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British Investors Are Flocking To Bulgaria's Ski Resorts

Property for sale in Bulgaria, Keen to cash in on their growing appeal to the international and domestic holidaymaker while prices remain low.

The property investment specialist has seen a 40 per cent increase in enquiries for property in Bulgarian ski resorts since September 2005.

According to the firm, Bulgarian ski resorts such as Bansko and Bovorets offer affordable property and good long-term growth potential, with prices for off-plan studio or one-bedroom apartments costing around EUR40,000 (Ј27,520).

Ski facilities are developing fast, meaning Bulgaria is now providing healthy competition to not just the French ski markets but also Austria and Switzerland, the company added.

Figures show the number of UK visitors to Bulgaria increased by 36 per cent in 2005, demonstrating the high level of growth taking place in the tourism industry which has been boosted by the country's bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics. As a result, there has been an influx of travel companies starting to operate in the Bulgarian resorts, many of which are offering investors guaranteed rental schemes similar to those in France.

"Yields are essential for any Bulgarian investor, since capital gains of 20-25 per cent in the popular cities and investor hotspots last year are probably not sustainable, and the resale market is not as well established as other countries due to Bulgaria's status as an emerging economy and the large number of new developments being continuously released.

"In comparison, France is well suited to the upper market holiday-home purchaser, with quality property in established locations that are part of the 'jet set' circuit such as Meribel and Megeve. The term 'aprиs-ski' and its use worldwide is one indicator of France's current position as the skiing capital of the world.

"Bulgaria is quickly establishing itself as a more mainstream destination, but it remains an emerging economy. Ultimately investors must decide if they are prepared to take on the risks associated with a new destination in an immature market, or a more established destination that is low-risk but more expensive to invest in, therefore offering lower yields. With Bulgaria's membership to the EU looking ever more likely, many investors are considering it to be a risk worth taking."