5 considerations before buying a property in Bulgaria

Bulgaria in the context of the EU

Bulgaria is a member of the European Union since 2007. Since its acceptance, the country has been a hotspot for property buyers in search of cheap houses and apartments. A lot of Brits have bought holiday homes in the Bulgarian countryside or near the Black Sea coast.

Traditionally, villages in Bulgaria have been negatively affected by the aging population. The younger generations have migrated to bigger cities whilst others have left the country altogether. This trend has led to overpopulation in the cities and the crowded streets of the capital Sofia are a prime example of that. Increased demand for flats in Sofia has pushed prices to over 1,000 Euro per square meter. In the current context of the global pandemic with the country in lockdown, families are left stranded with no access to outdoor space. Why does that matter?

A new emerging trend

A new trend is emerging amongst families with children who buy houses on the outskirts of main cities often at a much cheaper price. This offers them the best of both worlds: the proximity to schools, health care, and jobs all in abundance in the urban areas with a garden and more outdoor lifestyle typical for the countryside. This option also makes sense financially given property prices in villages around Sofia vary in the region from 250 to 450 Euro per sq. meter. This compares to slightly higher prices between 600 and 800 Euro per sq. meter for villages on the seaside (close to the two main cities Burgas and Varna). Finally, in the area around Bulgaria’s second-biggest city, Plovdiv, properties cost between 300 and 600 Euro per sq. meter.

The average budget for a house around Sofia would be between 50,000 and 80,000 Euro, whilst the average for the country is between 20,000 and 50,000 Euro. Here we shortlisted some well-known estate agents to help with your property search.

What does the dream property look like?

Most buyers are after villages with good infrastructure, close to a main road or highway, and local amenities, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. Other criteria would include public transport and access to the internet. Bulgaria’s main airport is in Sofia and the two main highways, Trakia and Hemus, provide easy access to the south and north of the country, respectively.

There are three main types of sellers in Bulgaria

Some inherited a property from a relative and have no intention of moving to the countryside. The second group belongs to families looking to emigrate abroad or move to the city. Some elderly people would also want to swap a house in the country with a flat in the city, which they can pass on to their children. Finally, some foreigners bought houses they can no longer visit and take care of. This last group of sellers is where you can get a good deal as they are looking to sell quickly and return to their home country.

It takes time to seal the deal…

The process of buying a property in the countryside takes longer in general. The key reason is the need for more in-depth research of the area. Some buyers would also like to speak to potential neighbours. Seeing properties in the countryside includes a need to cover a larger area and travel longer distances.