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Just had to post this one, a post on Housing Panic.

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=18...401843995531965

I recently traveled to Bulgaria again, now a new EU member bordering Turkey and Greece on the Black Sea. I was there last time in 2003 and the real estate fever was just beginning. At the time, just four years ago one could purchase a whole village for about $10k. The average monthly salary is $200. It's pretty much an ugly place full of soviet style apartment buildings in various states of dilapidation. There are some older buildings predating the iron curtain that look quite charming. Bulgaria is a small country with a population of about 7 million. Most young people have left Bulgaria and are working in other European countries, the US or on cruise ships. What’s left is a mix of older folks subsisting, illiterate young people and a bunch of gypsies. Now here comes the mind boggling incomprehensible story. Starting in 2004 the country is gripped in a real estate boom, fueled by English funds coming in and snatching up any apartment or piece of land. I remember looking at some crappy house in 2003 that was offered for about $25,000 a block away from the beach. I could not believe my eyes this year. Apartments on the beach were going for 300,000 Euros (over $400,000). In Bulgaria the US Dollar has already become a pariah, everything is priced in Euro (the local currency name is Lev) nobody will take the green back. This is a sign of things to come! British real Estate companies (limited liability of course) are flying British tourists down there to sell them condominiums for retirement guaranteeing that the condos will be rented and “pay for themselves”. My question is “Who will rent them?” Now the Bulgarians working overseas are getting into the bidding game being frightened that if they don’t buy now their home land will be priced out of reach when they want to return. Does that ring a bell? Let me see, average monthly salary $200 per month, no industry to speak of except cheap stingy tourism (1 beer with 2 glasses please), mafias, uses Russian alphabet so no western person can read a sign AND MIAMI CONDO PRICES???? This real estate boom is world wide. Next, luxury condos in Mogadishu and Kartum.

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That is incredible. :blink:

Bulgaria is a country with over 90% private ownership of houses.

Who is going to rent the new private developments in the cities - Gogol's Dead Souls?

Russian enterprises are using the free property market in Bulgaria as money laundering machine, this is how you can bring your dirty money into EU.

Stupidity of this is that you are going to see quite realistically a bloodbath when they start loosing money, this is how bad debts are getting repaid, bullet in the skull will give you all financial freedom back. Entire Banking system was crippled by bad agricultural loans during the last decade (1991-2000) high inflation plus high inflation uncertainty.

But as you know, The Business is booming, as long as you have Russian friends withs serious business contacts you can build whatever you want...

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2287183,00.html

Bulgarian towns are shrinking, and the birth rate is falling rapidly. Now Bulgarians are worried that even more of their young people will leave after the country joins the EU on Jan 1.

Why enyone in their right mind will buy Residential property in Bulgaria?

http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-54...-implosion.html

Not only has the Bulgarian population stopped reproducing itself, but average life expectancy has declined by almost four years since the late 1980s, and is now 70.9 years. Men's life expectancy is only 67.1 years (8 years less than the EU average), and women's is 74.4 years (one consequence of this gender-based discrepancy in life expectancy is that there were 1,060 women for every 1,000 men in 2004). In turn, average healthy-life expectancy at birth has declined by six years since 1990, and at 64.6 years is among the lowest in Europe. Men's average healthy-life expectancy is only 62.5 years (a decrease of 7 years since 1990), and women's is 66.8 years (a decrease of 5 years since 1990) (WHO 2004). (6)

At 8.02 per 1,000 population in 2003 (compared to 16.0 per 1,000 in 1970 and 14.5 per 1,000 in 1980), Bulgaria has the lowest birth rate in Europe, even though the mean age of Bulgarian women giving birth to their first child is actually very low--just 22.80 years in 1997 and below 24 years in 2004. The country also has one of Europe's highest mortality rates, 14.48 per 1,000 population in 2003, compared to just 9.0 per 1,000 in 1970 (CIA 2003)

Edited by alabala

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Bulgaria is a great place to buy an insanely cheap property - for example a counrty villa with loads of land for about 10K. I dont care about any resale value as I would just want to retire there.

http://www.mybulgaria.info/bulgaria-property-forums.html

The basic nature of the current healthcare system seems like something that would put a lot of people off that idea:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagena...d=1013618385702

Of course, the people that want to sell you houses there take a different view:

http://www.propertyshowrooms.com/bulgaria/...in-bulgaria.asp

Give it 20 years though and that may all change.

