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The lure of emerging property markets

10th February 2006 | back to article listings BACK    print this article PRINT

Property investors from the UK are now willing to step out of the comfort zones of France and Spain and are prepared to seek out better returns on property further afield.

This is the view of Richard Evans, writing for the Telegraph, and he picks out Bulgaria and Turkey as examples of the kind of countries that are now drawing property investment projects.

There are still relatively few cheap flights to Bulgaria and this is clearly a reason behind many investors continuing to prefer property investment in France and Spain. It is noticeable, however, that as an increasing number of European companies begin to offer such a service, activity in the property market has started to rise in Bulgaria.

With cheap flights expected from UK airports before long, demand for property in the country is set to receive a further boost in the coming years, although many investors have already been prepared to pay the extra transportation costs on the basis that they are saving a huge amount on inexpensive property.

Earlier this week, Atanas Garov, managing director at Colliers International Bulgaria, reported that prices for residential and commercial properties were soaring as a result of foreign interest in the country.

This is persuading UK investors in particular to be more adventurous in their investment policies, although looking beyond the familiar property markets certainly provides its own particular challenges.

Mr Evans has warned that you can expect unfamiliar legal, financial and conveyancing arrangements when buying property in faraway locations, but he stressed that conducting thorough research and using a reputable company can dissolve some of these basic stumbling blocks.

According to property company Dosop, three in four of the enquiries it received in the last year were for Bulgaria, reflecting the current levels of interest that the country is attracting.

The reasons for this are multiple, but prospective EU accession and an up-and-coming ski industry seem to have been particularly important. Property prices in and around Bansko, for instance, have been rising steeply in recent months, with the bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2014 only adding to the focus.

The Ski Club of Great Britain has recently been championing both Bansko and Borovets as top ski resorts and property prices are shooting up in accordance with the rising number of holidaymakers visiting both locations.

At the other end of the spectrum, Black Sea resorts are also increasing in popularity while Sofia's developing reputation as a commercial centre has meant that investing in office property has also proved fruitful.

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