Bulgaria's home prices down 1.2% y/y in Q4 2013

By bne IntelliNews January 24, 2014

Housing prices in Bulgaria fell 1.2% y/y in the fourth quarter of 2013 as the average home price declined to BGN 864.5/sqm (EUR 442/sqm), according to the statistics bureau's 28-district index.

Property prices decreased by 1.8% on average in 2013. In Q4 alone, prices slid by 0.1% from the previous quarter.

House prices have fallen in each quarter since the beginning of 2009 when a five-year boom in the property market ended.

Prices decreased in 23 districts in the fourth quarter 2013. The value of homes in the Vratsa district recorded the biggest drop (-7.3% y/y), followed by lower housing prices in Vidin (-7% y/y). Both of these districts are in northwestern Bulgaria.

Home prices in the district of Bulgaria's capital Sofia remained the highest at BGN 1,457/sqm (up 1.1% y/y). Prices in the seaside Varna district ranked the second highest at BGN 1,375/sqm (down 3.5% y/y).

The value of Bulgaria's market for newly-extended mortgage loans grew 4% to BGN 8.8bn (EUR 4.5bn) in 2013, according to data from local credit consulting company Credit Center.

Credit Center estimated that a total of 160,000 mortgages were approved in 2013 with an average mortgage size of EUR 33,165. Significant portion of all mortgages (70%) was denominated in the local currency - Bulgarian lev.

Lending data from the central bank has shown that the value of outstanding mortgages in Bulgaria fell 0.4% y/y at end-November 2013. Meanwhile, the share of bad and restructured mortgages increased to 22% of all home loans.

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