What next for Bansko property prices? Interview with Cristian Zarnescu from Plus Property

Feb 17, 2023 No Comments by

The average market price of Bansko property jumped by 25% in 2022. It now stands at 700-800 euros per square metre. I was interested to take a look ahead at Bansko property price expectations for the next few years. Read on for my interview with Cristian Zarnescu at Plus property where we take a deep dive into property; the market trends, how to buy (including at auction), how to sell and much more.

What are the trends in property prices in Q1 2023?

Market forces may push average prices in Europe down by 15% to 20% over the next two years. But I think the Bansko market will slip down by 10% over the next 10 to 12 months and remain stable and flat in 2024 until 2025. Until around mid 2025 I think Bansko prices will move up again.

Forces that push the prices down are the economic situation in Europe. For example, higher interest rates sucking up cash and rewarding holding cash at the bank rather than investment in property.

The market forces that are pushing the Bansko property prices up are many. For example, more people are discovering Bansko, than buying ski property. I’m seeing more buyers are looking for all year round residence in Bulgaria and want to enjoy the quality of life here. Then there are digital nomads, remote workers, retirees and investors. They have their motives due to the community and tax residency reasons. All are sizeable sections of the market.

How to buy at auction

I did a video with Cristian on this topic, see above. Cristian says: “Contact me at Plus Property to discuss what you’re looking for and your budget. We help with everything and find the right property for you. Buying at auction comes with the benefit that you buy as a brand new property, no history, no charges or liens. Basically completely clean real estate. We send to your lawyers the right documents. You then you need to send 10% of the auction price to the bailiff who is selling the property.

If you win the auction, you need to send the balance within two weeks and if you don’t win you need to claim the 10% back from the bailiff. This process can take some time so do not use money you need back quickly.

The buying costs are no more than €2,000 euros, plus the cost of the notary. Typically we are seeing savings of around €10,000 by buying at auction on a one bedroom apartment. That’s 20% to 25% under the market price. `Expect the process after winning the auction to take about two months until you have full title in the property.

What is the downside to Bansko property prices?

Prices are still very low at €650 to €800 compared to the new build cost of €800 to €900 per square metre. This build price is the total that consists of land, permits, raw build, raw finishing and utilities.

The market participants are very varied in nationality. We have 40% of buyers that are Bulgarians; then the rest of the buyers are split amongst Czechs, Hungarians, Polish, Slovakians, Israelis and Ukrainians. Because in Central Europe prices went up to an average of €160,000, there is a belief that Bansko will catch up to that sort of level in the next 7 years.

Bulgaria is expected to join the euro currency in 2025 which, if past events in other countries are to go by, may alone increase prices by 15% to 30%.

Property is often seen as a hedge against high inflation. People are trying to protect their cash against inflation, so they buy more physical assets. Property is in high demand for that reason.

The cost of living is becoming expensive in western Europe and, whilst Bulgarian prices are still going up, it’s still considered cheaper to live in Bulgaria. This fact attracts people that want to relocate to a more affordable destination that is safe, has a good climate and a modern infrastructure. 

Bansko is now a top 5 digital nomad destinations in the world. The more people that come to Bansko as nomads then the more people want to come.

Long term rental yields are increasing and this attracts more investor interest. 

Prices are still very low for one bedroom, they are still €45,000 – €50,000 vs €160,000 in most of Central Europe.

The selling process

plus property

2023 is a good time to sell because the market went up the last two years. For the foreseeable future the market is stable and may even decline a little. However, prices could jump significantly higher if the world avoids a recession. 

Please contact us and decide to sell your apartment. We offer free valuations, free listings, and free viewings. We introduce you to lawyers who charge €500 for full sale legal service. We charge a commission at sale, no sale no fee. Selling takes 1-3 months to find buyers and then two months to complete the sale and for you to proceed from sale to funds in your account.

click link to Plus Property for more on selling your property

The buying process

Contact us on what type of property you are looking to buy. and you budget. Let us know if you’re buying for short or long term rental, for private use or for investment. We advise you on the best units available for you on the market. Once you like something we will negotiate a sale price for you and place an advancement deposit of €2,000 euros. Your solicitors will check the property in your name and, in the unlikely event, if there are any issues with the property, return your deposit to you in full.

Within two months you send the balance into the notary account. The solicitors sign and transfer in your name and then you’re the owner of the Bansko real estate. Once you own it you have two annual fees.

Firstly, property council tax (usually €80-€100 per year). Then, secondly, you have the maintenance fee to pay which costs anywhere between €500 for a residential property to €1500 for a spa hotel. The example costs here are for an average sized one bedroom property.

Buying a property gives you a lot of freedom, you can use it for residency, and for short and long term lets. And you can make any all the changes to the interior decoration you like.

click link to Plus `Property for more on the buying process

What are the three things you should know as a buyer?

If you are a buyer, all property is good value for money on this market. We can help with understanding individual differences between various offers and the ones best for you.  There are many factors to balance in assessing this question, such as the build quality and how good the management company is. You need to ascertain if the electricity is private or business, and other information we help with.

How much does it cost to furnish a Bansko property?

Apartment repairs start at average €3,000 to €5,000. Furniture can start at around €3,000 to €7,000 euros. A kitchen is at least €3,000 to €5,000.

What are the top 5 tips can you give to a property seller?

1) You can go sole agency or go multiple agency. The advantage of more agents is that there is more marketing to clients and more viewings. Usually other agents won’t tell you this.

2) If you use Plus Property as an agent, we can negotiate a better commission for you and can start advertising quickly.

3) The fees you pay should be transparent 

4) Be aware if an agent is offering a low commission. It could be a scam. A popular scam is for the agent to ask for cash from the buyer because the seller has not paid the maintenance. The agent asks for a very low commission and then they take €3,000 to €5,000 in cash. 

5) If you want to be certain of the market price, then ask 2-3 agents. Some agents give valuations €5,000 to €10,000 more to entice you to list your property with them. Then, when there are no sales for three to five months, they tell you to lower your price. Good agents always give you a realistic valuation. It’s up to you to agree on a higher asking price to start with. Already the market is blocked with buyers looking to pay €650-€800 per square metre, while many average units are advertised at €1,000 per square metre. These higher prices are not receiving any enquiries on them – for months on end.

What are the risks and rewards of the Bansko property market?

I believe that the downsides are minimal, but in the long run, the upsides are solid price appreciation and the unmeasurable enjoyment of using your property for holidays and/or extended stays.

Lance: That will help others looking at the market. Thank you Cristian”

So that is our most comprehensive review of Bansko property on banskoblog.com ever. I know many happy clients of Plus Property and that is why I am happy to have them as Bansko Blog’s property sponsor.

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Living, Owning

About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.
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