ARTICLES 
Groundwork laid for Bulgarian Property boom
Assetz Property News 19th December 2005
The last week has seen a number of key developments in Bulgaria that appear to have paved the way for the expected property boom in the coming years.

The popular ski town Bansko has been the centre of attention for some time and was boosted this weekend with the news that the municipality will invest more than BGL ten million in its infrastructure during the next year.

The Sofia News Agency reports that the mayor Alexander Kravarov revealed the plans at the official opening of the new winter tourism season when he also announced that procedures were underway to build an airport near the resort. All of this has added momentum to Bulgaria's rise to prominence as an attractive option for property investors.

Mr Kravarov said that Bansko welcomed over 200,000 tourists during the last summer season and around 500,000 Euros had spent time there during the winter season. Of particular interest to buy-to-let investors is the strategy to increase the number of tourists by 20 per cent. It is also believed that demand for property will intensify further as Bulgaria steps up its bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

At a recent news conference, Bulgarian ski federation chairperson Tseko Minev said that the opportunity to host the Winter Olympics would have a significant impact on Bulgaria's economic development with increased employment expected in the years leading up to the event. According to the Sophia Echo, Mr Minev also stressed that winning the bid for the 2014 Games would improve Bulgaria's reputation for natural and cultural heritage and lead to a dramatic increase in the building of sports facilities.
With improvements also made to Bulgaria's transportation systems, it is believed that a successful bid would lead to investment of around 1,322 billion Euros in and around Sofia, Borovets and Bansko.

The Sofia Echo reports that Pamporovo, one of the other successful ski resorts, is expecting a 30 per cent increase in the number of tourists this year, having built new hotels accommodating 1,000 guests and made developments to the ski runs. Georgi Georgiev, chairman of Pamporovo 21st Century, an association of hotel owners and restaurateurs, said that a figure in excess of 55 million Euros had been invested in Pamporovo in the last two years alone.

British property investors will face strong competition from an increasing number of Greek tycoons who are also beginning to appreciate the potential of the Bulgarian property market. The Sofia News Agency refers to an article in the Greek weekly Pontiki entitled 'Balkan property rush in Northern Greece' in which it is claimed that property prices in towns like Sandanski, Petrich and Melnik are currently valued at only one tenth of their equivalents in Greece.




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