Our investor clients are asking a lot of good questions about the Panama City rental market. They are eager for accurate information, as they see a swirl of economic news, daily reports on the Panama Papers scandal and vague references about market trends.
As the largest residential property management firm in Punta Pacifica, we access daily information on rates, occupancy and the latest trends. More importantly, we interact with dozens of landlords and tenants on a daily basis, including representatives of multi-national corporations, giving us real insight to the market.
This is what we know about the current market. In the last year we have seen an uptick in sale prices, but rental rates in Punta Pacifica have remained at consistent (and predictable) levels. Choice units have seen an increase in recent months, but overall more supply has entered the market, making it tougher for apartments in older buildings or towers without great views.
However, although some brokers are complaining of a slowdown, we haven’t seen it. We have been able to consistently hit our goals, in part due to our large inventory and established connections in the business community.
In general, I would say the market is cautiously optimistic. There are some bargain hunters out there waiting on the sidelines, hoping for a slowdown. But there is no evidence as of yet to support that theory. The rental and sales market continues to power along, fueled in large part to the country’s continued economic growth.
The continued coverage of the Panama Papers has undoubtedly had an impact on investor activity. People are clearly waiting to see how the story plays out. But the headlines only impact a segment of the market.
What we see are multinationals continuing to hire and expand, and large infrastructure projects like the Panama metro continuing to draw professionals and executives from around the world. This is producing a much more stable environment than an industry built on speculators and flippers.
That said, we are seeing shifts in the market. Both renters and sales prospects have become more selective. They are educating themselves and making smart choices.
There is strong demand for nicely-furnished, high floor apartments with unobstructed ocean views. These units tend to rent quickly and very close to asking prices.
There are more units available for rent around the city, but the supply is spread around different areas, with different levels of appeal. Several projects have recently completed in Costa del Este, which is taking on its own identity. But many renters like the energy and convenience of the city, and the easy access to Casco Antiguo, Cinta Costera and the all the city’s attractions.
Punta Pacifica offers a spectacular waterfront setting and all the conveniences and attractions of the city, making it an easy choice for many of these new discerning customers. Trump Ocean Club continues in its role as the icon of Panama’s upscale community, and it is still one of the city’s most popular for rentals. Sales activity in the Trump has also been picking up, as the developers sells off the last of the developer-controlled units. (For an exclusive discount offer on Trump developer units, contact one of our experts.) Some things haven’t changed. The demographics of the renters has stayed consistent, focused on executives and their families. They are well-paid and usually looking to stay in Panama for at least a year or two. As more companies grow their presence, we expect to see renewed growth in rental rates and activity, providing opportunities for careful investors.
At Punta Pacifica Realty our staff is always willing to answer any questions, no strings attached. Contact us at (507) 836-5991 or e-mail. We are also available through WhatsApp, +507 6670-8011, or if you are nearby feel free to stop in to our office in the Aqualina tower.
Eddie Montes is the head of Property Management for Punta Pacifica Realty, a Panama real estate agency focused on Punta Pacifica, the exclusive neighborhood of 18 towers perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.