Gray Stuart – BULGARIA

From our international offices and our local partners on the ground in Bulgaria we help international clients with the following services.

Buying the Best Property in Bulgaria

Very simply we offer our International clients the best of both worlds in that we have proven experienced local knowledge on the ground as well as international expertise from having made many different transactions throughout the world. This will allow you to buy safely and securely in Bulgaria


Asset Management

If you’re an investor and already own assets in Bulgaria or just acquiring them then our team of professionals can offer you the complete asset management services including property management and project management.

These are just a sample of the key services that Gray Stuart Bulgaria provides and should you need any further information do not hesitate to contact us directly.

Gray Stuart Bulgaria


EU          +44 20 7588 8355

Asia        +63 977 829 1489

Why Invest in Bulgaria Property?

Last updated January 2018

Bulgaria is one of the most risk adverse countries in the world today. Ranks on the 7th position in The Global Risk Briefing, by Bloomberg (3rd best European country after Switzerland and Czech Republic), and confirms Bulgaria’s strong position compared to other EU target countries for immigrants. Bulgaria with about 28% the third lowest Debt-to-GDP ratio in the EU;


  • Only Estonia and Luxembourg have a lower ratio;
  • Cyprus has a Debt-to-GDP ratio of about 105%, Malta has a Debt-to-GDP ratio of about 56%, and the UK as the target country of most Asian EU immigrants has a Debt-to-GDP ratio of about 88%.


Why Invest In Bulgaria property?

  • Bulgaria is an exciting emerging market and currently offers property at prices simply un-obtainable in other areas of the world. With prices steadily rising and set to continue to do so for some time, wise property investment in Bulgaria promises excellent returns on investment. Purchasers are snapping up bargains now, with a view to enjoying excellent returns on investment in the near future.
  • With an increase in tourism of 50% between 2000 and 2004, Bulgaria has established itself with the fastest growing tourist trade in Europe and this, in turn, is steadily driving property prices upwards. Tourism concentrates mainly on black sea coast resorts and increasingly popular ski locations and it is creating a very stable buy to let environment for investors.
  • Bulgaria is a new member of the EU. Traditionally new EU countries experience steep increases in property values and tourism from other EU nations, and have upgraded their infrastructures and economic structures to EU standards.
  • Bulgaria has come a long way since its former Communist days and today has a stable government committed to economic reform. Now a modern, strong and rapidly growing country, Bulgaria is recognized for its promise on the international market with GDP growth reaching the highest in Eastern Europe (Institute of International Finance) at 6% for 2005/2006.
  • With warm weather and stunning blue flag beaches as well as beautiful countryside, and modern, vibrant cities Bulgaria has something to offer everyone.
  • Close proximity to Europe and increased low cost airlines offering direct routes to Bulgaria from many UK and other European airports, make Bulgaria easily accessible and a viable property location for investors and property purchasers alike.

After almost five years of stagnation, Bulgaria’s house prices are now rising rapidly, thanks to falling interest rates and stable economy. The recovery is led by the country’s capital, Sofia, with double-digit house price rises.

The nationwide house price index rose by 8.82% (9.79% inflation-adjusted) during the year to Q3 2016, a sharp improvement from a rise of just 2.04%y-o-y a year earlier and the highest annual increase since Q4 2008, according to the National Statistical Institute (NSI). During the latest quarter, house prices increased 1.59% (1.29% inflation-adjusted) in Q3 2016.

  • Prices of new dwellings rose7.9% (8.6% inflation-adjusted) y-o-y in Q3 2016, after annual rises of 4.9% in Q2 2016, 5.8% in Q1 2016, 4.5% in Q4 2015, and 3.8% in Q3 2015. During the latest quarter, prices of new dwellings increased 3.8% (3.3% inflation-adjusted) in Q3 2016.
  • Prices of existing dwellings surged 9.3% (10% inflation-adjusted) y-o-y in Q3 2016, a sharp improvement from a meager growth of 0.9% in Q3 2015.

The almost zero interest rates on bank deposits have encouraged people to invest in real estate, and also encouraged purchases of pre-construction residential property.

“2016 has been a very dynamic year for Bulgarian real estate market and for the first time in many years the trend has been entirely positive.

From 2000 to 2008, Bulgaria had a house price boom, with residential property prices surging around 300%. The bubble burst at the end of 2008:

  • In 2009, Bulgaria’s average dwelling price plummeted by 25.72% (-25.64% inflation-adjusted);
  • In 2010, the average dwelling price fell by 4.96% (-8.05% inflation-adjusted);
  • In 2011, the average dwelling price fell by 5.8% (-8.75% inflation-adjusted);
  • In 2012, the average dwelling price fell by 1.32% (-6.16% inflation-adjusted);
  • In 2013, the average dwelling price fell 1.19% (unchanged when adjusted for inflation);
  • In 2014, the average dwelling price increased 2.78% (3.65% inflation-adjusted);
  • In 2015, the average dwelling price increased 4% (4.23% inflation-adjusted).

Bulgaria’s property market is expected to remain strong in 2017. Demand for properties in the major cities continues to grow, and supply is increasingly limited by low levels of new construction.

Bulgaria’s economy expanded by 3% in 2015, an improvement from annual growth rates of 1.5% in 2014, 1.3% in 2013, and 0.2% in 2012, and the highest expansion since 2008, mainly due to higher net exports and public investment, according to the (IMF). The economy is expected to expand by another 2.8% in 2017, according to the IMF.

