In the first quarter of 2012 Bulgarian housing prices edged down by 0.4% from the previous three months, with apartments being most expensive in the capital city of Sofia, the National Statistics Institute (NSI) said.
The average price of apartments in Bulgaria fell to 883.85 levs ($596.2/451.9 euro) per square metre (sq m) in the year's first quarter, from 887.57 levs/sq m in the previous three months, the NSI said in a statement on Monday.
Prices in Sofia went up by 0.8% quarter-on-quarter to 1,465.33 levs/sq m.
Bulgaria's port city of Varna was the second most expensive city with prices of 1,439 levs/sq m, down 1.1% from the fourth quarter of 2011. Burgas, a major port city on the Black Sea and a holiday destination, ranked third with prices of 1,158.83 levs/sq m in the three months through March, down by 0.6% on the quarter.
The most significant fall in housing prices in the first quarter of 2012, by 4.4% to 602.17 levs/sq m, was registered in the city of Vratsa, in northwestern Bulgaria.
The NSI data reflects the prices in concluded apartment sale deals reported by real estate brokers operating in the administrative centres of Bulgaria's 28 regions.