Crisis Kills 10% of Bulgarian Real Estate Companies - Expert
At least 10% of Bulgarian realtors have shut down as a result of the effects of the crunch in the past 2 years, according to data provided by a properties expert.
Two years ago, there were some 4 500 real estate brokers in Bulgaria, while their number has declined by between 10% and 12%, Orlin Vladikov, a former head of the Bulgarian National Real Estate Association, revealed, as cited by BTA.
Vladikov expects an increase in the demand by foreign companies for real estate properties in Bulgaria within one year but primarily in the fields of logistics, commercial space, and industrial properties.
He does think, however, that in order to reach the pre-2008 levels, Bulgaria's real estate market will need at least 7-8 more years.
The expert who was in charge of the Bulgarian Real Estate Association in 2002-2007, and is the owned of a real estate company, further says that because of the inflation in some European and non-European countries, part of the people's savings will once again be directed towards real estate properties.
"I want to believe that Bulgaria will be rediscovered by many economic entities that will relocated their business activities from Western Europe, the Middle East, Greece to Bulgaria," Vladikov is quoted as saying, adding that he thinks a relocation to Bulgaria can also be profitable because of the good "tax climate" as the country has the lowest taxes in the EU.
He points out that Bulgaria does not have a register about property purchases by foreign citizens and that it is even harder to keep track of the purchases because most foreigners buying Bulgarian properties do that through local firms that they create for this purpose.
As far as the emergence of residential quarters or resort complexes populated by foreigners is concerned, Vladikov believes that Bulgaria is yet to see this trend.
In his words, a resort complex on the Kamchiya River and the Black Sea coast funded by the circle around the former Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov could be the closest existing example. He also also mentioned several Israeli investors building both shopping malls and residential quarters in Sofia.
He notes that Russians and Ukrainians are bound to continue their interest in acquiring properties along Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, and that some Chinese corporations could also enter the Bulgarian property market.
Vladikov expresses hope that Bulgaria could become better known as an investment destination as its tourist image improves.
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