Housing prices in Bulgaria have risen by 15% year on year to an average 846.5 levs/sq m in 2006 versus 738 levs/sq m a year ago, said the national statistical authority. The capital Sofia remains the most expensive housing market with average prices adding 10% to 1,341.8 levs/sq m in 2006. Varna is a close second with 1,316 levs/sq m (+10% y/y), Burgas with 1,227 levs/ sq m (+5%), Plovdiv with 940 levs/sq m (+9%) and Stara Zagora with 915 levs/sq m (+18%).
Vidin, in North-western Bulgaria, was the most buoyant market in 2006, appreciating by a hefty 65%. It is followed by Lovech (+48%) and Smolyan (+40%). The price surge in Vidin is conditioned by the launched construction of a new bridge linking the Bulgarian city with Calafat on the opposite bank of the Danube river.
The boon for the housing market in Smolyan comes from its proximity to the booming Pamporovo ski resort where residential estates fetch 800-1,000 euro/sq m. Although the Bulgarian capital commands the highest housing prices, homes in the cities in the greater Sofia area could be had for as little as 412 levs/sq m.