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Thursday, August 24, 2006 

Tee Time for Bulgaria’s Northern Black Sea Resorts

Sea and ski have been the traditional focuses for Bulgarian property investment; however, golf is just beginning to emerge as the third market for overseas investment. Currently there are just three golf courses in Bulgaria, namely St Sofia Golf Club & Spa set in Ravno Pole 15 minutes from the capital and two owned by Air Sofia, Ihtiman, 40km from the Sofia and Sliven in the heart of Bulgaria 90km from the Black Sea. All three have 18 holes and by all accounts are up there with the best of them. Air Sofia is also in the throes of constructing their third and fourth courses in the Lulin Mountains close to Sofia and in Razgrad 130km from Varna in the east of the country. Bulgaria is keen to capitalize on the rapid increase in foreign interest, using golf as a ‘carrot’ and this quartet will shortly be joined by several other courses to satisfy demand.

In fact, in 15 years time it is predicted that there will be a total 40 golf courses in Bulgaria and with golf will come property built around the fairways – perfect for holidays and for investment. Particularly on the Black Sea coast where thanks to a mild climate, the golfing season could easily extend through eight to nine months.

Bulgaria has the assistance of three golfing legends in putting the country firmly on the golfing map, namely Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and 2006 European Team Ryder Cup Captain, Ian Woosnam. Between them they are currently involved in designing five golf courses in Bulgaria.

Gary Player is putting his name to two 18-hole courses on the Black Sea coastline and when he visited the sites back in October 2004 he commented, “I have never seen more beautiful places anywhere. The countryside will be preserved and perfect golf conditions will be created”. His first is Black Sea Rama, close to Balchik and his second, Thracian Cliffs Golf & Spa Resort in Kavarna which will include a five star hotel. Jack Nicklaus is working on the only PGA Standard course in Bulgaria, Dolna Banya Country Club & Spa near the ski resort of Borovets. Ian Woosnam has one signature course under construction on the coastline near Balchik, Lighthouse Golf Resort, and one 6km from the ski resort of Bansko named Pirin Golf & Country Club. All five are expected to be complete sometime between summer 2007 and summer 2008.

Savvy investors will capitalize on making an early investment into Bulgarian golf property and reap the rewards.

What’s on the Market?
Kavarna Hills and Kavarna Gardens are two luxurious apartment developments set just a short distance from the traditional fishing town of Kavarna which although steeped in history offers all modern conveniences including bars, shops and hospitals.

Kavarna Hills is a compact resort of less than 100 apartments surrounded by landscaped gardens and large pools with cascading water features. Also on-site are a restaurant and bar, gymnasium, sauna, underground parking and 24-hour security. From their elevated position, the properties enjoy sea, golf and port views whilst being just five minutes’ walk from the beach. All apartments have fully-fitted kitchens and air conditioning. Phase one properties are sold fully furnished and ready for occupation together with a rental guarantee of 6% (gross) over two years. Kavarna Hills is scheduled for completion in December 2007.

Kavarna Gardens offers one and two bedroom apartments located just two minutes’ walk from the sandy beach. On-site facilities include eight pools of various style and size, a fully equipped fitness centre, sauna, children’s playground, tennis courts and poolside restaurant and bar. The 500 or so apartments will be built in several phases; phase one properties will be fully furnished and fitted including cable TV. Final phase properties will enjoy a 5% (gross) rental guarantee over two years. Kavarna Gardens is scheduled for completion in December 2008.

Both projects are built by a leading Spanish developer established in 1968 and are situated a convenient 40 minute drive from Varna International Airport.

Prices – Kavarna Gardens – from 65,000 euros for a one bedroom apartment (30% upon contract, 20% payable after six months, 50% completion approx December 2008)

Prices – Kavarna Hills – from 79,000 euros for a one bedroom apartment (30% upon contract, 20% during construction, 50% completion approx December 2007)

Source: Easier News

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