More new properties were built in Bulgaria’s most popular Black Sea resorts in 2009 than anywhere else in the country, according to official figures.
The data from the National Statistics Institute shows that 163 buildings and 1.114 apartments were completed in Varna and 133 buildings and 1,460 apartments in Bourgas by the end of the third quarter.
Many though could remain empty for some time as the property market in Bulgaria has been badly hit by the global economic crisis and in particular along the Black Sea coast. The number of foreign investors have fallen off.
The figures show that overall there were 685 new real estate complexes built across Bulgaria for the third quarter of 2009, a 0.9% per cent increase from the previous three months. A total of 5,214 new units were put on the market, down by 674 from the second quarter.
Although the figures shows that there was 2.1% less construction than in the same period in 2008, there were actually 2% more apartments completed.
Developers are also building bigger apartments. The average size of a new apartment built in the third quarter was 71.7 square metres compared with 69.9 square metres in the second quarter.
Some areas though have not seen any building, indicating a slowdown in some locations. For example, there were no buildings complete in Kyustendil between July and September this year.
The foreign investment sector has been particularly badly hit and people are also being put off buying due to lack of transparency and unscrupulous companies operating in the industry.
A third of all complaints filed with the Bulgarian section of the European Consumer Centre (ECC) by foreigners concerned real estate, most of them from British and Irish property owners.
The number of tourists to the country have dropped off. Tourism officials have admitted that the number of bookings for the winter season, especially from Russians, are down.