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PostSubject: The Bulgaria Review: Properties   Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:31 am

[size=75:105wfbm6]novinite 30 December 2009

The Bulgaria 2009 Review: Properties

Bulgaria Property Market among World's Biggest Losers in 2009

Bulgaria is among the countries that marked the sharpest fall in residential prices in the third quarter, an international survey, issued at the end of 2009, shows.

Losers on an annual basis include Bulgaria down 28%, Russia, down 9.10%, the US down 9.4% and Thailand down 18.4%, according to the latest Global House Price Index from Knight Frank.

Residential property values increased in 68% of countries reporting price changes, but house prices are still lower than 12 months ago in 57% of the locations with Israel the top year on year performer with a 13.7% price increase from the same time last year.

During the third quarter property prices in Singapore rose 13.7% compared with the previous three months and Dubai posted a modest positive growth (1.2%) but has seen prices drop in the last 12 months by 47%.

House prices are now rising in a clear majority of locations around the world with almost 70% of the locations reporting growth in the third quarter of 2009. This compares with under 50% during the second three months of the year,’ said Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank.

There is still, however, a clear polarization from the top to the bottom of the table. Israel remains the best performer on an annual basis and is the only country to have recorded double digit growth.

Spain, Denmark and Ireland have yet to record their first quarter of growth since the credit crunch and analysts point out that an oversupply of stock is holding back prices.

This contrasts with the UK, which, despite being hit extremely hard initially, is staging a strong comeback as a shortage of houses for sale is contributing to rising values with demand outstripping supply,’ explained Bailey.

Other locations where growth is accelerating include Australia which has been relatively unscathed by the credit crunch.

Many Asian economies are also performing strongly with quarterly growth of 6% in Hong Kong and 2.5% in mainland China, the report says.

27 Bulgarian Hotels Listed for Sale in Financial Times

The Business for Sale column of Financial Times listed at the beginning of December 27 Bulgarian hotels and holiday accommodations.

The highest sales price is USD 36 M for the four-star “Penelope Palace” near the Black Sea town and resort of Pomorie. The expensive apartment-type hotel is not even fully built and it is supposed to be completed in June 2010.

The second priciest hotel is listed for BGN 35,2 M and is also on the Black Sea Coast in the nearby “Sunny Beach” resort. This is another four-star establishment, but it has been open for 10 years now and has contracts with major tour operators such as Apollo and Neckerman (Thomas Cook chain).

The winter resort hotels in Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo are cheaper. The top sales price here is USD 17 M.

In addition, there are several business hotels for sale in Sofia with the top price of BGN 21 M.

Bulgaria Sees 2% Drop in Number of New Residential Buildings Y/Y

A total of 685 new residential buildings were completed in the third quarter of 2009 which is a 2% drop compared to the same period of 2008.

The decline compared to the second quarter of 2009 is 0,9%, according to preliminary data of the National Statistical Institute released at the beginning of December.

The District of Varna saw the greatest number of newly completed residential buildings in July-September 2009 – 163. No new buildings were completed in the southwest District of Kyustendil.

Bulgaria's Luxury Properties Construction Unaffected by Crisis

The downturn in the real estate sector in Bulgaria caused by the global economic crisis has not affected the construction of luxury properties in the country.

This opinion has been expressed by entrepreneurs and experts who participated in the “High Class in Construction” exhibit which took place in Sofia at the end of November.

Experts believe that the economic crisis has led to a greater focus precisely on high-quality properties.

According to the Chief Architect of Sofia, Petar Dikov, Bulgaria has a very good potential for a dynamic market of luxury properties.

The participants in the expo believe that the crisis has hit mostly the low-quality construction projects in the country, and that most investors actually have made mistakes by seeking quick returns on property investments without accounting for good quality.

Bulgaria's Ruse to Boast Top Class Logistics Center

Bulgaria's Minister of Regional Development, Rosen Plevneliev, broke the ground of a modern logistics park in the Danube city of Ruse.

The ceremony was held November 23 in the presence of the Ruse Mayor, Bozhidar Iotov and the investors from the Bulgarian Property Development company.

The logistic center will include three buildings in Ruse's industrial zone on 53 676 square meters. It will boast top of the line warehouses, offices and parkings for cars and trucks.

The Bulgarian Property Development Company has already invested EUR 2 M in the project and the total investment amount is estimated at EUR 12 M.

The project was designed by the UK Fletcher Architects and the Bulgarian Proconsult while the construction works will be conducted by Intis and MSKAD companies.

The park aims at improving the effectiveness of the local industry and attracting new business in the area.

Minister Plevneliev pointed out that the realization of such major investment in times of economic crisis is proof of the business potential of the Ruse Region.

