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Exit the Britons, Enter the Russians
Mass Exodus of Brits Looms for Bulgaria, Russians Take Over<< Back to list of articles
Bulgaria's real state market, which used to benefit from large number of UK buyers before 2008, is now said to realy heavily on Russian buyers for its recovery.
Owning a second home abroad was once the preserve of the super-wealthy, but in the past decade a heady combination of TV property shows and cheap mortgages has convinced an estimated half a million Britons to buy their own place in the sun.
The value of UK-owned foreign property investments peaked at GBP 58 B in 2008, up from GBP 10 B in 2000.
Recently however British owners of second homes overseas, including Bulgaria, have been selling up due to falling rental income.
British and Irish property buyers, who purchased resort properties in Bulgaria during the boom years, are now even willing to sell them at a loss to take advantage of the lucrative deals currently offered on the British real estate market.
Instead investors from Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan are showing a growing interest in real estates located in Sofia and along the Black Sea coast.
They are looking for already built properties or new construction and refrain from greenfield purchases.
Over 200 000 Russian nationals have bought real estate in Bulgaria in the first month of 2010, the total cost of the properties they acquitted exceeding USD 1 B.
Bulgaria still ranks first in Russia among the countries which attract the most buyers in the middle segment. Last year, real estate prices dropped by 25-30% and these are the levels around which the market will stabilize in 2011.