Investment Property Guide in Bulgaria
Investing in Bulgarian Property
As one of the most rapidly advancing nations in Europe, Bulgaria has become a byword for international property investment, with an average property price increase in 2004 of 47.5 per cent. To concentrate exclusively on Bulgaria’s reputation as a destination for sun, sand and skiing does however risk underrating this beautiful country. The property market in Bulgaria is set to turn current comparative advantage into future potential, moving towards more exclusive developments and consolidating Bulgaria’s place as an attractive destination for investment.
Bulgaria has proven to be ideally placed to take advantage of the recent development of a strong market for emerging market property investment. 40 percent of property buyers now claim to be tantalized by emerging markets because of lower costs and higher opportunities for capital appreciation.
In the mountain and coastal regions, high quality, branded golf resorts and spa health centres are in development which will create year-round rental potential.
The property market in Bulgaria is undergoing rapid change moving towards higher quality developments; only granting planning permission to the highest quality projects, and taking care to protect the national parks and natural resources which have proven such an attraction. Over the past four years the number of foreign tourists to Bulgaria has increased almost 50 percent, with numbers from the EU growing by nearly 90 percent.
The world trade organisation forecasts that by 2010 Bulgaria will be visited annually by 20 million tourists – the forecasts make Bulgaria one of the world’s most promising international tourist destinations. Married to the strong economic growth and political stability described below, Bulgaria continues to be a strong investment prospect in 2006.
Property Buying Process in Bulgaria
Foreign nationals can buy freehold, but have to set up a company in order to purchase a property with land. In April 2005 a law was passed in order to bring Bulgarian property legislation into line with the rest of Europe: however, this legislation will not enter into force until 2007.
Most developments will be sold as freehold – and can be bought in the customer’s name. Alternatively, it is not difficult to set up a shell company in order to purchase property for a minimal cost; the process takes about two weeks in total. The standardisation of Bulgarian land law in 2007 will provide an additional boost to the property market contemporaneous with European Union accession.
The Bulgarian Property Outlook Report