Equest Sheds Bulgarian Assets

Equest Investments Balkans Limited, listed on the London Stock Exchange's alternative investment market, continued to divest more assets from the portfolio of companies it owns in Bulgaria in order to boost liquidity.

At the beginning of November its subsidiary Equest Balkan Properties (EBP) sold its controlling interest in Serdika, a development site in the centre of Sofia.

The total consideration payable in relation to the development amounts to EUR 9.175 M in cash, of which EUR 7.34 M is attributable to EBP.

The controlling interest has been sold to Agriway Holdings Limited.

The proceeds are expected to be received on November 11, 2009.

Following the sale of the asset, EBP will use the proceeds to settle the loan of EUR 5.4 M owed by EBP to Equest Investments Balkans Limited, with the balance being used to strengthen working capital.

Equest bought the Serdika building in 2006 for EUR 10 M, which is less by 27% than the sum the company will receive for divesting this asset.

In December the investment company announced it has sold the former Rodakar plant, a 12 300 sq m retail warehouse property in the coastal city of Varna, to Creditanstalt Bulus, part of Unicredit Leasing, in a EUR 9,93 M deal. Following the sale of the asset, the company will use the proceeds to settle loans.

Equest Investment Balkans has been offloading its assets in Bulgaria for the last few months.

Earlier in the year Equest also released its 21.2% share in the Bulgarian branch of the financial firm Uniqa International, as well as Avto Union.

Rodacar was one of the ambitious automobile building projects in Bulgaria. The attempt however failed after in the mid 1990s the British investor Rover set up a joint venture with the Bulgarian Daru Group in Varna, only to withdraw later because of a weak market strategy, high prices, and a stronger competitor in the face of Skoda.

The factory in Varna operated in 1995-1996, and produced a total of 2 200 Rover Maestro cars.

Bulgaria Makes Bank Payment Mandatory for Real Estate Deals

Draft amendments to the Notaries Public Act are going to make bank payment mandatory for all real estate property deals in Bulgaria starting January 1, 2010, in a bid to curb money laundering.

The legislative changes, adopted at the end of November, will require that both the vendor and the vendee specify their bank accounts for conducting a property deal. Alternatively, they could use the account of their notary public.

The conditions for depositing money into bank accounts as part of the deal will be specified by the respective sides in written agreements.

These legislative changes are seen as the first step to an all-out regulation of payment in purchase deals through a special law to be called Deposit Account Act.

Bulgaria Real Estate Property Increasingly Attractive for Russians

Real estate property in Bulgaria is the most sought after by Russian buyers, according to data of the Russian company MIEL’ Distant Property Management, issued on October 30.

The company, whose portfolio includes real estate offers in 20 countries, has released data saying that in the third quarter of 2009 25% of all inquiries it received were for properties in Bulgaria, Interfax reported.

This ranks Bulgaria first as an investment destination for Russian buyers, followed by Turkey with 17% and Spain with 13%.

What is more, the company says all of its Russian clients who considered buying real estate property in Bulgaria actually bought it.

MIEL’ DPM explains that Bulgaria is attracting buyers with the affordable prices, the decent quality of real estate, the variety of offers, and the simplified purchase procedure.

70% of those Russians looking for property in Spain have also managed to find what they want which places Spain second after Bulgaria on that criteria.

Romanians Look for Cheap Properties in Bulgaria, Hungary

A large number of Romanians have decided to purchase real estate properties in Bulgaria or Hungary.

This has been announced by Adrian Sischin, regional director of the RE/MAX Romania real estate agency, as quoted by the Romanian newspaper Evenimentul Zilei.

According to Sischin, a number of well-off Romanians are going to take advantage of the declining real estate prices as a result of the global financial crisis.

Bulgaria attracts Romanian buyers primarily with vacation properties on the northern Bulgarian Black Sea coast, i.e. the region of the city of Varna. Where sea view apartments are reported to be on sale for about EUR 700-900 per square meter.

Another example of real estate property potentially attractive for Romanians is an apartment of 60 square meters in a residential complex with a pool for a total of EUR 51 000.

Impoverished Foreigners Sell Bulgaria Black Sea Properties

Impoverished foreign citizens started in 2009 to sell the properties they recently bought along Bulgaria's Black Sea coast.

Because of the economic crisis that has affected them, Brits, Germans and Scandinavians have begun to list their holiday homes for sale at what is described as "
scandalously low prices"
by the real estate agencies in Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Burgas, cited by BGNES.

For instance, a studio apartment in the town of Sozopol bought for EUR 90 000 in 2008 is now on sale for EUR 40-50 000. A two-storey house in the city of Burgas can be bought for about EUR 50 000, which is a substantial decrease from last year's prices.

