£200,000 for a UK Property? I'd rather have a Bulgaria Property Investment!

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According to Rightmove, the average UK house price surge past £200,000 for a house during the last 4 weeks. However, breaking the barrier of £200,000 is more welcome by the sellers than by the investors as “the current dynamics are favourable to sellers as the amount of property available to buyers remains limited”, Ian Perry from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) commented.

interest has shifted as British consumers want to travel beyond the traditional European borders

According to Rightmove, the average UK house price surge past £200,000 for a house during the last 4 weeks. However, breaking the barrier of £200,000 is more welcome by the sellers than by the investors as “the current dynamics are favourable to sellers as the amount of property available to buyers remains limited,” Ian Perry from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) commented.

Less encouraging for the property agencies in UK though, is that the rising costs of UK properties seem to determine more and more Brits to look for homes or vacation resorts abroad. Spain and France are still amongst the top places to go outside Britain, however “interest has shifted as British consumers want to travel beyond the traditional European borders,” reported Alex Wright, the HIFX director, referring to Australia.

Apparently, Eastern Europe has become a favourite “escapist” solution as well, Western Europeans seeming to be more and more interested in investment in the property market of Eastern countries, the Bulgarian newspaper Sofia Echo suggests. Bulgaria is mostly favoured by the British though. This shift of interest is due to the advantageous policies of Bulgarian government towards foreign investors by allowing banks to offer part-mortgages; it is as well due to the cheap Bulgarian properties, compared to those of UK, and ultimately to the promising holiday places of Bulgaria. Not surprisingly, “the Black Sea Property Fund was listed on the London Stock Exchange's AIM in March 2005. Some 40% of the proceeds from the flotation have been invested in 5 projects in Bulgaria, including schemes for a combined 2,800 apartments,” Premier Property Bulgaria announced in October, last year.

Also, it is believed that Bulgaria property investments will be one of the top choice for European property markets in 2006, according to the South China Morning Post, with many different types of properties available.

Cheaper Bulgaria properties therefore make better returns pound for pound compared to the UK, making this country a nice and affordable place to live. Retirement value also seems noteworthy for choosing to make property investment in Bulgaria when UK has a considerable ageing population. Bulgaria fits the British elders’ expectations related to location because of its renowned resorts by the Black Sea, such as Varna, as it appears that a “new research by the over-fifties magazine Yours shows most of Britain's 10 favourite retirement locations are by the sea”, Graham Norwood from The Independent reports but, also, that the most expensive retirement places in the UK are indeed coastal properties.

Beyond its holiday and retirement value, property investment in Bulgaria is valuable for rents and capital appreciation. The anticipated entry of Bulgaria into the UE will surely drive up prices. The political change will however surely contribute to the further development of the infrastructure of this country.

According to HIFAX, Bulgaria is on the 4th place on the top destinations for people looking for a home abroad, after Spain, France and Australia. The enquiries for the first 2 countries on the list decreased by 5 per cent from the last month, and are expected to further go down as the “British public is becoming more adventurous when looking to buy a home abroad.”

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