14 February 2006

Ski resorts in Bulgaria

There has been a 40 per cent increase in enquiries for investment property abroad in Bulgarian ski resorts since September 2005, as overseas property investors seek to capitalise while prices remain low. Exclusive resorts such as Aspen Golf in Bansko offer affordable Ski property and strong long-term investment potential, according to investment property experts. An off-plan studio or one-bedroom apartment start from €50,000 ( £35,000 ).

Over 30 per cent more UK holidaymakers visited Bulgaria in 2005, leading to an influx of travel companies with a majority of them offering guaranteed rental schemes. With a number of no thrills airlines looking to open up more direct routes to Bulgaria, this can only add to the long term growth of property investment.

Rental yields through guaranteed schemes are about nine per cent, while property investors letting independently are achieving yields of about 12 per cent.

However there are risks involved with buying Bulgarian property. Although Bulgaria is quickly establishing itself as a more mainstream destination it still remains an emerging market. 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.

Overseas property investors have to decide whether they are prepared to take the risks associated with a new destination in an immature market such as Bulgaria, or a more established low-risk destination such as Spain which is more expensive to invest in, therefore offering lower returns short term .

With Bulgaria's membership to the EU looking imminent, it appears that many investors believe it’s a risk definitely worth taking.

A typical 2 bed Spanish investment property in Almerimar - Costa Almeria – Spain will cost aprox 105,000 euros compared to 50,000 euros for an apartment on the Ski slopes of Bansko in Bulgaria.

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