Market Watch: Bulgaria's Real Estate Prices Make a Quiet Move

Business » PROPERTIES | November 3, 2023, Friday // 16:24
Bulgaria: Market Watch: Bulgaria's Real Estate Prices Make a Quiet Move Photo: Stella Ivanova

As the warm summer months gave way to autumn, Bulgaria's real estate market witnessed a subtle shift. According to the latest analysis by "Arco Real Estate," a mild decline in housing prices was observed during the third quarter of the year. The data reveals that prospective homebuyers are approaching the market with increased sensibility, opting for prudence over impulsive decisions. This change in approach has led to property sellers making compromises and even reducing initial sale prices.

In Sofia, Bulgaria's capital, the impact is particularly noticeable, with a decrease in concluded property deals compared to the previous quarter – 7,001 deals versus the previous 8,615. Plovdiv and Varna also experienced similar dips, while in contrast, Burgas saw an increase in transactions, with 1,931 compared to the previous quarter's 1,736.

For the country as a whole, the total number of property transactions during the third quarter amounted to 54,277, marking a slight decrease compared to the second quarter's 54,371. This also reflects a decline from the same period in 2022 when transactions numbered 62,459.

The change in market dynamics seems to be underpinned by a shift towards real needs and away from speculative deals. As per experts' assessments, significant price changes in the real estate market are not expected for the remainder of the year.

At present, average housing prices in Sofia remain relatively stable compared to the previous quarter. Prices vary depending on location and condition, with two-room apartments ranging between 1,600 and 1,800 euros per square meter, while three-room apartments vary from 1,500 to 1,700 euros per square meter. The city center commands higher prices, with properties in the ideal center of Sofia averaging around 2,500 euros per square meter and approximately 1,800 euros per square meter in the wider city center.

In terms of location, southern areas of Sofia and the central city district continue to be the most sought after by homebuyers. Amenities such as convenient access to public transport, parking, proximity to shopping chains, schools, and kindergartens are highly prized by property seekers.

Interestingly, the third quarter revealed a decrease in demand for houses, office spaces, and commercial properties. Two-room and three-room apartments in the rough construction stage were the most prominent among the offerings in comparison to the preceding months. In Sofia, neighborhoods such as "Vitosha," "Malinova Dolina," and "Ovcha Kupel" remained in high demand, primarily due to the ongoing construction of new buildings in these areas.

Property prices for these homes vary depending on factors like the level of completion, location, and the availability of parking spaces or garages, ranging from 1,300 to 2,000 euros per square meter.

Plovdiv, a bustling city in Bulgaria, remains active in terms of real estate, but the third quarter did not witness significant changes in property prices despite a slight drop in demand. Property prices continue to range between 800 and 1,200 euros per square meter, with "Thrace," the central area, and the western district remaining top choices for buyers. Unlike Sofia, there is limited interest in commercial spaces, offices, and land plots.

In the same vein as housing, demand for holiday properties remained relatively unchanged during the third quarter of 2023, characterized as moderate and displaying weak buyer interest. Prices in well-established holiday complexes linger around 1,000 euros per square meter. Location and property quality continue to influence the prices, with proximity to the sea being a significant factor. Notably, studio and two-room apartments retained their allure in the holiday property market, with the offer in Sunny Beach remaining the most dynamic.

As the real estate market experiences these subtle fluctuations, Bulgaria's property landscape continues to reflect the changing dynamics of buyers and sellers. The autumn season brings a sense of caution to the market, as prospective homeowners consider their options with a measured approach.

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Tags: housing, prices, real estate, property, Bulgaria

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