BTA News

Russian Holiday Property Owners on Bulgarian Coast Decrease, Bulgarian and Western Buyers on the Rise

“Little Russia” is behind “young Bulgaria” and “aging Europe” on the holiday property market along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Half of buyers of seaside holiday apartments are high-income Bulgarians up to 30 years old, working mainly in the IT sector, and the rest are retired people from Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

Two-room dwellings in gated communities are most in demand, and average prices begin from EUR 1,900 per square metre. Maintenance fees in gated communities are no longer startling to buyers, who are currently inclined to spend BGN 60-70 per month for the maintenance of swimming pools, fitness gyms and children’s playgrounds. Ukrainian investors are entering the newly built coastal housing market in Bulgaria.

This snapshot of the Bulgarian seaside property market at the height of summer was presented by National Real Estate Association Management Board members Atanas Argirov and Stefka Kalcheva in interviews for BTA.

The North

With housing prices in Varna increasing considerably over the last two years, buyers tend to seek holiday property which they can use as their first home. Housing prices in Bulgaria’s largest seaside city, situated on the northern part of the country’s Black Sea coast, have gone up by 60% in about two years, while holiday property prices have risen by 25%. Therefore, 20% of people looking for a first home opt for holiday properties.

Many buyers prefer real estate in and around the Saints Constantine and Helena resort, which has become a structural part of the city of Varna. The resort now has more residential buildings than hotels.

Two-room apartments are most popular, accounting for 40% of real estate purchases in Varna.

The South

In the Burgas area on the southern section of the Bulgarian coast, interest in holiday property is growing, and half of the deals are with Bulgarian buyers. The other half are with people from Germany, mainly retired individuals who initially lived here in rented homes. People from Poland, Czechia and Israel (mainly Russian Jews) show interest in such purchases as well. These new buyers have partly filled the gap created by Russians who sold their real estate in the Burgas area. Many Russians would rather have stayed in Bulgaria, but they faced visa and transport problems which raised an insurmountable barrier to using their summer homes here.

Holiday property prices in the vicinity of Burgas do not show any tangible increase year on year, just a modest 5-6%, which matches inflation. Sale activity in 2023 and 2024 has been even, with no major peaks. Expectations are that prices will increase by a further 2-3% by the end of 2024, which will put the annual increase at between 4% and 8%.

As usual, people seeking to buy holiday property on the southern stretch of the Bulgarian coastline are most attracted to the resorts of Sozopol, Nessebar, Sunny Beach and Primorsko. A German community has settled lastingly in Aheloy. They invest mainly in gated estates. Ukrainians are interested in buying dwellings in the city of Burgas.

Ukrainians are definitely a market factor in Burgas as they are involved in 30% of holiday property purchases.

Pomorie appeals to Poles, German-speaking people and Ukrainians. Sozopol and Nessebar are in the upper part of the ranking, along with Ravda and Sveti Vlas.

Proximity to the sea is one of the most important price factors.