Lush life around Sofia’s green belts.
When you fly over Sofia, the city looks like an endless green canopy with little rooftops piercing through. With over 35 city parks and old trees lining the streets, Sofia feels distinctly lush, especially in the summer. The Borisova Gradina (the largest park) connects with Loven Park making over 6 кm2 of un-interrupted green space.
The parks of Sofia have a life of their own. The Borisova Gradina is home to the National Football Stadium, tennis courts, the National Tennis Academy, an Equestrian center, the Meteorological Institute, the East Orthodox Seminary, an ice skating rink in the winter, as well as kilometers of walking and biking paths. There are also bars and restaurants in the parks and locals enjoy frequent live music performances and other events.
Any sunny day, the parks are full of kids and families enjoying the newly remodeled (and expanded) playgrounds and walkways, as well as numerous other kid's activities. All of this has created quite an attractive lifestyle for residents in these areas and has solidified some of Sofia’s most sought after neighborhoods for real estate investment.
Lozenets, Iztok, Izgrev and Ivan Vazov are considered the first tier neighborhoods in Sofia’s park areas. These neighborhoods have a mix of building types from stand-alone houses to 20-floor diplomatic buildings and everything in between. Since 2004, these neighborhoods have been the go-to place for high-profile, up-and-coming architectural and construction firms. This has resulted in high-quality, functional buildings that maintain their value. Investors looking to buy in this area can find great offerings in even out of the “new construction” category. Typically, properties in these neighborhoods have a healthy 3-5% increase and are generally a low-risk investment.
As property values went up in the city center, profit margins of investors looking to buy, remodel and sell off, became smaller. Lozenets, Iztok, Izgrev and Ivan Vazov are now the hot neighborhoods for those looking to flip properties. This dynamic environment has led to some interesting developments in the area.
THE SECRET LUXURY NEIGHBORHOODS
Near the Klusharski park and the American Embassy, local developers began buying up old single-family homes on around 400m2 sized plots. On these properties, they built luxury townhouses and architecturally unique homes creating hidden gems in the normally average priced Lozenets market.
Another area that offers beautiful single-family homes (miraculously in the ideal center) is the Yavorov neighborhood. This area is between the Borisova Gradina and the Military Park, and only a stone's throw away from Oborishte. A long time ago, plots of land around 300-500m2 were given to Sofia University professors to build vacation homes on what was a villa zone outside of Sofia. Since then Yavorov is now well within the city limits, but the charming country-style architecture remains.
For those seeking the park lifestyle for less, Krastovada (the area south of the Paradise Mall), Dianbad, Gotse Delchev and Strelbishte are a great option. Prices are typically lower than the above neighborhoods and the infrastructure of these areas is improving with the help of EU funding. These areas have a happy mix of buildings from the 1960s and new builds from 2000 onwards, new residential complexes and local markets and commercial districts.