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Bulgaria is a great place to buy an insanely cheap property - for example a counrty villa with loads of land for about 10K. I dont care about any resale value as I would just want to retire there.

http://www.mybulgaria.info/bulgaria-property-forums.html

If there were nice properties for that little you may as well. THere's a good chance of the country being completely different in 30 years time.

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If there were nice properties for that little you may as well. THere's a good chance of the country being completely different in 30 years time.

You usually get tons of land with a country property. There is plenty of scope for buying a ruin with loads of land, demolish the ruin and build yourself a spanking brand new house to your own specification.

Edited by penbat1

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You usually get tons of land with a country property. There is plenty of scope for buying a ruin with loads of land, demolish the ruin and build yourself a spanking brand new house to your own specification.

Or even just buy the land and wait for 30 years, cheaper initial investment and saves worry about maintenance.

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If I was a Bulgarian, I'd be doing my best to make these parasites feel as unwelcome as possible. Maybe not quite Straw Dogs, though :lol:

Many Bulgarian villagers are very keen to sell to foriebners as there isnt any work for them and they need to migrate to cities. Also residents in Bulgarian villagers are dying out.

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Or even just buy the land and wait for 30 years, cheaper initial investment and saves worry about maintenance.

Maybe - if you are in the investment game but I am not - i Just want somewhere cheap and nice to live.

Edited by penbat1

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Greetings, I thought I would add my 'tuppennorth...or 10 stotinki given the nature of this thread. I have visited Bulgaria a lot over the past few years and even, in my callow youth, thought of buying a nice place out there in the countryside.

I believe there still are exceedingly cheap properties for sale out in the wilds but the reason for the low price relative to the UK is that you really would not want to live there. The infrastructure is extremely poor. The quality of the new build apartments in the larger cities like Varna and Sofia is very poor despite the increasing prices they are charging.

I think a lot of people are going to be sorely disappointed by the rental market for condos they have bought in touristy areas like Sunny Beach etc. It was mentioned earlier in the thread that the level of owner occupation out there is high. Bulgarians do not tend to rent out apartments when going on holiday...they usually stay with friends or friends of friends ( it is a particularly open culture). The comments about organised crime laundering money through housing schemes is true..the BG mafia have their fingers in almost every pie.

As for the composition of the populace. It is true that a lot of young people have left, and continue to leave, but the image of an elderly, romi and illiterate popualtion is not entirely true. The cities, where a lot of the young have gravitated, are quite cosmopolitan and do not have the dark dangerous atmosphere of our cities. I feel happy to walk the streets there.

I am told that the public health system in BG is not the greatest but my wife says it is not much worse than the NHS. Private medical care is a relatively affordable option over there as well and pay-as-you-go rather than contracted like BUPA et al( although it was a private doctor who tested my wife and said that there was no way she could get pregnant <_< ). I think the property companies tend to overstate the average wage ( presumably to encourage the specuvestors to buy there). I would suggest it is close to 150 leva per month or slightly over 100 dollars.

It is still a fantastic country to visit and really does have the best looking women in Europe. ;)

stan

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I believe there still are exceedingly cheap properties for sale out in the wilds but the reason for the low price relative to the UK is that you really would not want to live there. The infrastructure is extremely poor. The quality of the new build apartments in the larger cities like Varna and Sofia is very poor despite the increasing prices they are charging.

You comments sound quite positive apart form the above. There are many posters on this forum http://www.mybulgaria.info/bulgaria-property-forums.html who live in rural Bulgaria and they dont make a big fuss about infrastructure problems. Anyway EU money should help improve the situation.

