House Prices Up 10% Year-To-Date

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House prices in Bulgaria have grown 10% since the beginning of this year. In 2006 they increased 20%, UniCredit Bulgaria data, presented at the First Balkan Real Estate Conference (BalREc), shows.

Diversification is expected in the attractive regions for investments in the sector – investors will start to avoid overbuilt areas and will focus on regions with golf and spa-centers in proximity, Martin Gikov, official of UniCredit Bulgaria, said.

Migration to big cities continues to keep interest in new housing high. In 2006 a total of 312,000 real estate transactions were made. Foreign citizens were involved in 30% of them.

The bank forecasts demand for office buildings – class “A” will increase in the middle term. Demand for offices – class “B” will also grow, but will be offcast by big supply of new offices. Experts expect the share of unoccupied premises may reach 10-15%.

In the coming 2-3 years the bank expects the market to stabilize and office selling and rent levels to increase gradually.

UniCredit Bulgaria sees growing interest by major international investors in the building or purchase of new commercial premises.

In order to be successful, a mall should be in a region with a population of at least 140,000 people.

In the logistics segment the bank sees shortage of specialized warehouse premises in Bulgaria and growing interest by major international investors in the building or purchase of new logistics premises.

UniCredit experts think land transactions in Bulgaria are of speculative nature. It is getting harder to find good plots, and prices per square meter have increased repeatedly, experts point it.

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