drop in 2010. Buyers usually expect a price decrease of 30% in case of purchase. The highest price drop was in Blagroevdrad – by 7.71% and in Varna by 6.35%. In Sofia it was minimal – 0,93%. According to the analysts further sharp drops of the office prices are not expected.
At the same time the rental prices of office space have dropped by 18.38% on average for 2011. The sharpest drop was in Blagoevgread – by 26.72% and in Varna – by 25.73%. In the capital Sofia the office rents have increased by 3.08%.
The average yield of office space is 10.59% in Blagoevgrad, 9,71% in Varna and 8.18% in Sofia.
According to the Bulgarian National Statistics Institute the number of the completed new buildings in Bulgaria (in the country the buildings must receive the so-called “Permission to Use – Act 16” to be considered completed) in the last quarter of 2011 has increased by 34.5% in comparison with the previous quarter, totaling 928. The number of the new apartments however has decreased by 8,1 %. Across the country the highest number of buildings and apartments has been completed in Varna (188 buildings and 815 apartments); Burgas with 127 buildings and 826 apartments is in the second place.
At the same time the average living area of the newly built apartments has increased by 11,4% in the last quarter of 2011 in comparison with the previous quarter. The highest increase was in Gabrovo, followed by Montana.