Archive for the 'property investment' Category

Number of housing property deals in Bulgaria’s capital doubled in January – Bulgarian Properties

The number of transactions on Sofia’s housing market in January 2011 was double that of January 2010, Sofia-based real estate agency Bulgarian Properties said.

According to Polina Stoykova, chief operating officer at the agency, this was the strongest January in terms of residential property deals in Sofia.

Usually, the number of sales at the start of the year is lower, but this is considered a good sign for the real estate market as a whole, because the trend is indicative of Sofia’s entire property market, Stoykova said.

One-bedroom flats at prices of up to 50 000 euro generated the strongest interest in January, followed by two-room apartments at between 75 000 euro and 80 000 euro, as well as luxury flats priced at 120 000 euro to 300 000 euro.

Launch of Sofia’s most expensive apartment rentals project

Cleves, the luxury apartment rentals company, today opens Sofia’s most expensive rentals project: a sumptuous 34-apartment building in Iztok which cost over €10m, of which €2m has been spent on the fit-out, furnishing and equipment.

 Prior to launch five of the most costly apartments had already been rented – for as much as €3000 + VAT per month.  Said Vesey Crichton, partner at Cleves: “There is a shortage of high-quality rentals in Sofia. Despite the economy, underlying demand from international clients in this niche is strong.”  Monthly rentals are from €760 to €3400 + VAT.

 Cleves Este is in a very smart secure compound close to the Joliot Curie Metro, with shops and restaurants on site, underground parking, landscaped gardens and children’s playgrounds.  A swimming pool and health club will open soon with massage, steam rooms, fitness and beauty facilities.

 The building itself has eight floors, with a ground-floor suite of offices, 34 apartments and 49 parking spaces.  The design of each of Cleves Este’s apartments is different and distinctive.  Influences range from Japanese poetry and square-rigged sailing ships to the romance of Tuscany and Provence. 

 At every stage of the project’s design close attention has been given to style and comfort.  All apartments are light and airy, with spacious rooms and big windows.  Each has at least one balcony – most have several.  Some apartments have walk-in wardrobes. All have modern handcrafted kitchens, Wi-fi pre-installed, and flat-screen TV with cable access.  Every apartment has a full security system, with burglar alarm motion detection, and the front doors have triple bolts. A concierge is on duty 24 hours a day.

 Cleves Este has some special features: A single remote control device gives access to everything – underground parking, the main entrance, the lift, and the gardens.  Each apartment’s video entry system gives a view of both the front entrance, and the area immediately outside the apartment. The air-conditioning is computer controlled, with chiller units on the roof – ‘greener’ and more efficient than conventional systems. The underground car park is lavish: wide painted concrete floors, lighting activated by motion sensing devices, and (for winter conditions) under-floor heating on the entry and exit ramps.

 This is the company’s fifth rental property, bringing the number of apartments it operates in Sofia to 91.  Already Cleves has rental projects in Boyana, Oborishte, Izgrev and Manastirski Livadi.

 Cleves EOOD ( is in the process of acquiring a €40m portfolio of up-market, residential property in Sofia.  The company focuses on the top-end of the rentals market.  Its clients are senior international business people and diplomats. The company owns and operates all the apartments in its portfolio.

Sofia Housing Market Shows Strong Signs of Recovery

The January 2011 sales of housing properties in Sofia are up two times compared to January 2010, according to data from the real estate agency Bulgarian Properties.

The company’s Operational Director, Polina Stoykova, quoted by the Bulgarian daily “Dnevnik,” says data about deals concluded in January of 2011 shows this has been the strongest first month of the year in terms of sales in several years to pass.

The Director explains the common trend is for the sales to go down in the beginning of the year, adding the numbers are a good sign for the real estate market as a whole.

In January, buyers were mostly interested in one-bedroom apartments with a listing price of up to EUR 50 000; followed by two-bedroom units between EUR 75 000 and EUR 80 000, and by luxury apartments with prices between EUR 120 000 and EUR 300 000.

Considering the average income and the price reduction for housing units, apartments in Sofia are way more affordable compared to 5 years ago, according to Stoykova.

Data from the National Statistics Institute (NSI) shows that housing prices in the capital are at the 2005 level while the average income of 1 employee after inflation deduction is 65% higher compared to the same year.

In 2005, an individual was able to afford with their monthly income about 0.4 square meters of housing in Sofia while in 2010 this number is 0.5 square meters.

For example, a 70 square-meter apartment in 2010 could be paid off in 11 years or 132 monthly salaries. In 2005, these numbers have been 14.5 and 175 respectively; in 2000 – 9 end 107.

The lowest purchasing power was registered in 2008 – 0.3 square meters in 19.5 years or 233 monthly salaries.

Apartment prices in Sofia have fallen by nearly 33%, compared to their peak in 2008, according to NSI data, and 31%, according to Bulgarian Properties data. The reduction, however, is nearing 0 since the second half of 2010, meaning the real estate prices have already hit their bottom.

Stoykova’s forecast is for a continuing strong interest on the part of the buyers in Sofia over the expected relocation, (triggered by better wages), of highly educated people and business people.

Bulgaria Boasts 3.2% Increase in Winter Tourism Y/Y

During the traditional months for winter tourism in Bulgaria, January and February, the industry had registered a 3.2% growth compared to the same period of 2009.

The data was revealed for the media Saturday by Economy Minister, Traicho Traikov, who said the revenues for the same months in 2010 have been EUR 190 M while Bulgarians spent on vacations abroad EUR 130 M.

A stark change in the ratio of countries sending most tourists to Bulgaria in the winter has been registered during the 2010 winter season – in previous years 80% of them came from the UK and Russia while in 2010 most came from neighboring countries.

Since the beginning of 2010, hotel owners in Bulgaria’s winter resort of Bansko have been reporting having most reservations from Greece, Serbia and Macedonia. There is also an increase of Romanian visitors, but on a smaller scale.

Foreign tourists have spent an average of EUR 86 a day for their winter vacation, which they have combined with SPA and cultural tourism. The leading factor for them to select Bulgaria had been the low price. Their preferred hotels were the 4-star ones and most have purchased packages from travel agents.

Bulgarians, on the other hand side, have chosen countryside and winter vacations almost with the same rates as in the fall. Most of them made their own reservations while 43% stayed with friends and relatives instead of using hotels. Bulgarians spent an average of BGN 46 a day for their winter trips while their top priorities have been beautiful surroundings and good food.

PM Gordon Brown meets Bulgarian counterpart at Number 10

Gordon Brown has welcomed Bulgaria’s increased troop levels in Afghanistan during a meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov at Downing Street.

Mr Brown met Prime Minister Borissov on Monday for wide-ranging discussions.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the two leaders had a “warm and constructive” 45-minute meeting.

On the European economy, Gordon Brown and Boyko Borissov agreed on the need to drive forward economic reform and to promote job creation and growth in the region.

The two countries also agreed to intensify UK-Bulgarian cooperation on energy and climate change, the economy, and security issues

Welcome to RilaDev’s Blog!

In 2006, RilaDev a English Bulgarian homebuilder embarked on one of the most ambitious hotel and residential project in Bansko, Bulgaria, Pirinea Hotel Spa and Residence.

This blog offers current news and information on the Bulgarian real estate market and economy, local and touristic events and tracks the exciting progress of this emerging market.

This blog will also offer subscribers periodical updates on the Pirinea project, its construction progress and other related information.

For further information please contact

Russell Collins

+44 207 313 8073

Author: Russell Collins - RilaDev

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