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Brits Migrate to Bulgaria

Source: Sofia News Agency (www.novinite.com)
Published Date: 12 Sep 2006

Last week it was reported that over half a million Poles had entered the UK after their accession to the EU in 2004, but we hear less about the vacation migration in the opposite direction; when the Brits flock to Eastern Europe.

The former communist countries are becoming extremely popular with British holiday makers due to bargain flights, inexpensive accommodation, and most importantly, cheap, high quality beer.

While eight former communist states were lucky enough to join the EU in 2004, Bulgaria missed out - but this has not stopped hoards of Brits flocking to the country for holidays, work and investment.

Bansko, a small mountain town, with a residual population of about 9,000, in the south-west of the country has grabbed all the headlines as the British tourists' favourite, fast becoming a 'little England'.

Writing in the Independent Andrew Osborne wrote last week: "Bansko is an example of modern-day migration where people with money go to places where the locals are relatively poor to enjoy a lifestyle that is harder to find let alone afford in the UK."

Many of the Britons in Bansko are migrant workers and entrepreneurs, he writes, "trying to make a new life in a country where a pint of beer costs 40 pence and you can buy an apartment for 25,000." Brits are even setting up businesses in the town, in interior design, bar management and real estate, capitalising on the country's ballooning property prices.

Construction is relentless in Bulgaria at present, with investors from all over Europe aching to get a grip of the property market which has seen the average property grow in price by 20.5 per cent since the beginning of the year according to the Knight Frank Global House Price Index.

In this time of boom for the housing market, apartment blocks are springing up all over the country, none more so than on the coastal resorts of the Black Sea where there are currently 22,500 flats awaiting purchase. While this is certain the time for the budding investor to fly over to inspect the area, it provides a mouth-watering opportunity for families looking for a holiday home that could also act as a profitable investment.

Bankso is one of eastern Europe's finest ski resorts, boasting cheap prices and superlative equipment for holidays on beautiful pistes with authentic snow. A ski pass costs as little as 17 a day leaving plenty of spare cash left over to sample the local brew in the traditional inns that reside in pockets around the resort.

The eastern side of the country boasts some of the regions finest beaches, on the Black Sea, with major resorts at coastal towns such as Sunny Beach and Sozopol.