As it emerges from years of semi-isolation behind the infamous Iron Curtain, Bulgaria is becoming a more and more attractive place for foreign nationals to make investments of different types in the real estate market. (With that said, and as will be discussed thoroughly later, a foreign national cannot presently directly own real estate in Bulgaria. The prohibition against direct ownership should be changed within the coming decade. And, in the interim, there are ways in which a foreign national can take title to real estate in a more indirect manner – which will also be discussed in detail shortly.)
Presently, the biggest demand made by foreigners when it comes to real estate in Bulgaria involves residential property. Many Europeans and individuals from some other countries around the world are buying Bulgarian property to establish holiday or vacation retreats.
Additionally, more and more savvy investors from different countries around the world are becoming more involved in the ownership of business or commercial real estate in some of the major cities in Bulgaria, most particularly property in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital and Varna on the coastal regions of the Black Sea.
Currency: Bulgarian Lev
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Investment Property in Bulgaria
As mentioned, more and more international investors are putting money into real estate in Bulgaria for investment purposes. For example, these investors are buying real estate that is being developed for business and commercial purposes – especially in and around Sofia. (Once again, an investor needs to keep in mind that a foreign national cannot own real estate directly in Bulgaria at this time. Again, there are mechanisms available to deal with this prohibition that will be presented and discussed later.)
Another area in which foreign investors are becoming more active is in the purchasing of apartments or apartment complexes which are then being rented and leased to the influx of people that have taken to coming to Bulgaria to participate in the burgeoning economy of that country since it has become more fully integrated into the overall European community of nations.
Residential Properties in Bulgaria
As referenced, there are a significant number of overseas buyers who have taken to buying property in Bulgaria for holiday or vacation purposes. This includes people who have purchased elegant and substantial villas in different parts of the country as well as the more affordable and less costly apartments. In any case, a property in Bulgaria is proving to be experiencing a sharp increase in the number of residences that are being sold to people who are looking for second homes for retreats, vacations or holiday homes in Bulgaria.
Finally, with many people moving to Bulgaria from other countries around the world, a great demand has been placed for the development of single family homes and houses as well as apartments in many parts of the country.
Apartments in Bulgaria
Due to the prohibitions against foreign ownership of land in Bulgaria that likely will remain in place for approximately ten more years, many people are opting to buy apartments in Bulgaria. Because apartments normally are sold as units and without the conveyance of any actual land, a foreigner directly can purchase and own an apartment.
Throughout Bulgaria, apartment sales have been brisk with many people buying holiday apartments in the Black Sea resorts of Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, Nessebar as well as the Ski Resorts of Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo. In addition, each year a significant number of new apartment complexes are being developed in all of the major locations in Bulgaria and in many more rural communities as well.
Again, due to the prohibition against the direct ownership of land by a foreign national, many people are opting for apartment ownership at this juncture.
Holiday Property in Bulgarian Resorts
As mentioned earlier, many foreign buyers have taken to seeking and purchasing real estate in Bulgaria for vacation or holiday purposes. One of the most interesting trends in the Bulgarian real estate market at this time involves the renovation of substantial residents — including breathtaking and historic villas and chalets — in different parts of the country. These magnificent properties are being restored to immaculate condition and are then, in many instances, being purchased (indirectly) by foreign nationals to be used as retreats, vacation or holiday destinations.
In addition to the trend towards the rehabilitation of older properties in Bulgaria, a significant number of new and off plan residential developments are under construction in many resort communities in Bulgaria. Bulgaria has worked diligently, through its government and through the private sector, to attract tourists and tourism money into that country over the course of the part five to ten years. Indeed, an ever growing number of people are finding themselves attracted to Bulgarian resorts and have begun to purchase (again, indirectly unless the residence is an apartment) real estate and residences being developed in this various resort communities in Bulgaria.
Most Bulgarian real estate market analysts expect the trend towards the development of vacation-style residences to continue well into the next decade as an ever increasing number of people begin to discover Bulgaria and its resort destinations.