Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Panama Boom Despite Setback

"Over the next five years, nearly 11,000 apartment units will be built in Panama City, the company forecasts based on a recent survey. By comparison, a total of 11,967 apartments were completed in the Miami metro area between January 1st, 1995 and March 31st, 2006. "This means that in just the next five years, nearly as many apartments will be built in Panama City than were built in the entire city of Miami during the past 10 years," PrimaPanama said in its survey.

While Prima Panama and other experts warn that there may be too much supply, experts say that much of the boom is also driven by real growth in demand. Rogerio Basso, an analyst at Ernst & Young's real estate advisory services, says Panama is still one of the key growth
markets in Latin America for U.S. baby boomers looking at retirement or second homes

There is also a strong real estate boom outside of Panama City in areas like Boquete, Coronado and Contadora. However, the lion's share of new construction and investment is taking place in the capital.

The number of new apartments being developed in the Panama City area has gone from 10,980 units in July 2006 to 20,603 units units in December, an increase of 88 percent, according to research by Prima Panama. Their estimated market value went from $3.17 billion to $5.16 billion, an increase of 63 percent.

Apart from baby boomers, demand for Panama real estate will also be driven by a growing number of executives and workers coming to the country to participate in the $5.2 billion expansion of the Panama Canal and the construction of an oil refinery by US-based oil giant Occidental. " read more