More than 400,000 citizens of the Russian Federation have a second home in Bulgaria, said the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova during a visit to Moscow, quoted by Dnevnik. Most of these summer homes are at the Black Sea cost.
This figure however could be taken with a grain of salt, as it doesn’t correspond to the official registers.
According to the official state registers (Agentsya po vpisvaniyata), the Russian property owners in Bulgaria are just under 74,000. Indeed, with the members of the families the number is bigger.
Also, there are Russian nationals who own more than one summer home in Bulgaria. In addition, several dozens of Russian companies also own real estate in the country.
Angelkova said last June the number of Russians with holiday home in Bulgaria is 300,000. It is extremely unrealistic to imagine that 100,000 more real estate has been bought by Russians in less than a year, and it is therefore questionable how the minister comes with such figures.
According to the Bulgarian National Bank, the investment of Russian nationals in Bulgaria real estate amount to €1,1 billion. If this figure is correct, and if Angelkova’s figure is also considered as correct, one real estate bought by Russians would cost on average €2,750, which is an unrealistically low figure.
There are no statistics how many Russian nationals come to their holiday homes only in the summer season, and how many live in Bulgaria permanently.
What is certain is that the real estate sector, especially at the seaside, but also in the Bansko area, is booming thanks to Russian clients.
Some have expressed concern that Russia is creating a sort of “Little Russia” in certain areas of Bulgaria, which would become a political factor in a number of years, when some of these Russian nationals could also acquire the right to vote.
Others have said that Bulgaria needs the income from real estate anyway, and if there would be no longer Russian buyers, they could be replaced by Turks, with even more disturbing political consequences.
Angelkova also said that Russia ranks fifth in the number of tourists in Bulgaria with 558,000 in 2017. The country ranking first is Greece, followed by Romania, Germany and Turkey, according to data from her ministry.
According to the Russian side, quoted by the press center of the Bulgarian ministry of tourism, Bulgaria is one of the ten most preferred holiday destinations for Russian tourists and confirms its image as a “family destination”.