European Union citizens can now purchase properties in Bulgaria, including land.  The 5-year moratorium on land purchases, set as a condition in the Accession Treaty between Republic of Bulgaria and The European Union, was lifted in January 1, 2012.

Investment Conclusion

Bulgaria offers two types of investment opportunities, Sofia the capital for professional investors where rental returns and capital growth are currently exceptional and the beautiful Black Sea Resort properties for the lifestyle investor who plans to actually use the asset for their own holiday time and get holiday rental income when they are not using it.

Whether you’re a professional investor or a lifestyle property investor prices are very low for an EU country especially one that is starting from such a low base and has one of the best debt to GDP ratios in the world let alone the EU. We would strongly recommend Bulgaria as a property investment Hot Spot.

The Buying Process in the Bulgaria

Last updated January 2018

This Guide is meant to be a quick get up to speed guide to what makes buying in Bulgaria different to other countries we would however strongly recommend that you get your free copy of our Buyers Guide by clicking the link below and we will send it to you straight away. Please note that our system does require Mobile Code Authentication before sending the brochure out.

The Buying Process

The legalities of purchasing a property in Bulgaria are extremely straightforward and wholly safeguard the purchaser’s rights. Gray Stuart has broken down the complete purchase process into ten simple steps to provide a comprehensive overview of all the stages you’ll go through. We regularly provide progress updates and photos, ensuring our clients are always aware and fully informed about the status of their investment.

How difficult is the property purchase process in Bulgaria?

Buyers should remember that unlike the UK, US, and other developed countries, Bulgaria has no centralized property registry. Property searches will be necessary, and the process needs to be entrusted to a competent Bulgarian lawyer or consultant.

Bulgaria gives buyers a very good tax rate on income tax BUT you need support, you need a trusted advisor. It is always important [for the advisor] to understand what the client wants the property for. Knowing that, we can devise a consistent strategy, from A to Z.”

Citizens of EU states may own property and land in Bulgaria at the same terms and conditions as Bulgarians.

The Notary Deed

Bulgaria houses and real estate properties

Under Bulgarian law the transfer of property rights, as well as the establishment of limited rights in rem in respect of real estate is done by way of a formal agreement (generally referred to as a “Notary Deed”), executed by the parties and a duly qualified Notary Public authorized to act within the region of location of the property. Transfers of ownership or limited rights in respect of real property are subject to registration with the relevant Real Estate Registry. The legal owner of the property is considered to be the person registered in the Real Estate Registry. It takes an average of 17 days to complete the procedures needed to register a property.

Transfer Tax

Transfer tax is set by the municipalities and the rate varies from 0.10% to 3%. The transfer tax rate in Sophia is 2.5%.


Notary Fee

Notary fees are around 0.10% to 1.50% of the property value. There is a schedule of notary fees charged in Bulgaria. Notary fees are capped at BGN6,000 (€3,062).


TAX BASE, BGN (€)                          NOTARY FEE

Up to 100 (€50)                 BGN30 (€15)

100 to 1,000 (€500)                          1.50% on band over €50

1,000 to 10,000 (€5,000)                 1.30% on band over €500

10,000- 50,000 (€25,000)                0.80% on band over €5,000

50,000- 100,000 (€50,000)             0.50% on band over €25,000

100,000 – 500,000 (€250,000)       0.20% on band over €50,000 Over 500,000 (€250,000)      0.10% on band over €250,000 but not more than BGN6,000 (€3,000)

Registration Fee

The fee for registration in the Real Estate Register is 0.10% of the purchase price or tax valuation, whichever is higher.\Real Estate Agent´s Fee

There are cases where the buyer shoulders the whole burden of the fee. Hence, the buyer is advised to ascertain whether the vendor expects him to pay or share the fee.

Buying and Selling  Costs

Below is a list of the buying and selling costs and who pays

Who Pays?
Transfer Tax 0.10% – 3% buyer
Notary Fees 0.10% – 1.50% buyer
Registration Fees 0.10% buyer
Real Estate Agent´s Fee 2.50% – 3%
2.50% – 3%
Costs paid by buyer 2.80% – 7.60%
Costs paid by seller 2.50% – 3%

If you require more detailed information about the buying process in Bulgaria please just fill in the contact form and one of our property professional will get in touch to help you with all questions and needs.

Bulgaria Location Guide

Bulgaria is a Balkan nation with diverse terrain encompassing Black Sea coastline, a mountainous interior and rivers, including the Danube. A cultural melting pot with Greek, Slavic, Ottoman, and Persian influences, it has a rich heritage of traditional dance, music, costumes, and crafts. At the foot of domed Vitosha mountain is its capital city, Sofia, dating to the 5th century B.C

  • Located in southeastern Europe, bordered to Romania to the north, Serbia and Romania to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east.
  • Is Europe’s 16th-largest country.
  • Has adopted the democratic constitution in 1991 and is since then a unitary parliament republic.
  • Has 27 provinces with the capital and largest city Sofia.
  • Member of the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Council of Europe; a founding state of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
  • Population of almost 7.3 million people.
  • Strongest sectors of the economy are heavy industry, power engineering, and agriculture.
  • In 2016, Bulgaria was visited by approximately 13.6 million tourists, mainly from Greece, Romania, Turkey, Germany, and Russia.
  • Bulgaria is also very well known for its good wine, truffles and food, as well as the famous rose products.
  • Lifestyles and cultures are what Bulgaria has developed over thousands of years. Earliest European civilization grew up in Bulgaria.