Panama packs a great deal of diversity within it’s borders. The country is approximately half the size of Florida but offers property opportunities on both coasts (Caribbean and Pacific), in urban areas and tucked away in cool highland retreats. Given the wide range of choices available, how does a property hunter decide where to focus their research?. This article describes three categories that purchasing destinations fall into.
1) Tourism heartland areas
A solid strategy for investing is to seek out areas that are attracting the most numbers of tourists. Tourism locations tend to undergo infrastructure improvements and often evolve into the top purchasing spots for vacation real estate. It’s no surprise really that Coronado, a beach area near Panama City popular as a weekend getaway, and Boquete a busy rural retreat in the highlands have both emerged as important real estate destinations.
2) Areas receiving infrastructure
Classic ‘in the path of progress’ investing seeks out areas that are currently underdeveloped but where improvements are planned. As an area receives more services and amenities, real estate values tend to rise. In Panama two areas stand out. The first is Azuero which has for many years been overlooked due to its remoteness and the Boca Chica area near David which will benefit from a planned upgrade to the David airport to receive international flights.
3) Established markets
Mature areas with established amenities and services, tend to attract either the ‘lifesytle investor’ looking for a permanent residence perhaps to retire in Panama or the ‘income investor’ looking for a stable rental return. Panama City is arguably the most mature real estate destination in Panama. It’s also probably the most cosmopolitan city in the region as a whole and is known world wide as an important financial center.
Panama is going through an interesting phase. Its economic indicators suggest that it is emerging from the economic downturn more quickly than its regional competitors. And with US dollar based economy and investment incentives, it delivers a sense of stability that is so important in the international real estate scene.