Housing prices in Bulgaria declined for a fourth consecutive year in 2012, but it was the smallest annual decline over that period at only 2.7 per cent on average, data from the country’s National Statistical Institute (NSI) showed on January 23.
In the last quarter of the year, housing prices were 0.7 per cent down.
The average price of housing in Bulgaria in 2012 was 881.4 leva a sq m, with prices in Sofia still the highest at 1452.6 leva a sq m (1.1 per cent down for the year). Prices in Varna were a close second at 1429.7 leva a sq m (3.9 per cent lower) and Bourgas a distant third at 1146.6 leva a sq m (two per cent down). Housing in Plovdiv cost an average 935.5 leva a sq m (3.7 per cent lower) in 2012.
The consumption boom and easy access to cheap loans in the early and mid-2000s fed Bulgaria’s housing bubble – despite rapidly expanding new construction, average housing prices increased four-fold in the period starting in 2003 and ending with the onset of the global recession in the last quarter of 2008.
In the four years since then, average housing prices in Bulgaria have declined by a total 35 per cent, according to NSI annual data, although the bulk of that drop came in the first year, 2009, with progressively smaller decreases in each year after that.