Culture, History, and Business
Sofia is well known for its hot springs, which were what first drew humans to set up a village here nearly 7,000 years ago. Over the centuries it was attacked and occupied by many civilizations and empires, including the Thracians, Macedonians, Romans, Huns, Byzantines, and Ottomans. After World War II, Bulgaria became communist, a period that saw large parts of Sofia transformed as new residential areas were quickly built. Today, Sofia is Bulgaria’s undisputed economic, cultural, political, and population center. It is a city of eclectic architecture, fascinating museums, and major cultural institutions. Surrounded by mountains, it is also one where nature always feels refreshingly close by.
Since the fall of communist rule in 1989, Sofia has experienced rapid economic growth. It has become one of the rising stars of Europe, with employment and GDP increasing at an impressive pace. In 2004, Bulgaria joined the EU, which has further expanded economic and investment opportunities in Sofia. The tech sector has seen especially impressive growth and the Bulgarian capital is now considered one of the best places in Europe for technology startups.
Sofia is increasingly open to the world, and foreign real estate investors have more opportunities than ever before to purchase property here. The city’s booming tech sector and growing economy overall has led to an influx of high-paying jobs and an increase in property prices. Changing regulations and investments by the EU have also helped make Sofia an attractive prospect for real estate investors.
The result of all this change is that real estate prices increased by 10% in 2017, higher than anywhere else in the European Union. Wages are rising rapidly, with monthly income rising from less than 800 BGN in 2014 to 1205 BGN by the end of 2018. With wages going up so quickly, residents are in a better position than ever before to afford houses and apartments. For real estate investors, these factors translate into a significant return on investment.