Property in Bulgaria has had a strong start to the year, with sales increasing over the first three months. Data from the Bulgarian National Statistics Agency, relayed by Postbank, showed transactions skyrocketed by 23 per cent in Q1, compared to the same period in 2012. Total units sold ended the quarter at 44,174, Standart reported. This is a significant leap from 35,821 units transacted during the same time last year.

Mortgage loans are the most common means through which properties are being obtained, accounting for 13 per cent of all sales. This equates to 5811 units. With Postbank registering an increase in the number of people asking for loans of 25 per cent, activity in the sector is certainly improving. The newspaper explained that 74.5 per cent of these were in Bulgarian lev rate, compared to the year previous when just half were. Postbank expects this to continue and reach a market share of 80 per cent.

This is a pleasing turn around from previous quarters, when the market has remained sluggish. The Global Property Guide reported in February that prices were continuing to slowly decline, causing stagnation - a trend not expected to change any time soon. Figures from the National Statistical Institute showed that in Q3 2012, the average price for existing flats dropped by 2.2 per cent to BGN 881.2 (£384.03 approximately) per square metre.

Real estate in Bulgaria now has a value 38 per cent lower than its Q3 2008 peak, when values stood at BGN 1,481 (£645.43 approximately) per square metre. While it is now cheaper to invest in property in the country, return on investment is unlikely to be quick and holiday lets are sure to be the best way to generate an income. Popular tourist spots like Sunny Beach are still attractive markets for buyers.

However, even the capital Sofia has witnessed significant price drops, with dwelling values falling by 0.6 per cent since 2011 and 41 per cent since peak, the Global Property Guide reported. In February, prices stood at approximately BGN 1,447 (£630.61).



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