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Surge in demand for rental property in Bulgarian cities

Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Bourgas, Bulgaria's four biggest cities, have see a significant growth of 12% in the rental market in the first three quarters of 2008, according to figures from Address Real Estate.

The increase is regarded as a consequence of the global financial crisis and the subsequent decline in demand from buyers of single family homes, flats and planned unit developments.

Address Real Estate's research showed that between January and October, the major trend in the real estate market was shifting towards rentals, especially two bedroom apartments which saw a 14% increase in demand.

There was also a 6% drop in demand for studio apatrments mainly because rental prices were very close to those charged for two-room apartments. Demand for three-room flats also increased, recording a 3% raise.

Nationwide, amongst the four largest cities in Bulgaria, the most demand is in the port town of Varna followed by Sofia, Plovdiv and Bourgas, the research found.

The biggest demand for rental property in the capital is in the centre of Sofia with Lozenetz, Mladost and Lulin also proving popular.

Bourgas rated last in the table with a 5.43% increase, the cheapest rate of all major towns in Bulgaria.

The Research also showed that prospective tenants were generally unconcerned whether the flat was in a newly constructed building or in a relatively old one. The main factor in making their decision is whether the flat has undergone recent refurbishment and whether it has the necessary appliances.

Tenants are reluctant to be burdened with refurbishing the flat themselves, whereas prospective buyers are keen on making the choices themselves and having a new flat custom built.