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July 2008, 04/07/2008

Veliko Turnovo - What's the Buzz All About?

To most Bulgarians Veliko Turnovo is known for its rich history and beautiful vistas however there is something else going on - it is also the centre of a massive construction boom fuelled mainly by local demand for goods and services as well as housing. Amongst those also taking an interest in Veliko Turnovo are foreigners not tempted into buying a piece of rural tranquillity but rather enjoying the buzz of a city that's going places.

Veliko Turnovo has many plus points: growing population, low unemployment, large pool of graduates to draw upon from the university, excellent transport links by virtue of the fact that it sits at the crossroad of all the routes that cut east to west and north to south across Bulgaria.

In terms of real estate market it has been booming during the last few years. There is continuous growth of investments in the city and in 2008 few new trade and production facilities were opened. During 2006 the Municipality issued nearly 1,000 building permissions and in 2007 the number of the permissions was just under those in the previous year. Large number of apartment buildings were constructed and with many of the apartments being sold before the start of construction. One bedroom apartments are the most popular. Apart from the increased supply of new and off-plan apartments there is a growing supply of resale apartments on the market. This market will become more interesting in the future as there is large number of older properties (built in the 70s and 80s) which are not being used by their owners nor are rented out. The decision of the owners to sell or rent these properties will have an impact on the market. After price increases exceeded 20% in both 2008 and 2007 the market is still active and the prices continue to rise in 2008. Expectation is that the increase will be lower this year but is likely to exceed the average for the country.

The construction boom as in most of the Bulgarian cities has created a number of problems for the locals. Previously empty spaces and parking areas have been converted into construction sites and as a result transport and parking is becoming very problematic. Whilst this is part of the growth of the local economy it is for the municipality to think how to resolve the problems. To meet the demand for better management of the city a new urban plan is being prepared.

Whilst resolving the issues connected with fast development of the city will take time there is one resolution for those who cannot wait and want quieter life and city comfort. The building of a gated residential complexes, popular in Sofia, has started in Veliko Turnovo. The first example is the Veliko Tarnovo Hills, a gated complex which is being built on the outskirts of the city. The complex will include houses and apartment buildings as well as shops, restaurants, kindergartens, green areas and other facilities. The prices start from just 660 euros per sq m for the residential properties. The price includes all finishing works ie flooring, bathrooms etc. Only the kitchen and furniture needs installing. This is the first and the largest of several planned small complexes. An apartment here is comparable in price to an apartment in the very centre of town.

Until recently there was a severe lack of large retail space until they opened the Central Mall of Veliko Turnovo, Praktiker, Metro Cash&Carry, Billa and the new CBA trade centre. These stores attract not only local clients but also customers from the neighbour regions - Gabrovo, Lovech, Pleven, Targovishte, as well as passing clients on the way between Sofia and Varna. Other retail chains have recently purchased or are looking to purchase land for construction.

As a result there is much interest in plots of land for construction. In the central part of the city these are almost exhausted and the only option remains reconstruction of low-storey residential buildings. More interest is geared towards the residential quarters and industrial zones where construction is planned for most of the available plots in regulation. The land prices of regulated land and plots next to regulation and suitable for construction are expected to rise further.

There was a time when it seemed that few Bulgarians were interested to buy and live in the villages outside the main towns in the region. However this will change over time as Veliko Tarnovo becomes more developed and pressure on housing will result in a process of migration back to the villages. Several villages which are not too far will attract more interest and the focus will move further as the prices increase. It is a different case with depopulated villages far away from the city and the towns where there are no attractions, poor schooling and no jobs.

Look at Veliko Turnovo city properties on offer..



Location: Outside Bansko

Bansko's boom is over! As this popular ski resort attracts public attention with some negative news regarding over-development recently positive news seem to prevail. Bansko will host the women World Cup FIS slalom next year, more than 20 years after Bulgaria last hosted important alpine skiing event. A new golf course have oppened just outside Bansko and the traditional summer Jazz Festival which sees its 10th edition becomes more and more popular.

Many find Bansko attractive and others like it for its facilities but hate the many hotels and tourist buzz. For the second group there are excellent opportunities in the villages just outside Bansko which provide easy access within 15 minutes to the ski and mountains as well as rural tranquillity and character.

Dobrinishte has been the most popular between Bansko satelites. The town is famous for the mineral baths, traditional architecture and local cuisine. Apart from being close to Bansko plans to develop Dobrinishte own ski zone are underway.

Just next to the future Dobrinishte ski zone and in the foothills of Pirin is Pirin Chalets - an exclusive development of 4- bed chalets with panoramic views, and modern facilities.

Another attractive investment property is this regulated development land for a complex of chalets or apartments offering gorgeous views towards both Pirin and Rila Mountains. It is located on the road leading to the new Gondola of Dobrinisthe and to the existing ski runs of Bezbog Hut.

In less popular village 11 km from Bansko is this fully furnished luxury 4-bed chalet.

If your preferences go towards a complex of larger scale and more communal facilities you could consider Rila Hills. It is located next to Katarino SPA (8 km from Bansko) which became centre of the national news this spring with government officials' meeting there. It is ready and comprises 2-bed apartments and 4-bed individual houses.

New Office of Stara Planina Properties in Burgas

We are pleased to announce the opening of the Burgas office of Stara Planina Properties. The office is located on the main street of Burgas at 43 Aleko Bogoridi Street. Our colleagues there will be happy to welcome you in the new premises or receive your enquiries regarding properties on the South Black Sea coast.


Bulgaria Has Chosen Its Symbol for the Bulgarian Euro Coins

On the 29 June the rock relief of Madara horseman near Shumen was voted the symbol best representing Bulgaria in a campaign in which participated over a million Bulgarians. The image of the Madara horseman will be used for the Bulgarian euro coins when the country enters the euro-zone.

The Madara horseman relief dates back to the beginning of 8th century AD and the rule of Bulgarian khan Tervel and is a symbol of victorious Bulgaria. It is Unesco's world heritage site.

The campaign lasted several months and the short-listed symbols from the initial stage were selected to compete at the final. The Cyrillic alphabet was voted second, the medieval Tsarevets fortress in Veliko Turnovo - third, the Bulgarian rose - forth and the Rila Monastery was fifth in the final.

BlackSeaRama Golf Course Opened on the North Black Sea Coast

Last month the first golf course on the Bulgaria's Black Sea coast was opened near the northern town of Balchik about 40 km from Varna. The professional course is spread over 1,000 decares and is worth over 100 million euro. It has nine holes currently with nine more to be added. reported that the complex also included several luxury villas and houses, a mineral water pool, a gym, and a five-star hotel. A wine-producing plant is under construction. It will use the production of the vineyard located on a plot of 10 decares, and will produce mostly white wines, with the first 20 000 bottles expected to appear in three years.

Bulgaria Requests Domain in Cyrillic Alphabet

In a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Bulgaria requested domain names in cyrillic to be introduced to the Internet. In particular, Bulgaria wants to register and maintain a country code in Cyrillic, ending with the cyrilic letters for .bg. The Bulgarian State Agency for Information Technology and Communications has already forecasted that cyrillic domaind would be introduced to the Internet in 2010.

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