The good news is that it has been raining in Panama. The less-than-good news is that we are still battling COVID-19 but because the country is essentially shut-down, real estate is currently a buyers’ paradise. It’s a full-time job watching factors completely out of your control and trying to guess how that will impact daily life. Everything is changing and it’s important to take notice.
We depend on having enough rain to successfully run the Panama Canal and last year was one of the driest on record. The lack of water complicated scheduling and management of the canal, reducing traffic. In 2019 ships had to traverse the canal north and south at the same time so the locks could “cross fill”, reducing the amount of water needed. Making that happen slowed everything down.
Rain, Rain Don’t Go Away!
This year we reached rain levels in May that did not occur until October in 2019. We have plenty of water and the Panama Canal continues to thrive even though no cruise ships are lining up to dazzle passengers with our engineering marvel and ships carrying new vehicles have slowed since manufacturing plants have been closed due to COVID-19.
Panama continues to aggressively manage COVID-19 with restrictions and testing. Teams of healthcare workers are going door-to-door providing testing and most everyone in Panama embraces the fact we have to stay put to reduce the spread. It’s been difficult. Much of the time I have to remind myself what day it is, however being in a pandemic has resulted in a red hot real estate market. Today I’m seeing some of the best promotions I’ve ever seen and it’s not just one, but a variety to fit just about any need.
For example, Empresas Bern, the largest real estate developer in Panama, has for the first time started to offer “Rent-To-Own” programs for all ready to deliver inventory including the residential towers of Mirador, LaVista, and Matisse. One hundred percent of the first year of rent will be applied to the purchase while the second and third years’ rent will be credited at reduced rates, but as high as 60%.
Developer financing is also being offered at 4% for up to ten years on those ready-to-deliver properties while even more attractive financing is now available on buildings such as Royal Palm which is located directly on the Pacific Ocean in Nueva Gorgona.
Close-out inventory pricing now exists on Casa Bonita residences just outside Panama City. Those units share all the amenities of the five-star Westin hotel at Playa Bonita including a private beach and numerous restaurants. Membership in the exclusive Pearl Club is also part of the amenities open to Casa Bonita residents.
Phase one of the new concept residences of Casa Bianca is 85% complete and will be fast-tracked both by the developer and the government as soon as construction workers are allowed to restart the project. Those three-bedroom homes have three-and-a-half bathrooms, maids’ quarters, wide balconies and over 2,200 square feet of luxurious living space. There are ten different floor plans to consider in three- and four-floor colonial-styled buildings.
Independent Senior Living
The new concept of Independent Senior Living @ Generation Tower in Costa del Este is moving quickly since the return on investment (ROI) is high for investors and very attractive for individuals 55 years and older because health insurance comes with the unit. But, Generation Tower is not just for seniors but for every generation and is perfectly situated for both short- and long-term rentals. Multinational companies continue to open regional headquarters in Costa del Este and transferred executives and trailing families are always looking for an attractive rental.
The 46-story residential tower, Arcadia, is positioned to capture the long-term executive rental as well as the short-term tourist markets. The first building in Costa del Este to be granted a license for both segments is positioned well with on-site property management, a long list of amenities, and a perfect location. Pre-construction pricing is available with owner-financing and is especially geared toward investors.
Whether it’s a great deal on a remaining unit in a closed-out building, exceptional financing at almost half of what the banks are offering, innovative programs aimed at the ex-pat, this is the first time I have had so much flexibility. On some units, I can add a full furniture package as part of the purchase, we just need to discuss what you are looking for and what I can put together. There has never been a better time! Reach out and let’s chat about your unique goals.