ARTICLES 
Property investors head for Bulgarian ski resorts
AboutProperty.co.uk, 1st February 2006

The growing appeal of Bulgarian ski resorts is attracting the attention of overseas property investors.

For British investors considering buying property in a ski resort, Bulgaria is becoming a serious alternative to France, Switzerland and Austria.
This is reflected in a 40 per cent increase in enquiries for property in Bulgarian ski resorts since September 2005, as investors seek to capitalise while prices remain low.
Resorts such as Bansko and Bovorets offer affordable property and good long-term growth potential, according to property investment firm Assetz. An off-plan studio or one-bedroom apartment cost from 40,000 Euro (27,000 GBP).
Thirty-six per cent more UK holidaymakers visited Bulgaria in 2005, leading to an influx of travel companies many of which are offering guaranteed rental schemes similar to those in France. However, they are not yet well established and Assetz advises property investors to research the history and reputation of the companies involved. Rental yields through guaranteed schemes are about nine per cent, while property investors letting independently are achieving yields of about 12 per cent.
Assetz managing director Stuart Law said: "Yields are essential for any Bulgarian investor, since capital gains of 20 25 per cent in the popular cities and investor hotspots last year are probably not sustainable, and the resale market is not as well established as other countries due to Bulgaria's status as an emerging economy and the large number of new developments being continuously released."


But he stressed that there were risks involved with buying property in the former eastern-bloc country. "Bulgaria is quickly establishing itself as a more mainstream destination, but it remains an emerging economy," he said.
"Ultimately, investors must decide if they are prepared to take on the risks associated with a new destination in an immature market, or a more established destination that is low-risk but more expensive to invest in, therefore offering lower yields.
"With Bulgaria's membership to the EU looking ever more likely, many investors are considering it to be a risk worth taking."

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