None of the 28 regional centres have registered Bulgarian property prices decline and the prices growth trend remains strong. Targovishte is the only regional centre where prices haven’t gone up. Nationwide, during the 1Q 2004 prices went up 12.5%, 2Q 2004 – 12.1% and Q3 2004 – 12.0%.
The top 5
Sofia still is the city with highest property prices in Bulgaria, however the property market in the capital has started to settle down. The hugely overpriced until recently, cement-build panelled flats have started to lose some of their gains throughout the last year, whilst the prices of newly brick-build flats continue to grow and in the Q3 2004 the average prices for these most dynamic market segment has reached €530/m2, which is a 4.9% growth compared to Q2 2004.
The prices of similar developments in Varna during Q3 2004 have reached €498/m2, compared to €444/m2 in Q2 2004, which is a growth of 11.5%. For the first 9 months of 2004 the average prices have gone up with €150/m2. The prices of newly brick-build developments are selling between €500/m2 and €700/m2 and in the some parts of Varna reaching €1,200/m2. Unlike Sofia, in Varna prices of cement-build panelled flats are still high because of the limited supply.
Burgas is the third most expensive city in Bulgaria with properties gaining 19% in the Q3 2004 and reaching an average prices of €421/m2. For the first 9 months of 2004 the capital growth is €125/m2. The property market in Stara Zagora has registered over 100% price growth during the first nine months of 2004, from €180/m2 to €367/m2 with 38% growth for Q1 and 33% for Q2. Plovdiv, the second biggest city in Bulgaria has registered a property capital growth of 17% during the first nine months of 2004 with average prices of €331/m2.
The trend in the property market in 2004 is the smaller towns and regional centres growing quicker and starting to catch up with the property price boom of the big 3 (Sofia, Varna, Burgas). For Q3 2004 highest property price growth has been registered in Smolyan – 47%, Montana – 33%, Blagoevgrad – 25% and Lovech and Shumen – 20%.