Anyone investing in Panama?

24 Replies

In Panama city, or smaller towns in the country. I've been looking into it recently and checking several options, talking to some locals and expats who invested here. There is a big plus that everything is in USD and taxes are low.

What do you think?

@micheal bereslavsky

 Good afternoon,

I would also be interested to find out if there is anyone who could shine some light on there experience in investing in Panama. I am also a Panama resident, and have been trying to secure some additional properties in America, but it would be nice to keep it closer to "home".  Have you had any luck?

My husband and I just made a trip down and toured a number of what seemed like attractive options, spanning neighborhoods including Avenida Balboa, Costa del Este, and Clayton (among others). While rental ROI appears to be attractive even after carrying costs, the 11% transfer tax when you sell seems like a turn off. I haven't been able to find any like-minded folks to discuss their view on this, and would LOVE to connect if there are any out there!!

Hello. I am a venezuelan living in Panama for 10 years now. I work in Real estate and have broad experience helping expats and investors to find the best properties that suit their needs. 10 years ago, anything you could buy was a great investment, in terms of return, valuation, and resale opportunity. Things have changed a lot. Market is right now at a historic low, so its time to invest. There are still superb oportunities, but if you come and buy without advise, it could end to a disaster. 

I worked as a Panama real estate agent for several years and provide content writing and marketing services for Keller Williams (KW) Panama.

The property transfer sales tax is actually 2% of the total value of the property and not 11% as another comment suggested.

Yes, the Panama real estate market is low after experiencing a boom for nearly 10 years. Which many real estate experts claim is the best time for investors to buy and hold onto until the market rebounds.

With the Panama Canal reporting record income and numerous infrastructure projects in the works (like a 2nd Metro Subway line in Panama City) along with highways and the main airport expansion; the market should rebound in a year or two.

My projection is: Market will continue to slide until presidential election in mid 2019. There is a strong negative sentiment with current government that will be instantly overcome with new government whoever will be.
There are great opportunities nowadays. Buyers are offering way lower prices than actual, and  sellers are accepting. This means you can buy now at next year´s price and start profiting.
There are also amazing foreclosure deals. But these generally must be in cash.  

2021 Update on Panama:

Investing in Real Estate here is very different than in the U.S. The Panama City market has been sliding forever thus why I never recommend buying much in the city except if you want to move here (still...renting makes more sense at the moment)

Investing in the city really only comes down to doing a STR business based either on leverage or co-hosting models as rents are extremely low and there is SO MANY apartments and houses that are empty, doing nothing for 2 or more years.

In fact I started investing in this until 2020 of course. 

For the moment I would recommend doing your homework, calling people up, make some connections, hire a RE lawyer and start looking at prices for STRs WHEN the lockdown is over, which is impossible to know as of today. 

This is not the time to invest, it is the time to research and have negotiations down for when the pandemic is over.

If you are more of a developer there is affordable housing projects that makes sense to participate or build with a group as more people need affordable houses and regrettablely a high percentage will have to "downgrade"

Vacant land is usually a good long term business. Never buy a Right of Possession, just never do that. As an investor that is WAY too early and extremely complicated to achieve the transition to a Title.

If you guys need a call with me to clarify anything let´s share a virtual coffee (or beer, depending on time) and talk some Real Estate.

@Alex Garrido

Investing in Panama City would work out for short term rentals because you could pay for the holding costs and maybe profit nicely while hopefully the value of your property increases over the long term.

Unfortunately, it’s illegal to rent for less than 45 days and personally I’d never suggest anybody gets into an illegal business overseas.

I’ve come across a couple rare buildings in Costa del Este who have a permit but, as you could expect, it’s reflected in the price.