Thu, 06 Sep 07
In a study carried out by Price Waterhouse Coopers and Channel 4 in 2006 Romania ranked the top property investment country in Europe for the next ten years, with a staggering 414% return on investment. That works out to a remarkable 17.8% annually.
It’s not hard to see why many analysts share this opinion. Property prices are well below the neighbouring EU countries of Hungary and Bulgaria. Additionally, the economy has performed impressively in the last few years and with Romania now a full EU member and expected to join the Euro by 2010, another growth spurt in the real estate sector is predicted.
Most of the property buying attention has traditionally been focused on the capital, Bucharest where property prices average at £50,000. However, interest is now shifting to the beach resorts along the southern Black Sea Coast where new build properties average £40,000, 20% less than the city. The recent growth in tourism in this area is set to continue and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) predict further growth of around 7.9% per year from 2007-2016.
Black Sea Coast development
The Romanian Black Sea coast stretches out for 245km from the unspoilt natural reserves of the Danube Delta to the leisure activities of numerous holiday centres in the south. Whilst the delta is strictly protected from intrusion, the southern 72km is being developed.
The coast is famous for its fine sand, low salinity levels (17%), gently sloping beaches and a virtual absence of tides and currents (ideal for young families). Its location in south-eastern Europe offers a pleasant, warm and dry climate (above 21°C/70°F between June and September). With a long holiday season (May Oct), maximum opportunities for rental income also exist.
From the UK, a number of airlines (including BA & KLM) offer direct flights to Bucharest and then a transfer flight can be taken to the airport in Constanta on the Black Sea coast.
Some of the best resorts on the coast are Mamaia, Eforie-Nord, Neptun, Venus and Costinesti:
- Mamaia: Despite being the oldest of the Black Sea resorts, Mamaia is still Romania’s most popular beach and party centre, annually hosting the National Pop Music Festival (early Sep). First developed in 1906 on an 8km strip of beach dividing the fresh water Lake Mamaia and the Black Sea, the resort now boasts discotheques, casino, leisure parks, water park and a summer theatre.
- Eforie Nord and Techirghiol: The well-established spa resort of Eforie Nord offers a wide variety of specialised treatments using mineral-rich water taken from Techirghiol Lake. Techirghiol Lake gained its reputation thanks to the special curative qualities of its black, sapropelic mud, recommended for the treatment of rheumatism and dermatological disorders.
- Neptun-Olimp: Until 1989 Neptun-Olimp was the exclusive resort of Romania’s communist party and the late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu had his own luxury villa and private jetty here. Situated in the Comorova forest, the resort has an exclusive, elegant feel to it and caters for a slightly older clientele. A wide range of entertainment, restaurants and water-sports facilities are available.
- Venus: Situated on a picturesque promontory, this purpose-built resort has a 1.5km long beach which offers the opportunity to try the many water sports on offer.
- Costinesti: Costinesti has one of the best beaches in the area. Another popular resort with the younger holidaymaker, it is host to a series of cultural and entertaining events, including, The Assembly of Young Actors, The Film Festival for the Young and Jazz Festival.
For many considering buying on the Black Sea Coast, the Bulgarian resorts of Sunny Beach and Nessebar spring to mind. However, mass tourism and over development over the past decade has led some to believe that the market has reached its peak. It's now Romania’s turn to shine with some of the hottest coastal resorts in Eastern Europe.
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