Risks to the Property Market in Bulgaria in 2018

Risks to the Property Market in Bulgaria in 2018

 Do you have a property for sale in Bulgaria? There are many who suggest that Bulgaria’s property market is overpriced right now. Home prices in Bulgaria have shot up in recent years to such an extent that experts have been warning about a possible housing bubble in the making.

Should you be worried and sell property in Bulgaria fast? Well, there is no bad time to sell your house in Bulgaria as you will certainly get a good price for it the way the market there has been acting right now.

Indeed, home prices in Bulgaria have been rising at the fastest rate in Europe over the last couple of years. Should that be seen as a negative signal or a positive one? The European Commission says that there is a reason to concerned, pointing at the higher level of indebtedness of the average Bulgarian household.

Bulgarian families have been taking on new debt to finance their expensive lifestyles. They have invested in second or third properties to take advantage of the rising real estate prices, and this has come at the cost of taking on new debt.

Why is this important? Why should you care about how much loan an average Bulgarian family is holding and how it that relevant to your property in Bulgaria – which you plan to sell to a foreign buyer anyway?

Well, even if you’re planning to sell your home in Bulgaria to a foreign buyer the fact is higher indebtedness of the population is always a bad sign for the property market.

We saw what happened in the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States, and how home prices there collapsed by 30 to 40 percent soon after.

A lot of Bulgarians have invested in multiple properties.

The World Bank says that there are 3.9 million homes in Bulgaria and only 3 million households. According to the World Bank,  "1.2 million of homes in Bulgaria are uninhabited, meaning that in reality, 3 million Bulgarian households live in 2.7 million homes, often 6-8 people from three generations share a single apartment, while a quarter of the homes in Sofia and nearly half of the houses in rural areas remain uninhabited."

When people take on a lot of debt to invest in a second or third property, they would rather have the banks foreclose on these properties at the first sign of trouble in the economy instead of paying the loan back.

When banks foreclose on a property and proceed to sell them at throwaway prices to recover at least some of the loan amount that brings down the prices of all the properties in the area. So even if you are in a financially perfect condition, the value of your property goes down because the glut of foreclosed real estate being put for sale on the market.

Does that make sense? The risk of something like this happening is more acute in the overcrowded cities of Sofia, Varna and Plovdiv and not so much in the sea resorts on the Black Sea Coast, where there is more foreign involvement in the property market. 

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