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Panama Real Estate Facts
Panama may be Central America new hottest real estate market  -Robb´s Report

Panama has been sustaining a boom in real estate for the past 3 or more years and this activity is expected to continue for perhaps another decade. Only Dubai is as dynamic in the real estate sector but for completely different reasons. There are few other countries in this class.

The strongly positive referendum results on building a “third canal” set in motion a $5.25 billion building budget only for this specific project. The canal decision, however, has already inspired much more than this amount on related projects, new shipping facilities, new office buildings, residences, a major infrastructure expansion, a harbor cleanup and a massive boom in tourist facilities. The skyline of Panama City is starting to look more and more like downtown Manhattan.

In the USA, a $15-20 billion investment over a ten year period is not considered particularly noteworthy. Considering, however, that Panama has only 1% of the American population and that the purchasing power of $1 in Panama for construction purposes probably equals $3-$4 in the USA then this investment amount is the equivalent of a $6 trillion project in the USA or 50% of the GDP.

Since the repatriation of the Canal Zone seven years ago, Panama has rapidly proven that it can successfully manage its own resources and improve the well-being of its citizens. It has become the preferred “commercial and banking center” for all of Latin America. It has passed a number of prudent laws to inspire and ensure the continuation of its boom economy within a democratic, stable, and entrepreneurial framework. Recently, the Panamanian was predicted to become the fastest growing economy in all of Latin America for 2008.

Panama is not perfect but then no country is.

Many times imperfections can become business opportunities. For example, the infrastructure almost everywhere in Panama leaves much to be desired. The interior roads of Panama, for example, are often minimal in quality although rapidly improving. Large spectacular properties with desirable ocean views are still available without good access roads. An access road obviously adds tremendous value to such a property.

Panama has only recently appeared on the international radar. It is now discussed frequently by large and prestigious publications in a very positive manner. However, the huge information flow needed to put Panama over the top remains in the very early stages. The average Barnes and Noble bookstore in the USA carries about 25 to 30 tourist books on Costa Rica but only about 3-4 on Panama. In Costa Rica real estate prices are at least 2 times higher than in Panama but their property boom started 20 years ago.

International Living has chosen Panama six times in a row as the “best offshore country” for living and retiring. AARP, Fortune, Conde Nast, The Economist, among many others, have had very positive articles and comments on Panama.

With almost 200,000,000 “baby boomers” in North America, Europe and other developed countries focusing on the final third of their lives, the “age wave” is upon us. The first boomers just turned 60 and can finally take out their tax sheltered savings without penalty. Some of these boomers are realizing that they can easily and happily enjoy the same life style in Panama as in the USA on about 25-33% of the budget. These potential savings could prove to be a boon after of life of low savings for the average American.

A significant number of famous people and well known companies have started to invest in Panama with Nike Jagger, the Brad/Angelina team, Mel Gibson, and Bono the latest of a steady stream. Apparently there may be a new Gibson movie about the life of “Balboa” as another perspective on Panama for world audiences. The world famous “Ocean Embassy” will develop and operate a “sea world” style dolphin facility near San Carlos.

Panama remains a very dynamic and democratic country built on a strategic piece of land. The canal is an incredibly valuable “renewable resource” for future generations of Panamanians and the trading world at large. Current world trade has a doubling speed of about 7-8 years and Panama will benefit handsomely from this expansion.

Panama also benefits in respect of stability and security from the massive investment presence of China and the USA. Over the next ten years, it is quite possible that China will even overtake the Americans. China certainly has no shortage of “surplus cash” (about one trillion today) which is currently an American problem. China typically takes a very long term view and it is interesting to note that Chinese Panamanians control virtually all material supply stores outside of Panama City plus many other businesses.

After Switzerland, Panama is the largest international banking center in the world with almost 100 international banks. Panama City is built using a fiber optics communication infrastructure. Four of the five intercontinental ocean cable lines run through the canal making Panama City.

Panama has become one of the most sophisticated shipping and insurance centers in the world. In many ways, except for per capita income, Panama resembles Singapore.

Because Panama is a main port for world shipping, virtually anything can be purchased here and often at very advantageous prices. Panama City has expansive shopping malls with the latest fashions and electronic goods. You name it and you can buy it.

Panama is not perfect …. and therein lies the opportunity!

Here is an current event indicative of Canadian interest in Panama:

“Toronto conference to promote Panama as retirement haven”
Twelve Panamanian real estate companies will participate in the Realtors Quest Conference in Toronto, Canada, April 24-25. The new Panamanian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce will be the only international sponsor of the event, the theme of which will be "Panama, the Best Place in the World to Retire".


Video of the new projected coastal avenue

Realty Check Panama: A CBS report

A retirement in Panama: Everything under the sun

¿Why Panama now?
  • Supply of vista properties quite limited

  • Demand for such properties is increasing

  • Large properties are being “flipped”

  • Many new projects are being announced

  • Foreign investors are in frequent evidence

  • Dollar-based economy

  • Real Estate & mortgage crisis in the US

  • Media interest in Panama is increasing

  • Investors and developers have discovered Panama

  • Successful developers are expanding

  • “Star” investors are buying (Mel Gibson, Mick Jagger, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Eddie Murphy, Don King among others)

  • Int’l Living has regular “investor seminars”

  • People are moving from Costa Rica

  • Pacific Land is increasing 25% per annum Between Chame and Rio Hato are the main epicenter Pedasi and El Valle are other epicenters

  • Mountain Top communities are successful

  • Good Access Roads add most value

  • Canadians are very over-represented

  • 50% of UK boomers plan to move offshore

  • The USA “sunbelt” has become pricey

  • Mexico and Costa Rica are also very pricey

  • Adjacent developers wish to “cooperate”

    ¿Why Pacific coast?

Panama may be Central America new hottest real estate market  -Robb´s Report


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