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From brewery to luxurious hotel

The name of  this posh hotel is B2 Boutique Hotel-SPA and is located in Switzerland. Human ingenuity (and architects) once again prove they can turn the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.

The former Hurlimann Brewery in Zurich has a completely new look. The hotel is located in the historic part of town and offers its guests 60 luxurious rooms, a comfortable lounge with a large library. It has over 33,000 books and direct access to the pool, which is located on the roof of the building, revealing unique views to the city.

Designers and architects have managed to keep the authenticity of the building. The moveable mirrors, which separate the bedroom from the bathroom, add space to the not-so-large rooms.

Modern building materials and elements have been tastefully combined with the traditional (used during the golden age of brewers) stone, oak bookshelves and tapestries that decorate the walls and add a homely touch to the rooms.

If you’re into such renovation projects, check out the following Bulgaria property for a reasonable price and with great potential for a mansion.

Can you believe, this is a renovated Bulgarian school room?

For details and pictures, please click on the image.

News

Vivacom (Bulgaria Telecommunications Company) is bought!

bulgaria telecommunications company

Vivacom has new owners

telephone palace bulgaria property
The large central building of Telephone Palace

The acquisition of Vivacom (Bulgaria Telecommunications Company) was approved by the European Commission and local regulators, Vivacom said in a regulatory filing in Sofia today.

Viva Telecom Bulgaria EAD, owned by affiliates of Russia’s VTB Capital Plc and Sofia-based Corporate Commercial Bank AD (6C9), acquired 94 percent of Vivacom (5BT) AD, Bulgaria’s second-biggest phone company by clients.

VTB Capital and Corporate Bank signed an agreement with Vivacom’s creditors on Aug. 7 to pay 130 million euros ($165 million) for a 94 percent stake in Vivacom and pay debts worth 588 million euros, which have been reduced from 1.7 billion euros through debt repayment, equity conversion and debt write off, it said.

Bulgaria property in Sofia

the interior of properties such as the Telephone Palace in Sofia could be converted to high class Bulgarian Real Estate in some prime locations

“Vivacom’s sale is good news,” Veselin Radoichev, an analyst at First Financial Brokerage House in Sofia, said by phone. “The new owners, partly being Bulgarian, will probably tighten spending and improve the balance sheet. They may choose to divide or sell some of its assets and at a later stage sell the company to a strategic investor for a much higher price. Vivacom’s mobile unit is performing very well.”

Mobile Services
Vivacom reported on Oct. 17 a 34 percent profit increase for the first nine months to 33 million lev ($21.4 million) from a year ago, driven by a 12.4 percent rise in sales of mobile services, which amounted to 296 million lev. Fixed-line sales declined 9.3 percent in the same period.

Vivacom controls about 15 percent of the mobile services market and has room to expand, Radoichev said. Vivacom competes with Telekom Austria AG (TKA)’s Mobiltel, and Globul, which is controlled by Greece’s Cosmote SA.

Vivacom’s creditors, which took over the company after it breached terms on 1.6 billion euros of loans in 2011, rejected bids in May by Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS (TCELL) and Icelandic billionaire Thor Bjorgolfsson, who controlled the company between 2005 and 2007.

The loans were arranged by Deutsche Bank AG, UBS AG (UBSN) and UniCredit SpA (UCG), along with Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to finance Vivacom’s 2007 buyout, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Vivacom fell 7.7 percent to close at 3 lev in Sofia yestaerday, compared with a close on Nov. 1 when the stock last traded.

Source Bloomberg News, written by Elizabeth Konstantinova in Sofia

News, Property News

The re-registration of companies worries British owners of real estate in Bulgaria

Britons with property in Bulgaria are worried not about losing their real estate because of legal requirements, reports the online edition propertywire.com. Leading consultancy firms in the UK warn that because of the re-registration of companies British owners risk being fined or even losing their assets in this country.

Consultants John Howe & Co. explained that many Britons with Bulgarian property do not realise the complexity of the Bulgarian legal system and its potential impact on them. The managing partner of the firm John Howe is concerned by the requirement for re-registration of companies. Howe points out that until recently, individuals could not buy property in the country and had to register a company in order to purchase Bulgarian real estate. However, many British people have not been aware that they need to re-register and have missed the deadline for it, and as a result their trading activity has been cancelled and they have not been able to dispose of their assets.

The company announced that it had found a way to solve the issue with British owners  of Bulgaria property who missed re-registration, so you they don’t lose their investment. Consultants say there is no accurate statistics on the number of British residents living permanently or temporarily in Bulgaria. According to the British Embassy there are about 8-9 thousand people, who work in the country, others have bought property and live permanently, while others only spend their holidays in the country.

News, Property News

Owning property in Bulgaria

After Jan 2012, EU citizens are allowed to own regulated land property on their personal names. This post aims at informing the property buyers what they are obliged to do after they actually purchase the regulated land and/or house

  • Bulstat registration of property owners

The first thing the first-time buyer needs to do is to register themselves in the Bulstat Register.  The obligatory term for Bulstat registration is 7 days as of the moment the title deed is handed by the notary to the property owner or to a proxy. If the registration is not done within the aforesaid term, the property owner will be sanctioned with a fine by the Bulstat Register.

The Bulstat Register is part of the Registry Agency. The Bulstat registration is done in the local office of the Agency, where the property is located and it is done  for first time buyers only! Once you have bought a Bulgarian property on your name and have registered with Bulstat Register, you don’t need to register again.

Bulstat register is a statistics authority which tracks different types of information. In this case, the main goal is to count and collect information of the EU citizens who have bought real estate in Bulgaria.