Austria's Immoeast Sells Package in Bulgarian Developer

Austrian Immoeast, one of the largest real estate investment funds in Central and Eastern Europe, announced on October 13 that it has sold its 42% share in the Bulgarian developer Prime Property BG REIT.

Buyers are Delta Food Ltd., owned by Kaliman, Borat Harom and Global Tours company, associated with another key shareholder in Prime Property - biscuit manufacturer Pobeda, which owns about 17% of the company shares.

Delta Food and Global Tours now own over 30% and 10% in Prime Property BG respectively.

The price of the deal was not disclosed.

Other major shareholders in Prime Property BG are Doverie pension funds, which hold about 21% stake.

Bulgaria Capital Hits Record Land Plot Price of EUR 10 333/m2

A piece of land plot in the Bulgarian capital Sofia was sold at the end of August for the record price of EUR 10 333 per square meter.

The triangle shaped land plot with area of 315 square meters in downtown Sofia hit the price of EUR 3 255 000, according to Trud Daily reports.

This is a new record for a price of building ground in the capital Sofia, the newspaper announced. Until now a land plot at the downtown Sofia's Todor Alexandrov Blvd has held the first place with EUR 8 355 per square meter.

The third place in the chart is for a land plot at the Mariya Luiza Blvd, again in downtown Sofia, sold for EUR 6 356 per square meter.

The newspaper commented that such real estate deals are rear even in cities like London and Paris.

Bulgaria H1 Real Estate Market Collapses down to 2005 Levels

The number of real estate deals in Bulgaria declined substantially in the first half of 2009 to the extent that the market is back to the 2005 before it experienced a steep growth.

The number of real estate purchases dropped by 42% for all of Bulgaria, and by 58% for the capital Sofia in the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period of 2008, according to data of the Raiffeisen Real Estate company.

Most of the real estate buyers in Bulgaria are in a waiting position expecting a continuing decline of prices, and only the investors with a high-risk profile have remained active on the properties market.

According to Raiffeisen Real Estate, no large-scale property investment deals have taken place in Bulgaria since the beginning of 2009, except for the planned expansion of the large retail chain stores.

The time for selecting properties and negotiating deals has increased from an average of 20 days to an average of 60 days, and almost always involves achieving a substantial discount.

Bulgaria's Residential Market to Rebound in H1 2010

Average asking sales prices of residential property in the Bulgarian capital Sofia fell by 14% at the start of the second half of the year on an annual basis, shows data of the realtor Colliers International Bulgaria, released at the beginning of July.

On a half-year basis the figure is approximately 10%, demonstrating that the largest fall happened in the first half of 2009.

Behind these figures, however, are significant differences between the various areas.

Average asking sales prices fell almost 20% on average in the prime neighborhoods in the first half of 2009. Doctor's Garden has experienced the largest decrease (almost 33%) going below to EUR 1,500/m2. This is partly driven by unrealistic/opportunistic offers being removed from the market.

The average asking sales prices in the Ivan Vazov neighborhood decreased with 17%, while in Lozenets the decrease was 12%. Iztok, which was the only area showing an increase in the prices by the end of 2008, has now seen a reversal of fortune with an average decrease in average asking sales prices of 11%.

The emerging neighborhoods proved more resilient with average falls of 6%. The largest change was seen in Bukston (dipping just below the EUR 1,000/m2 mark), followed by Gotze Delchev with a 10% decrease. The areas of Vitosha (EUR 1,036/m2 on average) and Manastirski Livadi (EUR 1,078/ m2 on average) showed almost no decrease, compared with the previous half year period.

The experts expect the restrictive financial situation to continue to influence the residential supply in the second half of 2009 as developers delay the completion of their projects. Very few, if any, new projects are expected to break ground during this period.

Sales prices and rental prices are expected to fall slightly in short term period, followed by a consolidation towards the end of the year and the beginning of 2010.

Given the fundamental health of the residential market, the fact that demand is driven by genuine economics and demographics and the moderately positive outlook for the Bulgarian economy, the residential market is expected to start recovering in the first half of 2010, Colliers experts forecast.

Mall for EUR 52 M Opens in Bulgaria City of Plovdiv

A new shopping mall in Bulgaria, Mall Plovdiv, was opened in the southern Bulgarian city of Plovdiv on March 19.

More than EUR 52 M have been invested in the construction of the first shopping mall of its kind in the city of Plovdiv.

Mall Plovdiv is located on an area of 45 000 square meters, and hosts over 110 famous brands some of which are entering Plovdiv's market for the first time.

