Bulgaria Enters Top 5 UK Property Investors' Nightmares

Properties | December 23, 2011, Friday // 12:31|  views

The capital Sofia was subject to huge foreign investor interest in 2007, but the ensuing bubble has long since burst, the experts from Colordarcy consultancy say. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria has been ranked the fourth worst property market to invest in 2011 in a list, compiled to gauge the sentiments of and help Britons make the best investment choice for financial gain.

Bulgaria was once regarded as the 'the new Spain' for overseas investors, but this is no longer the case, Colordarcy consultancy, which carried out the survey, commented.

"Property prices are in freefall and with the exit of British and Irish buyers, Russian investors now dominate the market and their strong bargaining skills result in continued falling prices," it adds.

The report says that for many investors lured into coastal and Bansko ski properties with no exit in sight, the dream came to a sorry end.

"They'd have been better off buying a beach hut in Bournemouth as many will no doubt be trapped in a plummeting property market with no resale market insight and a country experiencing severe economic difficulties – hardly a recipe for property investment success."

Meanwhile the capital Sofia was subject to huge foreign investor interest in 2007, but the ensuing bubble has long since burst.

"There is virtually no resale market as developers can't even sell new property," Colordarcy survey points out.

Ireland is the worst place to buy a second home under the sun for Britons, according to the ranking.

"Once the envy of the world when the property markets boomed between 2000 and 2006, the sheer scale of their downward spiral becomes apparent when one recognizes that apartment prices fuelled by yet another painful 15% fall in 2011 are now down by a massive 60% from their peak," the agency says.

In second place is Cyprus, a long time favurite with British investors, but now even its biggest advocates are losing interest.

"A stagnant economy and its vulnerability to the Greek crisis with two of its largest banks exposed to a total of EUR 5 B doesn't bode well," Colordarcy experts forecast.

Greece comes in third in the ranking with a debt to the tune of EUR 340 B and property prices falling by 10% in the first half of 2011 alone.

In fifth place was the Czech Republic where annual property price increases of between 20 to 30% are a distant memory and now a combination of high prices, oversupply and some of the lowest rental yields in Europe have made this a property investor's bohemian nightmare.

The company points out that for a property market to be of interest to savvy investors it needs a stable economy, good capital growth prospects, a reliable rental market and accessibility to mortgage finance to make it viable.

The interesting thing about this current property slump in Europe is that it has spread to all areas from the emerging capitals of Central and Eastern Europe, to popular coast and ski resorts.

The analysts say there are now unprecedented opportunities to invest in the types of housing that would have been unthinkable back at the peak of the market in 2008, but mostly beyond Europe's borders and the US.

FULL text of the report's section on Bulgaria READ HERE

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Tags: Czech Republic, ireland, Cyprus, greece, sofia, Bansko, Bulgaria, property, real estate, central, Eastern, europe


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