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And the cities?
"Again, there are differences, even between cities. The prime city is, of course, Sofia, the capital. Buy the right apartment here, in the right area, and you can expect a guaranteed rental return of about 12% per annum. The flavour of the month is gated communities, particularly in the south of the city. The diplomatic residential district of Vitosha is one of the best bets. There is a ready demand for luxury accommodation from diplomatic staff and executives seconded by foreign companies, usually on a long-term basis, and this demand should increase as 2007, the year of Bulgaria's accession to the European Union, approaches. Although you should expect to pay high for such properties by Bulgarian standards, it's still only the price of a tarted-up Victorian terraced flat in a UK provincial town. << Back to list of articles
'There's virtually no market for tourist rentals in Sofia, as it's probably the least interesting European capital city. It's also very polluted, although they are trying to clean up their act, ready for EU entry in 2007.
'Plovdiv, the country's second city, is much more pleasant. It has a quaint old town, as well as modern business districts. It therefore bridges the gap between business and tourism, as far as rentals are concerned. Plovdiv is connected to Sofia by an excellent motorway, on which you can keep the pedal to the metal, if you're prepared to risk an on-the-spot fine of 50 Leva - about ?18.
'Veliko Tarnovo is probably Bulgaria's most touristic city, with its citadel and mediaeval ramparts. Most people who buy property here do so to make it their main home. The city itself is beautiful, and it has everything a townie needs. Drive a short distance, and you're in some wonderful countryside. You couldn't really make a good living from rentals, but it's the perfect place to retire to.
'There's one more thing which is important enough to mention: Mineral baths. These exist all over Bulgaria, the most significant being at Narechen, south of Plovdiv, and Momin Prohod, near Kostenets. Scientific studies rank Bulgaria among the foremost in Europe for hydrothermal, bioclimatic and mud treatments, sea cures and other health resources. Bulgaria is a world leader with its exceptional diversity of medicinal herbs and the excellent curative properties of its apian products. Any property near a spa should attract a premium to its sales or rental value."