  • City Council Tax Declaration of property

The next legal action is a property buyer needs to declare in the local municipality is that he owns the property. If this is not done, the outstanding taxes would still be assigned to the old property owner.

This declaration has to be brought in within 2 months after the title deed for the purchase is signed. If this deadline is missed, the municipality will impose sanctions (fines and interest) on the new owner.

The declaration of the property has three main goals:

  1. The municipality is now aware that the property has new owner
  2. The owner declares the type of the property, it’s area, construction type etc.
  3. The municipality calculates the tax value of the property based on the declared facts and defines the annual property tax and garbage fee

Having the above information, the local council sends  annual letters (usually in the beginning of the year) with the outstanding amounts for local property tax and garbage fee. Some municipalities provide online check (e.g. Samokov) where a person just has to sign up with his Bulstat number and can see the information without waiting for postal notice or calling the local tax office.

If the  declaration hasn’t been done, or the outstanding money hasn’t been paid, the municipality charges interest on the unpaid amounts.  A recent trend is that the municipalities use law enforcement agents to collect all these debts. Hiring an enforcement agents increases the amount with legal costs and is a threat to foreigners who don’t live in Bulgaria, because the property can be put on public tender and sold in order the council debt to be covered.

News, Property News

Bulgarian property market trends

Bulgarian property prices have dropped by almost 50 pc since the beginning of the financial crisis, say realtors. Bulgarian houses and apartments are sold at low prices. This why most buyers who waited for the prices to come down, are buying now. Even in August, a month that seems to be slow for the property market, there are plenty of buyers. These are generally people who have waited for the prices to drop enough, so they could invest their savings in larger and cheaper housing.

For the Bulgarian capital and the larger Bulgarian cities and towns the average sale prices of Bulgaria homes have fallen by about 20 Euros per square meter since the beginning of this year. Most sought-after are one-bedroom apartments within the price range of 35,000 to 45,000 Euros, however buyers struggle to find good properties within this price range, especially when they are looking for newly-built properties.

Rental prices are not expected to go up, agents predict. Even though August and September are the most lively months on the rental market (especially for apartments in Bulgaria), the supply of rentals exceeds the demand. In Sofia, for example, properties close to the newly-built metro stations are more attractive than the old apartments in the centre.

Since 2008 the rental prices have declined by a third and are not expected to go up, experts predict. This is due to the fact that alongside the old apartments in the centre and other residential areas, newly-built apartments, bought during the recession namely because of their investment potential, are also offered on the market.

And in recent months, buyers and renters express their preference towards new buildings close to transport links, areas with low crime rate and local amenities, such as schools and kindergartens.

News

60 thousand tourists for two months in Veliko Tarnovo

Recent festivals (the open-air jazz festival, the international folklore and the opera festival in the Tsarevets Castle) have attracted a significant number of tourists to the Veliko Tarnovo and the area. According to statistics of the local tourist information centre, some 60 thousand tourists have visited the Old Bulgarian Capital. The peak of the visits is expected in August, predicts the head of the tourist agency.

The number of tourist has increased compared to last year, due to the variety of cultural and historical events Veliko Turnovo is organising, as the town prepares its candidacy for the cultural centre of Europe for 2019.

The new inflow of tourists have also been beneficial to the revival of the ols spa town of Voneshta Voda, which now has several hotels, guests houses and spa centres open and offering wonderful spa treatments.

Over the past six years, the bed capacity have been consistently increasing and is currently about 5000. Recent events in Bourgas have not affected the Israeli visits to the old capital and all planned visits are running smoothly.

There is a notable continuous growth of 7 – 10 percent of pilgrimage tourism, which is becoming popular due to the number or ancient and Orthodox churches of cultural and historical significance in the area. Some of the most famous are the “40 Martyrs” Church in Veliko Tarnovo and the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary in Arbanassi.

These have definitely had positive effects on the local property business as well. There is a notable surge in Bulgaria real estate sellers and buyers and we expect the number to peak in the month of August.

News, Property News

Food chains most active in the commercial property market in Bulgaria

Cafes, restaurants and food chains are the type of businesses that have been moving the Bulgarian commercial property market in the last six months. The expansion of grocery stores and restaurants is also directed to commercial streets and at shopping malls, says in a Bulgarian retail market report for the first half of the year.

Banks and mobile network providers are also active on the market, but their activity is not due to their expansion, but rather to the optimization of costs and relocation, the report said.
There have not been any surprises in the market for commercial properties in Bulgaria for the first half of the year. Due to high levels of unemployment and the free space in modern shopping centres, the market continues to be rental-oriented, experts indicate.
Although rental rates have stabilized in recent months, the high competition in the market is expressed in different bonuses for tenants, such as gratis periods when they don’t have to pay rent.
In the first half, the average rental price for retail space in Sofia have fallen by 12% to about 28 Euros per square meter and by 16% to 12-16 Euros per square meter in other Bulgarian cities.
The price drop is mainly caused by the fact that many traders were able to renegotiate the rents for the areas used, due to increasing competition in the market, says the report.
Currently, there are 21 modern shopping centers  in Bulgaria and five retail parks with a total lettable area of 680k sqm. There are 9 malls under construction, and for Sofia only this lettable commercial space is expected to grow with another 180k sqm by the end of this year.
Next year in Sofia, the market will grow with additional 93k sqm of retail space in shopping malls. So for  every 1 000 people in the capital there will be more than 300 sqm of modern retail space. The country average for retail space per 1 000 people of the  population will be a little less than 100 sqm, if all construction projects are completed on time.

For commercial properties for sale in Bulgaria, mainly in the Veliko Tarnovo area, please feel free to have a look at our catalogue.