Bulgaria is one of the fastest growing property markets in Europe offering investors low property prices, continued strong capital growth and high rental returns.
Executives at a property exhibition taking place in Larnaca and Nicosia thios week are expected to argue that Bulgaria also provides investors with one key element above many other European investment hotspots; "value for money".
Dwayne Holt, Nikolay Pavlov and Nimet Kama, CEO of Platinum Global, will be speaking at presentations at the Golden Bay Hotel in Larnaca on Wednesday and at the Europe Hotel in Nicosia on Thursday, where they will explain how for a relatively low outlay investors can buy high quality well managed properties offering great returns over the medium term, and with Bulgaria really only starting in its investment cycle, these trends should continue well in to the future.
Foreign direct investment in Bulgaria reachjed more than EUR 1.6 bln in 2004, leaving behind developed countries like Italy, Greece, Austria and Portugal. The amount of confidence shown by both institutional and retail investors is down to the very positive economic indicators emanating from the country.
High prices and over-development in much of the Mediterranean means investors are looking at Europe's next favourite destination, Bulgaria. It offers properties at some of the lowest prices in Europe, and benefits from favourable weather and a low cost of living.
This low cost alternative for holiday makers is proving to be immensely popular with tourists and tourist numbers have increased by 20% for the last four consecutive years.
Bulgaria is also regarded as one of the best investment destinations in Eurpe with strong capital growth rates made possible by extensive EU investment in infrastructure and tourism. Against this backdrop of positive, targeted government and EU investment, real estate prices are proving remarkably resilient to the global credit crunch.
Bulgaria is the first country in central and eastern Europe to establish a national Real Estate Market Index, REMI, which shows property prices have been increasing considerably for the last four years, and are anticipated to continue rising steadily by 15% in the upcoming years. These capital growth rates are unheard of in more established markets such as Spain and Portugal.
According to the WTO forecasts, 12 mln tourists will visit Bulgaria in 2020, which will make it the most promising destination in the eastern European region.
Continued development of the tourist infrastructure such as airports and rail are accommodating the large increase in demand from major tour operators in the area and will ultimately allow for a 50% increase in capacity over the coming years.
Bulgaria has 370 km of coastline boasting some of the best beaches in Europe and a summer that lasts from April to October.The country has an impressive scenery of mountain ranges and breathtaking views with many lakes, waterfalls and caves, which remain unspoilt, despite the rise in tourism.
It has a rich, diverse history and large numbers of architectural treasures. A unique element about Bulgaria's geography and climate is that it can accommodate an all year round tourist season with both the Black Sea coast and the numerous ski resorts located in the southerly mountain ranges.
A typical sea village, Aheloy, keeps in tune with what is a fascinating national treasure of natural landscapes blending perfectly with a charming sea. It has 5,000 inhabitants and is 3km from Ravda and 6km from Sunny Beach and Nessebar.
There is a small stone beach and a quay for boats. Aheloy is also famous for its beautiful fruit gardens and vineyards and is a unique mixture of preserved green sites, calm and pleasant sea and sandy beaches.
By contrast Bansko is a charming and historic city at the foot of the north-eastern part of the Pirin Mountains, with a population of about 9,500. Positioned 6km south of Razlog, 60km south-east of Blagoevgrad and 160km south of Sofia, Bansko is a climatic mountain resort, famous for ski sports because the location of the city allows favorable conditions for skiing from the month of December to April.
The ski tracks have a length of 65km from 1,100m to 2,550m above sea level while the ski facilities rival many western European resorts, but at a third of the price, while extensive new development is currently underway in the neighboring villages which will vastly increase capacity and ultimately make the Bansko region one of the most sought-after ski destinations in Europe.