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Bulgaria: Crisis knocks down housing prices

27. April 2009. | 09:13

Author: Dnevnik

House prices all across Bulgaria’s regional cities have slumped in the three months through March 2009 from the previous quarter, showed figures of the National Statistical Institute (NSI).

House prices all across Bulgaria’s regional cities have slumped in the three months through March 2009 from the previous quarter, showed figures of the National Statistical Institute (NSI).

Average prices fell 12.4% on the quarter but the annual decrease was a lower 8.4% as the uptrend reversed only in October.

The average housing price in the first quarter was BGN 1,190 per square metre. Last year it peaked at BGN 1,418 per sq m between July and September, making an average national decrease of 16% from July to March.

Experts say residential prices will slip to their lowest in the third quarter of up to 30% on an annual basis.

From January to March, prices plummeted the sharpest in Veliko Tarnovo (-25.1%), Kyustendil (-21.5%), Blagoevgrad (-20.5%), Rousse (-18.8%) and Vidin (-17.8%).

There were decreases of under 5% in Shoumen, Dobrich, Razgrad, Montana and Gabrovo.

Varna overcame Sofia in terms of highest housing prices by a BGN 2 margin. The cheapest flats are offered in Kyustendil for BGN 600 per sq m and towns around the capital at BGN 652 per sq m, which is more than three times lower than the costliest areas.

On an annual basis, a few regional cities managed to defy the downturn from January to March, with marginal gains registered in Bourgas, Plovdiv, Vratsa, Montana, Razgrad, Sliven and Smolyan. Prices in all of them peaked last summer and are now cooling off at a slower pace.

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