Property prices in Bulgaria have fallen by over 6% in the last year, data shows

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Approximately 20 regional cities have seen a quarterly decline in prices

Residential property prices in Bulgaria have fallen by 6.1% year on year, according to the latest third quarter figures from the country’s National Statistics Institute.

The average price of flats in the country was 901.32 leva per square meter between July and September. It means that in quarterly terms, housing property prices saw a decline of 0.8%.

Property prices were the highest in Varna, at 1493 leva a square meter, followed by Sofia with 1456 leva and Bourgas with 1184 leva.

Some 20 regional cities saw quarterly declines in prices, with the most significant drop recorded by Smolyan, down 4.7%, followed by Yambol, down 4.2% and Pleven, down 3.7%.

Meanwhile, average prices of homes in Bulgaria’s capital city of Sofia have fallen by 6.8% in the last 12 months, while the decrease in the third quarter of 2011 was 3.9% compared to the previous quarter, according to the latest figures compiled by Raiffeisen Real Estate.

The survey data shows that average market prices for Plovdiv homes were 4.1% lower than in the third quarter of 2010 and prices in Varna were 3.6% lower.

Quarter on quarter, average home prices in Varna decreased by 1.4% and those in Plovdiv just about escaped negative territory with a rise of less than 0.1%.

Figures for the last two quarters reveal the diverging fortunes of Bulgaria’s largest cities in prices in the non residential property market. Between quarters, prices in Sofia and Varna dropped by 9.6% and 6.4%, respectively. Plovdiv and Bourgas, however, registered respective increases of 2.5% and 6.8%.

This segment of the real estate market in the capital includes deals for both retail outlets and space for office use, while retail property transactions account for most of the deal activity in other cities.

The company said that recently there has been an increase in the number of transactions involving commercial sites in central locations, including properties in main shopping streets. However, the research by Raiffeisen Real Estate shows that this has been accompanied by a decline in the average size of the properties sold. It says that this explains the situation with average non residential prices, as well as the figures for Bourgas and Plovdiv.

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