Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Shortage of UK Investment Properties

City workers looking to spend their bonuses on cheap property have been left out in the cold, as the supply of cheap property in their traditional investment areas including the City and Docklands has now reached rock bottom, reports the Homebuyer Show.

An estimated £4 billion worth of city bonuses is set to be spent on cheap properties following the huge bonus payouts in December, as city workers look to maximize their funds through property investment.

With recent research now indicating that the supply level in their traditional investment areas is now at an all time low, many investors are now having to look in other places. The majority of estate agents in the City and Docklands areas had fewer than 10 properties available for sale at any one time at the end of 2006 compared with 15-20 at the start of the year.

The main countries which are likely to attract these cash rich investors are France, Spain, Bulgaria as well as the United States. However, for those investors who are a little more adventurous countries like Barbados, Dubai and Brazil are also offering good returns.

UK-listed developer confident in Bulgaria

While the entry of Bulgaria into the European Union is expected to prompt an exodus of workers from the country in search of better wages, an Aim-listed property company is betting that the number of British holidaymakers heading for the slopes of the Balkan country will continue to rise.Bulgarian Land Development today said it had bought a 56,093 sq metre site near the winter resort of Borovets, a popular destination with British skiers. It said the purchase price was £3.4m, along with a further £14 per sq metre of the total built-up area and 30pc of any gross sale proceeds over £27m.Dimitar Savov, an executive director of BLD, said: "All the hotels [in Borovets] are full with British people. There is a strong relationship with British tourist companies."Property prices in Bulgaria have risen as much as 30pc in the best areas over the past year, while the average increase was around 15pc, Mr Savov said. The prospect of Bulgaria's entry into the EU, which officially happened yesterday, helped the economy expand 6.7pc in the third quarter and the country is expected to attract a record 4bn of investment this year. BLD plans to built a resort complex of villas and apartments, covering around 50,000 sq metres, on the site where a factory currently stands.Mr Savov added that the company was keen to target the growing Scandinavian market. "Ninety per cent of our clients up to now have been British and Irish, with 10pc Bulgarians, Romanians and Russians," he said.Bulgaria became the latest country to join the European Union, along with Romania. The former communist country applied for EU membership in 1995 and began accession talks in 2000.Mr Savov said: "We are going to sell apartments to our clients and they can also sign rental agreements. Fifty per cent of the clients are investors - they buy to collect rent and benefit from property prices."BLD said the site it had bought offered access to ski runs, spa facilities and golf courses. It said the projected sales value of the project was more than £35m. Construction is due to begin at the start of 2008, with the first-phase apartments available for the 2009-10 winter season.The company said its portfolio had a completed development value of £163m and added that it was in talks over buying further sites.Shares in BLD were up ½p at 90p in afternoon trading.


After a year of predicting and projecting how Bulgaria's European Union membership will affect the real estate market, in the closing days of 2006 the magazine interviewed several real estate professionals about their expectations. Architects, real estate agents, economists and investors share their views about prices, interest rates, demand, quality, Black Sea development and the shortage of construction workers.The magazine's lead feature takes a deeper look at the manner EU accession will affect the property sector. It also examines the deregulation of property-related professions.Issue 1 2007 also focuses on gated communities and the reasons for their growing popularity. PropertyWise again offers reliable coverage of real estate matters such as the conditions for mall success, how to tap into EU funds, Sofia's parking problem and the Romanian property market.The first issue for 2007 will be available at news stands and in the best hotels starting January 26

Golf properties in Bulgaria

Golf is a favorite game for many people in Europe and this is proved by the fact that only in Scotland, Spain and France there are over 500 golf courses each. Comparing this data with the situation in Bulgaria, we can indicate the availability of only three fully completed and going golf courses. The first golf club opens in 2002, located in Itiman, 40 km. from Sofia. Under the aegis of the Bulgarian Golf Federation the second golf course opens doors in the town of Sliven which is the largest one for now in Bulgaria and the third one is situated close to the small town of Elin Pelin. Golf projects have been worked out in Balchik, Kavarna ,Sunny Beach, Burgas, Dolna Banya and Razlog and soon they will count many in our country. The perspectives in developing golf make the so called golf resorts more popular for the contractors in Bulgaria. The idea is to search for a combination between the game and the holiday in traditional (summer and winter) tourist destinations. This inevitably leads to price rise of properties, located in proximity to the golf courses and attracts solvent buyers. According to specialists, golf players are more willing to waste money than the rest of the tourists. The availability of golf courses makes the region attractive for other investors too, which on the other hand reflects the prices of the land. In the area of Razlog, where one of the biggest golf courses is being built up, the owners of agricultural land (ninth category) are selling the square meter for 30-50 EUR. The Northern Black sea coast is the other big golf zone in Bulgaria. The three big golf courses projects direct the contractors' activity in the area around Balchik and Kavarna, where are projected or built numerous apartment complexes .Most of them are advertised for their vicinity to the future golf courses and the yacht equipment. It is stake also on attractions like rock-concerts in Kavarna, the nature reserves to the north, as well as local places of interest like the castle of the Romanian princess and the Botanic garden in Balchik. Golf is one of the most developing sports in the world .It is sport for all ages and despite game, it is a way of life. Although in Bulgaria there are no traditions in this sport, the developing of the golf complexes and this type of tourism is forthcoming from now on.