These include Mango, Esprit, New Yorker, Benetton, Terranova, Calliope, XYZ, Oviesse, Tom Tailor, Lee Cooper, Kenvelo, Celio, Etam, Seven Seconds, Mexx, Naf Naf, Tally Weijl, Fox, Mothercare, Okaidi, adidas, Pierre Cardin, Etere, Leonardo, Geox, Foot Comfort, Hush Puppies, Beauty Zone, Oxette, Swarovski, Levi's, Playlife, Studio Scandal, Replay.

Real Estate Services Bulgaria (RESB) became the only company in Bulgaria which has taken part in the construction of two shopping malls - Mall Plovdiv and Mall of Sofia, which was the first shopping mall in Bulgaria, and was opened in 2006.

RESB is currently working on the construction of three more shopping malls - Mall Rousse, Mall Stara Zagora, and Park Tower in Sofia.

100% of RESB is owned by Cinema City International, a leading international movie theaters operator with over 600 multiplex complexes in Europe and Israel.

Sofia Airport Center Completes First Two Logistics Buildings

The construction of Buildings 1 and 2 of Sofia Airport Center has been completed, the investors, Tishman International Companies and GE Real Estate Central &
Eastern Europe, announced at the beginning of March.

100% of the storage space and over 50% of the office space in Buildings 1 and 2 of the Logistics Center have already been leased to leading international companies such as Hilti, a construction technologies firm, and Germanos Telecom, a mobile phones retailer, which are in the process of moving in.

Building 3 of the Logistics Center at SAC is expected to be completed in May 2009 bringing the total area of the Center to 27 000 square meters.

The Office Center of SAC is still under construction nearby the Logistics Center. Its first building with an area of 17 500 square meters is expected to be completed at the end of 2009.

It will be a green business center using environment-friendly materials, and as such it is going to receive certificate for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) of the US Green Building Council. The only other building with a LEED Certificate in Bulgaria is the new building of the US Embassy in Sofia.

All buildings in SAC are designed by the Prague-based international architectural firm Cigler &
Marani in cooperation with the Sofia-based firm, Proarch.

The Sofia Airport Center will be the largest international business park in Bulgaria with a total of 165 000 square meters of office and logistics space. It will include with Class A offices and a luxury international hotel, conference halls and recreational facilities.

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PostSubject: Re: The Bulgaria Review: Properties   Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:00 pm


Bulgaria Back to Top 10 Best Places for British Buyers

Bulgaria has partly regained its popularity among overseas buyers, breaking back into the top ten most preferred real estate markets for Britons, according to a UK guide for residential property.

3.3% of all enquiries in July were directed at Bulgarian property, marking the country's return to the overseas property portal's top ten for the first time in three years, TheMoveChannel.com report said.

In the comparative list of overall enquiry volume for last month Bulgaria ranked seventh, overtaken by Brazil and followed by Turkey.

As the Euro debt crisis continues, people are looking for bargain investments and holiday homes at low costs. Bulgaria's real estate sales have been improving all year, with buyers attracted by exceptionally low prices for winter property, so it's no surprise that interest has increased,"
commented the portal's director Dan Johnson.

The most popular destinations for a place in the sun overseas remain the same, with Spain staying in the top spot for a second month running. Together with France, USA and Portugal, the traditional destinations account for over a third of all property searches from buyers interested in property abroad.

Owning a second home abroad was once the preserve of the super-wealthy, but in the past decade a heady combination of TV property shows and cheap mortgages has convinced an estimated half a million Britons to buy their own place in the sun.

The value of UK-owned foreign property investments peaked at GBP 58 B in 2008, up from GBP 10 B in 2000.

Recently however British owners of second homes overseas, including Bulgaria, have been selling up due to falling rental income.

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Bulgarian Real Estate Market In The Top 10 Most Desired Markets by British Buyers

Bulgaria is back in the top 10 most popular and desired real estate markets, according to the August 2011 ranking of TheMoveChannel.

3.3% of all potential buyers requests have been for Bulgarian properties which makes Bulgaria one of the most attractive destinations for British property buyers.

The most popular countries in the above mentioned rankings are the same as they were back in June 2011 and these are Spain, France, USA, Portugal.
According to many British real estate market specialists, Bulgaria is emerging to be one of the most secure and nice destination which is at the same time not expensive and conveniently located.

There has been a real growth of purchased properties in Bulgaria by British buyers the last few months. The main interest is directed towards properties at the seaside and the mountain villages.

The growing trend can be justified with the falling interest towards traditional destinations such as Greece, Portugal and Thailand, which investments many people from the property sector believe have been relocated towards the Bulgarian market.

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PostSubject: Re: The Bulgaria Review: Properties   Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:06 pm

This does sound like a bit of good news but can it be believed? I don't see any changes as far as sales are concerned so maybe they know something we don't? its all a bit hypothetical to me I'm afraid until I see something really moving in Bulgaria then I can't really pay to much attention to what is written here. s
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