Bulgaria - No Longer The New Spain for Overseas InvestorsViews on BG | December 23, 2011, Friday // 13:00| views
Bansko in the Pirin Mountian is Bulgaria's most popular winter resort. Photo by BGNES
Following is the section on Bulgaria in a report compiled by Colordarcy consultancy, which outlines "The 5 Worst Property Markets To Invest In 2011".
Bulgaria was once regarded as 'the new Spain' for overseas investors – not anymore.
Unfortunately, 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.
Property prices are in freefall and there appears to be no way out of the spiral. British and most definitely Irish investors have fled and have now been replaced by a new invasion of Russian property investors. By all accounts, the Russians know how to drive a hard bargain, resulting in falling prices.
The added problem is these Russians are fewer in number and less than 5% of them are interested in investing in areas other than the coast.
Property prices in Bulgaria registered a further 10.95% decline in 2011 and there is no indication of when they will hit rock bottom with the economy being hit hard by recession.
For some British and Irish investors caught out when the bubble burst, there might be the small consolation of spending annual winter and summer holidays on the Bulgarian coast and ski resorts, but the novelty has probably already worn off when you look at the aforementioned declines in value this year.
Meanwhile the capital Sofia was subject to huge foreign investor interest in 2007, but the ensuing bubble has long since burst and if you still fancy a trip out there to view what's available be warned, Sofia is regarded as one of the most dangerous cities in Europe. Organised crime is rife and almost a third of its citizens never feel safe in the capital!
If you like living dangerously the one bright spot is that average yields are ok in good locations at between 5 and 6%, assuming a tenant can be found.
The Russians are helping to prop up the coastal markets.
Yields are good if you can get a tenant.
Distressed sellers mean low prices.
Investing in ski property remains a slippery slope.
Falling property prices and a struggling economy.
Virtually no resale market, developers can't even sell new property.
You will be lucky to find tenants.
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