Bulgaria's real estate market showed an improvement in the first half of 2011 for the first time since the start of the crisis, with the number of deals registering an increase on the back of a slow decline in prices, according to data from local property agencies.
The country's economic growth, coupled with the drop in property prices since the crisis broke out, has led to a rise in sales, which is the first positive sign for the market, Polina Stoykova, chief operating officer at real estate agency Bulgarian Properties, said.
According to Tihomir Tsakov, head of property agency Aristo, a more rapid recovery by the market is being curbed by unemployment, subdued demand and frozen income.
The country's property market saw a 27 per cent annual increase in the number of deals in the first six months of the year, with the country's four largest cities - Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Bourgas, also displaying increases, going by Registry Agency data.
The highest number of deals was in Sofia and in places along the country's southern Black Sea coast, which contributed 40 per cent to the total volume of property sales in the country, Stoykova said.
Meanwhile, National Statistics Institute data showed that the number of building permits issued was still low compared to levels before the crisis, meaning that local entrepreneurs were still not willing to launch new projects.