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Bulgaria - the new Spain?
Asstez News 7th Dec 2005

A review of search engine entries during the last three months has revealed that Bulgarian property is quickly becoming one of Europe's leading investment interests.

The research by d2rworldwide.com reveals that the recent surge of interest in Bulgarian property is unprecedented in the Eastern European market, although some comparisons have been drawn with Croatia.

Like Croatia, Bulgaria is expecting EU accession within the next few years and this will necessarily lead to a considerable increase in its real estate value. A similar process has already started to occur in Cyprus and when Bulgaria accedes to the European Union in 2007 it is widely believed that Sofia in particular will compete with other leading European capitals as a location for the European offices of many multi-national companies.
This is likely to instigate a successful corporate market which could transform Bulgaria into one of Europe's most attractive countries for property investment within the next few years.

Stuart Law, managing director of property investment specialist Assetz, anticipated this boom in April 2005, pointing to Bulgaria's diverse landscape as well as its potential for development.

"An abundance of beautiful beaches and world-renowned ski resorts combined with a low cost of living, has made the country ripe for long-term investment in particular," said Mr Law.

"The best investment opportunities include the ski resort of Bansko and the Black Sea resorts of Varna and Bourgas," he continued.


Mr Law also predicted that the rapidly developing Sofia would become a significant commercial centre, pointing out that "capital appreciation and rental yields should be very strong in the future".

The research from d2rworldwirde.com also revealed that internet searches for property in Spain are in slight decline, with countries like Bulgaria beginning to challenge its previously indisputable dominance of the market. This trend was today given impetus when the Swedish prime minister Goran Persson reaffirmed his confidence that Bulgaria would join the EU on January 1st 2007.
There has been a gradual increase in activity in the Bulgarian property market throughout 2005, with Bulgarian Property Developments (BDP) announcing last week that it aims to raise £40 million on the London Stock Exchange to fund future projects.

There was more movement today with the Czech Business Weekly reporting an interview with Ales Vobruba, senior vice president of the Orco Property Group (OPG), in which he predicted that the company's real estate portfolio would reach 1 billion by 2007.

Mr Vobruba indicated that OPG plans to use its extended-stay hotel projects to enter Bulgaria next year.

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