Number of property deals drops twofold in four years
Bulgaria's property market saw a nearly twofold decline in real estate sales compared with the record-high number of deals registered in 2007, according to data of the National Statistical Institute (NSI) and the Registry Agency.
During the period, property prices were 33% lower than their peak in 2008 and fewer building permits were issued. According to local real estate brokers, the trend is likely to persist throughout the first half of 2011.
The number of property deals made in the country, including sales of land, residential real estate and buildings, has dwindled nearly two times for the last four years, with deals in Sofia, Varna and Bourgas dropping between 5% and 9% against 2009, data of the Registry Agency showed.
The average price of real estate in 2010 stood at BGN 964 per square metre in 2010, with Bulgaria's capital city Sofia emerging as the most expensive city with BGN 1,569 per square metres. The lowest property prices were registered in the town of Kyustendil, or BGN 567 per square metres.
On average, real estate prices dropped by 10% last year, in line with projections made by major real estate agencies, which predicted that prices would stabilise in the middle of 2010, producing a gradual rise in sales.
Property deals in the third quarter of 2010 rose by 1,300 against the same period of 2009, but the number of real estate transactions in the October-December period was 6,000 less than a year ago.
According to figures of the statistical office for the first nine months of the year, the country's construction sector continued to deteriorate as reflected by the lower number of building permits and the 50% decline in the total built-up area. Furthermore, the number of buildings put into use in the nine-month period went down by 18% on an annual basis.