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News: EU entry pushes up Bulgarian property prices

After joining the European Union at the start of the year, Bulgarian property prices rose by 10% in the first two months of 2007, 24 Hours daily reported on Tuesday...

Demand is being fueled by increasing numbers of young people looking to buy property.  Supply is limited and some prospective buyers believe that supply could even be exhausted entirely within just a matter of months, driving prices even higher, said Strahil Ivanov, head of the Yavlena real estate company.  Ivanov said that if this tendency continues, higher prices could be here to stay.

Recent trends have surprised many industry insiders, who expected prices would stabilize after the country EU entry.  Many commentators argue that the market will settle down.  Vasko Atanassov of Victoria Invest real estate agency said that in spite of sellers' demands for higher prices, most real estate is being sold in line with real valuation of properties.

Rising volume of loans

Bank credits remain the main source of finance to fund property purchases in Bulgaria.  A report published this week by lending consultants Credit Centre indicated that Bulgarian consumers continue to be keen to take out loans and are willing to draw ever larger sums.

The average size of loans taken out in Bulgaria rose by nearly a fifth to EUR 31,300 at the end of February, compared to EUR 26,000 in December last year, according to the report's data.  The report also claims the share of loans over BGN 100,000 (roughly EUR 50,000), rose to 18% in February, compared to 15% in December and 6% at the beginning of 2006.

SOURCE: www.novinite.com

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