The housing market in Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas closely follows the trends in Sofia and exhibited increased demand and limited supply in the first months of 2022. New properties are mostly sought by buyers. The greatest interest in all three cities focus on those neighborhoods with lower prices, which are currently actively developing in the peripheral areas of the cities.
PSPI data, provided specifically for this article, clearly shows accelerated price growth. And from the data of the Registration Agency, it can be seen that this has not affected the sales volumes, which also continue to grow.
The biggest growth in the volume of real estate sales is registered in Varna - 35% on an annual basis. In Burgas, the increase in sales is 17%. Only Plovdiv recorded a slight drop of 3%, which is likely to be compensated for in the coming months.
Housing prices in the three largest cities after Sofia are now almost equal. Last year, we noted that Plovdiv has the potential of increased prices in the central and most expensive neighborhoods, which were below the levels in the other two cities. Now this increase is a fact - Plovdiv crossed the border of 900 euros per square meter and almost managed to catch up with Varna and Burgas.
Plovdiv: a rise in prices but also fewer deals
At the start of 2022, the average prices of housing in Plovdiv crossed the threshold of 900 euros per sq.m. and with that they came significantly closer to prices in Varna and Burgas.
The annual rate of price growth accelerated from 4-5% in 2021 to 9.3% at the beginning of this year, and according to indicators, Plovdiv ranks second after Sofia.
Figures show that such rapid growth has not been seen since 2017-2018, when the city was feeling the effects of being the European Capital of Culture.
Perhaps this is due to the slight drop in sales volumes reported by the Registration Agency (-3% on an annual basis). However, this is rather a temporary effect, as incomes of the population continue to rise and housing affordability remains at relatively constant levels, even with a slight improvement.
Plovdiv can now boast several neighborhoods with average prices over 1000 euros per sq.m. The most expensive neighborhoods, whose prices exceeded this limit, are "Mladezhki halm", "Stariyat Grad", "Kamenitsa 1", "Marasha", and "Center".
The cheapest homes are sold in "Izgrev", "Belomorski", "Komatevski nod", "Komatevo", "Ostromila", and "Vastanicheski".
Varna: The second highest prices after Sofia, record growth of deals
Varna is in third place in terms of price growth at the beginning of the year after Sofia and Plovdiv. The seaside capital emerged from a period of slower rising prices and started 2022 with an increase of 6.8%.
In the first quarter of 2022, the average price of housing in Varna was 931 euros per sq.m. With this, the city overtakes Burgas and returns to second place in terms of housing prices in Bulgaria.
The revival of the market is also shown by the 35% increase in the number of sales registered by the Registration Agency. This is the highest growth realized by any of the major cities at the beginning of this year, and promises a good development of the housing market and absorption of the available supply.
The interesting thing in Varna is that nearly 40% of the neighborhoods in the city have prices over 1000 euros per sq.m., with the most expensive traditionally being "Sea Garden", "Greek Village", "Sports Hall", "The Municipality" and " Central post". But among the other neighborhoods there is a choice of ones with more affordable prices. The cheapest apartments are sold in "Vladislav Varnenchik", "Kaisieva gradina", "Vazrazhdane" and "Vinitsa".
Data from Bulgarian Properties, based on actual transactions, shows that neighborhoods with lower prices and available new properties are the most sought after by buyers.
Burgas: deals moving to the periphery
House prices in Burgas are growing more slowly than in other big cities - by only 2% on an annual basis.
Data from the PSPI indices show that in the first quarter of 2022, the average price of housing in Burgas was 923 euros per sq.m. Thus, the city loses second place in terms of housing prices - slightly behind Varna.
However, these trends could be explained when the residential market in Burgas is examined in greater detail and by neighborhoods. The specifics of the city are such that it grows mainly in the direction of "Meden Rudnik", "Slaveykov" and "Sarafovo", since there are areas for new construction there. As a result, the main supply is concentrated in these areas, which have traditionally had lower prices. It dominates the city's average price, lowers its values and growth rate.
The data clearly show that both in Varna and in Burgas, the central districts have prices above 1,000 euros per sq.m. In areas with massive new construction, a square meter is between 600 and 850 euros. Although home prices in these areas are up 13-14% in the first quarter of 2022, they remain on the lower side. At the same time, they have a high share in the general market, which does not allow the average price in the city to grow more confidently. This should not be falsely interpreted to conclude that prices in Burgas are not following the general trend of an accelerated rate of growth.
Positive trends on the market in Burgas are also registered on the basis of the realized sales volume. According to data from the Registration Agency, deals in Burgas grew by 17% on an annual basis and this is significantly above the national average, which is 11%.