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Investors Cash In On Bulgarian Land

Property investors attention is being drawn towards new investment opportunities in both agricultural and development land in Bulgaria.The variety of investment schemes on the market which offer buyers lower risk, less involvement and most of all greater profitability, are attracting investors who are questioning whether they should trade in buy-to-let and commercial properties in favour of agricultural land in Bulgaria.Until recently, agricultural land has remained very much on the sidelines of the Bulgarian real estate market, eclipsed by the price hysteria that has seized Bulgaria's big cities and holiday resorts. However, in the last few months, the price of these plots of land suddenly rose by 40%. "Both private and institutional investors are realising that whilst the present values of their residential property investment may be unstable, agricultural land prices are on the up. I think this has led to an acknowledgment that it pays to have a mix of different types of property within your investment portfolio" says Galina Mihaylova, managing director of flickr land bulgaria, whose Bulgarian property consultancy independently researches the real estate market for such investment opportunities.The most common strategy is to acquire agricultural land in desirable, up and coming locations and go through the process of regulation with a view to reselling the newly regulated land at a profit, advises Ms. Mihaylova. "The regulation process can be long and frustrating but the resulting pay-off is well worth the investment of time involved" says Mr. Anderson from West Midlands, who bought agricultural land two years ago near Bourgas. Priced at just 9 Euros/sqm, after completing the regulation procedure, he recently just sold the land for 60 Euros / sqm to a developer who wants to start building holiday houses on the plot. Proud of his investment achievement, Mr Anderson shares that excluding all costs, he has returned a profit of 200k Euros over a two year period.An alternative investment vehicle is to source agricultural land that is located around the periphery of the big cities. Since joining the EU Bulgaria, in experiencing a period of rapid economic growth and development. As a result, most cities are planning enlargements of their city borders to accommodate the increasing demand for more space. "These plots will automatically be included within the city borders making the land pay for itself and generate profit for the owner at minimum risk and no additional cost" adds Ms. Mihaylova. Elsewhere in Europe, agricultural land is worth more than double that in Bulgaria and buyers are therefore heading over to cash in on the Bulgarian land banking boom. Currently Bulgarian land can only be purchased through a limited company, this rule is set to change in 2010, when land can be purchased freely by individuals and it is expected that this will not only prompt a rise in the demand for land but also continuing price increases in per/sqm.