Market steady in Bulgaria

By Sarah Ann McCay17 March 2014

This year is set to be one of stabilisation for the Bulgarian construction market, according to European market research firm PMR’s latest report, “Construction sector in Bulgaria 2014 – Development forecasts for 2014-2019.”

PMR said medium-term prospects for the Bulgarian residential construction market were cautiously optimistic, with a moderate positive outlook for long-term developments.

Last year there was an improvement in residential property sales, with an increase of 17% on the number of transactions in the luxury apartments segment in Bulgaria.

However, PMR forecast that the preference would remain for smaller, cheaper flats with a price range of around BGN95,000 (€48,573) in prime locations.

Bulgaria has become a popular market for second home/vacation house purchases, especially with investors from Russia. As a result, the country’s capital, Sofia, has seen building works drop off as developments moved to the coastal cities of Varna and Burgas.

The number of projects started in 2013 was almost identical to 2012 in all three categories – the number of buildings; the number of dwellings, and the gross area of the dwellings completed.

PMR said this pointed to the fact that the market had found its equilibrium, and that positive growth should be expected by 2015, or maybe even as early as in 2014.

However, it added, "The levels of the peak years in 2007 to 2008 are still far from being seen in the next three to five years.”

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