Panama’s real estate market has seen increased foreign demand, especially from Colombia, the U.S, Canada, and Venezuela.
While Panama has been one of the favourite places for retirees to move to, it’s beginning to attract millennials too. Jackie Lange, founder of Panama Relocation Tours, says younger Americans are moving to the country, drawn by the prospects of living on the coast without having to pay the premium price.
Local realtors admit high-rise properties located in coastal areas are seeing the highest sales volumes, with Gulf-front homes in Rosemary Beach selling for $8 million to $12.5 million for single-family units.
The appeal of these areas go beyond the exquisite scenery and pristine beaches as development has a part to play. For instance, the 98 corridor has seen exponential growth with new construction and developmental projects. Also, the Panama Canal was finally opened in June 2016 following a $5.25bn expansion project, bringing with it opportunities such as Dubai ports operator, DP World’s interest in building investment parks. Developments like these are bound to attract foreign millennials looking for new opportunities.
While local realtors try to proceed with caution, aware that they will level out at some point, president-elect of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, Liz McMaster, says that despite prices being up, the market is expected to continue to grow, adding that mortgage rates are in fact near their lowest in a long time. In January 2017, the association’s closed sales were up 18.2 percent while pending sales were up 9.1 percent.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) put the growth of Panama’s economy in 2015 at 5.8% and forecasted another 5.8% growth in 2017. The property market has seen even higher growth rates for property sales, with sales going up 6.6% in 2015.