According to a ranking of regions across Europe where property owners would pay less for more sunlight, 10 of the top 11 cities are in Bulgaria. The ranking is prepared by the UK-based online price comparison website money.co.uk. It is headed by Ruse (in first place), followed by Vratza, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Yambol, the capital Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Dobrich and Burgas. They are separated in the middle, as fifth position goes to Campobasso, in southern Italy. The city of Varna known as Bulgaria's Black Sea capital is in 11th position among 290 destinations in 18 European countries.
The information about properties for sale in cities and districts across Europe comes from the UK's largest online real estate portal and property website - RightMove. A threshold of at least 50 active property listings were used to narrow down the list of locations, says money.co.uk. To calculate sunshine duration across Europe, money.co.uk has utilised the Surface Solar Radiation Dataset from The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, which allowed them to find the gridded monthly average sunshine duration by analysing data from 2016-2017.
Ruse and Vratza lead the ranking of the cheapest real estate among all destinations with prices of 13 110 and 13 227 euro respectively. "Properties in these locations would be ideal for people who want more sun for their gardens," comments the money.co.uk team. They noted that some locations are not included due to a lack of data about them in the RightMove's database.
Seven countries in the top 79 positions
Italy is in the ranking with 39 locations - from Campobasso (5) to the city of Lucca in the Tuscany region (267). Portugal has 19 locations - from Beira Baixa (12) to Lisbon (110). So is Spain - from the city of Leon in Castile (19) to Ibiza and Formentera in the Balearic Islands (265). Turkey is in the ranking with four locations, Greece with 15 and France with 48. These seven countries occupy the first 79 positions in the ranking, with only Cyprus accompanying them in 50th position. Hungarian capital Budapest ranks 80th.
Sunny hours per month - between 278 and 101
If we have in mind only the sunlight hours in the ranking, the sunniest places in Europe are located southwards. Spain is presented by Almeria, Huelva, Granada, Malaga, in which the average monthly sunlight is between 278 and 274 hours. Greek islands near Rhodes, Kos, etc., are also among the sunniest with 272 hours of average sunlight monthly. The southernmost province of Portugal - Algarve, has 276 hours of sunshine, Malta and Cyprus - 275 hours.
At the other end, the least sunny destinations are located on Ireland's border with only 101 hours of sunshine. In Manchester, Britain these hours are 104.
About the ranking's methodology
Money.co.uk carried out median calculations to find the average house prices in each location. The median average was used as there were varying numbers of listings in each location. Then currencies were converted from euros to GBP using the European Central Bank exchange rate.
The ranking was determined by calculating the ratio of house prices to sunlight hours. All data was collected on 16/07/2021 and is correct as of then.