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Panama’s real estate boom

DONALD TRUMP can’t be wrong, can he? Trump has fallen in love with Panama so much that he is building a $ 220 million, 65-story (2.4 million square feet) hotel / condo monolith called Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower in a posh Panama City neighborhood. Trump will build 500 luxury condo units along with a 312-room hotel. This complex will include a casino, a private beach club and a marina. The groundbreaking is scheduled for this Christmas and its completion date is in 2009.

Why is Trump doing this in Panama of all places? At a press conference on April 24, 2006 in New York, Donald Trump said that his interest in Panama was sparked three years ago when his “Miss Universe” pageant was held in Panama. He saw that Panama City was “beautiful” and vowed that it would develop there if the right opportunity presented itself. His project was “easily financed,” and he noted that up to seven “major financial institutions were struggling to contribute money.” He agreed that “Americans are coming to Panama in droves” due to political stability, low cost of living, low interest rates and its location out of the path of any hurricane. “It’s great for baby boomers.” Trump said, although the project will be marketed worldwide. Condo units will start at $ 180,000 with unobstructed ocean views.

Panama is just beginning to realize a real estate boom!

Besides Trump, many international real estate investors are also discovering Panama.

For instance:

Bigger than Trump: An even taller skyscraper will be built near Trump Tower. The Ice Tower will have more than 100 floors, making it the tallest building in all of Latin America, tied with the Empire State Building for the second tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the ninth in the world when completed in 2010.

And other! Even before the Trump Tower and the Ice Tower are completed, another skyscraper (93 stories) called The Bahia Palace will be completed in 2009 at a cost of more than $ 160 million. They have already sold several dozen condos mainly to Europeans because it is a fully European investment project.

I asked the owner of a Panama City real estate agency, Daniel Hanna (Panama Real Estate Group), what he thought about how the Ice Tower and Trump’s Ocean Club will affect real estate prices in Panama? His response is echoed by most real estate agents in Panama: “As Panama continues to grow in many different industries, these projects will definitely set a new standard of living in Panama, thereby increasing prices across the country.”

So why are all these real estate investors coming to Panama?

A little history will help explain these phenomena. Panama has always had a close relationship with the United States, which helped Panama separate from Colombia in 1903 and was the first country to recognize the new Republic of Panama. The United States government built the Panama Canal beginning in 1904. Only until 2000 did Panama take control of its Canal after the United States closed all its military bases and left. People used to jokingly refer to Panama as the “United States of Panama” due to its close ties to the United States. After the United States left, Panama’s economy collapsed. Later, American retirees rediscovered Panama as a quiet, safe, and affordable place to retire.

Economic growth: In 2004, real estate construction activity soared in different parts of the country. Mostly retirement communities nestled amongst the many beautiful unoccupied beaches and mountain valleys. In 2005, building permits increased by 90% while Panama’s economy grew by a respectful 6.4%. The Panama Canal posted its third consecutive year of double-digit growth in toll revenue. Tourism and financial services also posted impressive growth gains.

Americans returned to Panama due to the excellent infrastructure built by the Americans, low crime rate, numerous native English speakers, excellent immigration visa programs; the currency has always been the US dollar, and great tax incentives.

The best reason is that Panama is so cheap to live! Local land, housing, food, transportation, leather goods, clothing, and handicrafts are much cheaper than anywhere in North America or Europe.

Don’t trust My Word. Read what top experts have to say about Panama real estate opportunities.

The NY Times recently wrote: “Panama increasingly lights up the radar screens of those seeking an affordable alternative to the more traditional retreats south of the border in Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean, where rising prices increasingly compete with America’s own beach fronts. “

Forbes Magazine (July 11, 2005) praised Panama as a “FOUND PARADISE: WHERE TO RETREAT ABROAD”, where an American couple “bought a lot on a hill overlooking a golf course and built a stucco house white three bedroom with a red tile roof (total cost: about $ 250,000) “. in Boquete. “Here you can hear the sound of the rivers,” says Janet. “It is very peaceful.”

National Association of Realtors: Tom Stevens, who is its current president, recently visited Panama and explained: “We are seriously thinking about investing here. It is a great opportunity. The prices are what they were in the United States 20 to 25 years ago. “

The London Financial Times wrote in its April 14, 2005 edition that Panama is now passing Costa Rica as the place to invest. “Like Costa Rica, Panama is teeming with exquisite coastal towns, has attractive property and tax policies for foreigners, and a long history of political stability. In addition, Panama City is a safe, urban city that has long been had a U.S. military and civilian presence because A three-bedroom luxury home in a gated community on a mountain golf course can be purchased for $ 250,000 to $ 350,000, real estate experts say … Chuck Bedsole , who oversees real estate in Latin America for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, believes that Panama is in an earlier stage of the real estate boom. “

The October 2004 issue of Cond√© Nast Traveler declared: “Panama is the new Central American business where the US dollar, the market currency, performs a lot.”

Is it safe to buy real estate in Panama? Buying real estate in Panama is safe for foreigners. The US State Department verifies this by stating: “The titled land, and the process of purchasing this, is similar in concept to that of the United States, and the deeds to the land are duly registered in the Public Registry. .. “

How long will this boom last? It is just beginning. Donald Trump hasn’t even started building yet.

Daniel Hanna, the Panama City real estate broker, reiterates: “Invest in real estate in Panama now before the Towers are completed. Panama will become a fashionable real estate market because it has many attractions besides the construction of real estate. Soon, the world Get to know Panama for its natural beauty, healthy climates and charismatic people. Living in this beautiful country is just a benefit! “

The National Geographic Traveler predicted in December 2004: “Panama is now where Costa Rica was 10 years ago. Panama is preparing to explode.”

“Boom” I can hear the distant rumbling of a Big Boom yet to come!

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