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Some things you may not have known about Panama real estate

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By : Jane Bakerson    99 or more times read
Panama is more than just a canal. For many years the 48 mile Canal was the only thing that came to mind when people thought about this tiny country in Central America. But not any longer. Under the helm of President Ricardo Martinelli, the economy is beating regional averages for GDP growth, foreign investment is booming and the country is making its mark on the world stage. Here are a few things that seasoned real estate investors know about Panama.

  1. Foreigners can own property with equal rights as Panamanian citizens and there are no restrictions on capital flows in and out of the country.

  2. A whole host of infrastructure projects are underway. And were not only talking about the widening of the Panama Canal. The airport in David is being expanded to accommodate international flights, highways are being constructed or upgraded across the country and the capital, Panama City, is undergoing a face lift with new waterfront boulevards recently opened.

  3. The country has a progressive retiree program packed full of tax benefits, incentives and discounts to woo those thinking about retiring in Panama. Some argue it is the best retiree program in the region.

  4. The US dollar is the primary currency in Panama which adds a sense of stability and removes currency risk if you are from the United States.

  5. Panama City is recognized around the world as a top class financial hub. Its also the most cosmopolitan city in Central America. Its impressive skyline and modern feel sit comfortably alongside a distinctive old world charm (in places like Casco Viejo for example).

  6. Investors can choose to invest in emerging areas with low prices and the promos of capital appreciation in the short term (such as the Azuero Peninsula or the Boca Chica area near David), more mature destinations such as Panama City itself and established beach-side locations like Playa Blanca Panama and Coronado; or locations that fall somewhere in the middle, such as the highland town of Boquete or Bocas del Toro real estate on the Caribbean.

It's an exciting time for real estate investing in Panama. Prices are off their highs reached before the global financial crisis and there are some great deals to be had. Buyers, remember that right now you have more leverage than you have had in years. Inventories are high and sellers are motivated. Make sure you negotiate hard and use the favorable market timing to your advantage.
For more information on overseas properties in Central America and Panama, head on over to

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