INVESTING IN BULGARIA
 

 

11 th April 2006

The Sofia Echo reported the creation of the National Tourism Board which in May will discuss ways of uniting large investors, non-governmental organisations and businesses that are involved in tourism.

These discussions will eventually impact upon property investment in Bulgaria . Successful tourism generally feeds directly into a property boom.

The article continued, "The future National Tourism Board will formulate and seek solutions to essential problems related to regional development, infrastructure, beach and airport concessions, promoting new tourist products, developing new markets, building a network of Bulgarian tourist offices abroad under public-private partnership schemes, and a bigger budget for advertising Bulgarian tourism abroad ."

The Sofia Echo quoted statistics which show that 25 per cent of property investors in Bulgaria prefer to purchase land close to major cities with a similar percentage prefer ring agricultural land. Attention was also drawn to the advantages of investing around Sofia as well as the Black Sea, while around eleven per cent favoured ski resorts such as Bansko, Borovets, and Pamporovo.

The article continued to point out that there will be 40 courses in the country in 15 years' time. Bulgaria is often compared to Spain in the 1980s and its burgeoning status as a golf haven is only likely to strengthen these comparisons.

Big names such as Nick Faldo, Gary Player, Ian Woosnam and Jack Nicklaus are all thought to be taking a central role in the design of several courses in the country.

With the ski resorts booming and the Black Sea regions continuing to draw tourists and investors alike, golf courses would seemingly add yet another dimension to Bulgaria's growing property appeal.

 

 

An increasing number of clients ask us for investment advice. Disillusioned with pension funds and the ability or willingness of government to look after them in old age, many people are taking the view that they are more able to provide for themselves. Relying on the “experts” has proved a nightmare for many who have seen their hard earned saving turned to dust.

Investing in land or property in a rising market is a very quick and safe way of making significant capital gains. There are risks but these are small and manageable, and most investors are more than capable of making an informed judgements without consulting the gurus. We employ our own legal team, not local solicitors. We are able therefore to provide honest objective advice about investments clients wish to make.

Our view is that north of Bourgas is reaching its peak while south of Bourgas and inland has a significant way to run. All our clients who have bought south of Bourgas and inland have seen significant gains.

 

Land verses Property

Many investors are buying significant amounts of land, speculating that it will appreciate in value. There is real lack of knowledge about agricultural and regulated and how long it takes to convert from one to the other. We have a lot of local knowledge and can advise about these things including which are the best areas to buy and what are the potential pitfalls.

We know the local areas and what are and are not sensible fair prices. The British are driving the prices up and are responsible for some of the worst price hikes. Bulgarians very naturally are pleased with this situation and take full advantage. Bargains are disappearing fast as silly money is paid for overpriced property!

 

Seaside versus Rural

Yes it is nice to be beside the sea, but many people prefer the quiet tranquillity of a rural idyll. First line apartments always command a premium but often far greater percentage gains are made on rural properties whether or not they are restored. Canny buyers are looking further inland where there are bargains to be had.

To summarise today everything is attractive but very soon it will be much more difficult to make a sound investment.