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Maybe - if you are in the investment game but I am not - i Just want somewhere cheap and nice to live.

I'd be thinking in those terms too, but if you're thinking of somewhere to retire to for a low initial outlay then surely buying land only in an area with little to no infrastructure but lovely scenery and waiting until closer to retirement before building the house and making the major expense to see if the area has improved is most cost effective?

Heck, you could even buy several plots of land in various places and wait to see which area turns out best in 30 years then build your house there with the proceeds of selling the other plots.

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I'd be thinking in those terms too, but if you're thinking of somewhere to retire to for a low initial outlay then surely buying land only in an area with little to no infrastructure but lovely scenery and waiting until closer to retirement before building the house and making the major expense to see if the area has improved is most cost effective?

Heck, you could even buy several plots of land in various places and wait to see which area turns out best in 30 years then build your house there with the proceeds of selling the other plots.

I am planning to retire in the next year or two so not worth doing for me.

Incidentally a few years back (but no so much now) Brits were clicking buttons on the internet and buying up half a dozen bulgarian properies or plots of land at a time as an investment and never even bothering to visit them.

Edited by penbat1

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My neighbours bought a place in Bulgaria last year and yesterday told me they're just going to use it themselves twice a year as they've been unable to rent it out - to anyone. They're a bit worried. "Neither of us have a pension, you see." (They're mid forties.) Their solution? Now buying another house - in Bolton - to try to rent that out...

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You comments sound quite positive apart form the above. There are many posters on this forum http://www.mybulgaria.info/bulgaria-property-forums.html who live in rural Bulgaria and they dont make a big fuss about infrastructure problems. Anyway EU money should help improve the situation.

What difference bunch of few thousand foreigners makes? None .

There is no real economy, these people are just lucky to have money so they can retire, Renting is not an option unless you know the real business, still Business Property yields are above 8% , apart from that is absolute madness to buy apartment and try to rent it to somebody, I guess property Developers have used very well the Spanish Model of ripping their fellow Europeans, this at some point must and is going to stop, Germany is taxing second homes anywhere in the EU, good solution to speculative investment is to just tax the investors to death, Holiday home buyers are destroying the country and why anyone in their right mind would like to actually lock thousands of pounds in empty expectations.European population is aging and dying, and is not just Bulgaria that have real problem and seems that Europe is still building with temps that would be appropriate for India or China.

Anyway EU money should help improve the situation.

Seems that EU has a little problem with Spain, Italy, etc...

This is absolute ********, artificial improvement is not an improvement, only real gains and real economical structure matters, making the country attractive so foreigners can retire is just building a sanatorium for dying and aging people, don't you see guys most of Europe is just plain greedy for British Money, and seems that there is plenty to give away...Free money

Edited by alabala

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It is still a fantastic country to visit and really does have the best looking women in Europe.

Having been out to BG assisting a friend in property deals at least 8 times over the last four years I am inclined to agree. The young women in Varna in particular are stunning. A young man could live like a king out there for £100 a week. F*ck property, life is for living.

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Two words - skiing, golf.

Maybe not today, but it will happen.

There are already skiing resorts (Bansko etc) and golf. Obviously the Black Sea coast is a big tourist draw as well.

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Why "Eastern" in quotes?

Surely geographically all new EU states east of Austria are in Eastern Europe, excluding the Slovenia and the Czech republic which are in central Europe.

As "eastern" European myself, I would not buy in Bulgaria if the houses were going for £5 each. No way.

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Why "Eastern" in quotes?

Surely geographically all new EU states east of Austria are in Eastern Europe, excluding the Slovenia and the Czech republic which are in central Europe.

I think the point being made is that the term "Eastern European" has negative connotations - if we didn't look down on them (generally speaking) we would call everyone from Europe "Europeans". I've never heard an Austrian called a "Central European" for example.

All Europeans are equal, but some are more equal than others.

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