Renting Apartments in Sunny Beach and the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast as a Foreign Owner

This brief article offers guidance and advice on how to make the most of your Black Sea property this summer as a foreign owner seeking rental income. It considers and explains the shift from British / Irish to Russian demand in the holiday market.
By: Christophe Gater
March 25, 2010 - PRLog -- Letting out your property in Sunny Beach or anywhere on Bulgaria’s coast can be done in a few different ways, the most appropriate will depend on the quality and proximity of your property to the sea. The current economic climate has changed the Bulgarian summer holiday market, as such your advertising or marketing strategies that might have worked in previous seasons are probably in need of revision. Currently the UK / Irish demand is considerably diminished by comparison to 2007 & 2008 summer seasons, the holiday and rental demand has broadly followed the decline in property interest. However, to the same extent, that decline has been replenished by a surge in demand from Russian holidaymakers who swarmed in 2009 and are expected to come to Bulgaria this summer in record numbers.

From a UK perspective Bulgaria represents a budget option; a close, hot, affordable destination that is culturally more exotic in people’s minds to the standard issue Costa resort holiday that you might find in Spain or alike. As a result, British investors have bought considerable numbers of small and inexpensive studios to cater for this momentarily bygone demand. Whilst there is little doubt that higher demand will return once the side effects of the recession subside, it will be prudent to adjust your income expectations and marketing techniques to maximise your property’s appeal in the meantime.

What is the Russian Demand?

From a Russian perspective Bulgaria is held in much higher regard, history and long-term desire have forged an ingrained cultural trait that draws Russians to the Black Sea. Odessa in the Ukraine is typically where the elite will choose to holiday but prices are very high and certainly Bulgaria offers a better climate, larger beaches and superior value for money. Visas are required for Russian tourists to enter the EU, however this is no bad thing for apartment owners as they are inclined to take a single holiday in the year and for much longer. As a result, we find that Russian holidaymakers book accommodation for the same value as the Brits but for much longer periods, on many occasions this can be up to 3 months at a time.

What is renting and to whom?

Frontline Apartments (1st-2nd Line):

In our experience, wealthy Russian families holidaying in Bulgaria can often comprise of the immediate family members, the nanny and the pets. The vast majority of enquiries are for top end 2 bedroom apartments on the first line (beachfront) with immediate access to the sand / water and with clear sea views. Critically, this cohort of holidaymakers can afford to pay for such properties and typically want to satisfy their desires first and consider the costs second. This is a stark comparison to the typical British rental enquirer who are often cost driven as an immediate priority thus lowering the potential yield for any owner. Disregarding pre-recession prices, current demand proves it possible to achieve 325 Euros / week based on bookings of 3+ weeks at a time. This would be for a good quality 4*, frontline, sea view, 2 bedroom apartment with facilities

Studios & One Bedroom Apartments:

If you have a frontline studio or one bed then it will rent equally in the current climate to a wide range of tourists and not specifically to Russians. However, these are slightly less likely to achieve long bookings and 50% occupancy through the summer should be expected at the maximum, this would be on an average of around 45-50 Euros / night.

3rd– 5th Line Apartments:

With some distance between your apartment and the sand the achievable income and level of occupancy will really depend on the quality of apartment and the facilities that you have to offer. Typically 3* one bedroom apartments are available on the day for 30-35 Euros / night, as such you are unlikely to achieve more than this from any pre-booked holidaymakers. These properties were largely in demand by British holidaymakers on budgets, however this group were few and far between last summer and not expected to be any more prevalent this summer. Last year we saw many cases where these properties were only rented a couple of times per month, as such the yield was very low as the current Russian demand is not aligned with this sort of accommodation. For owners in this position, see below.

Outer Area Apartments:

Many complexes have been built with marketing saying 500m from the beach, which would be true with assistance of flight but on foot the true distance is often 1km+. These apartments are very hard to rent successfully, when bookings are taken the client often wants to be moved elsewhere despite clarity in adverts etc. At this current time we suggest that the best route for these owners is to rent their apartments to domestic workers in Sunny Beach on short term tenancy contracts. It is normal to pay between 2-6 Euros / day based on 1-4 month contracts, this tactic results in a fixed income of 60-160 Euros / month which is considerably better than otherwise.

Lettings agents – who to use?

There are a variety of options when it comes to lettings agents; we have offices in London, Sofia, Varna and Sunny Beach and as such we can offer native English staff and on the ground capabilities. Other options include you advertising your own property through various UK based websites, taking enquiries / bookings and then agreeing for a local agent to take care of the transfers, key exchange, linen, cleaning etc.

Should you have any questions at all about letting property anywhere on the Black Sea coast or the content of this article, please contact the author; Christophe Gater +442079934197.

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The New Estate Group deals exclusively with Bulgarian properties and its related markets; we are a developer, real estate agency, lettings agency, furniture importer and financial consultancy for mortgages, VAT claim back and offshore schemes.
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Tags:Renting Property In Sunny Beach Bulgaria, Letting Property In Bulgaria, Sunny Beach Lettings Agent, Rent Apartments
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Page Updated Last on: Feb 22, 2012
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