- Panama is an attractive place for foreigners to retire to.
- Propertry prices are still affordable.
- The economy is expected to grow significantly in the near future.
You may have noticed Panama being increasingly mentioned as one of the best countries to buy a property in. This Central American has become popular as a retirement spot or as a place to buy a holiday home.
If you plan to live here then their Friendly Nations visa process makes it easy for many people to obtain permanent residency after they invest $200,000 in a property. However, if you are solely interested in an investment, what does Panama offer right now?
Panama City is the biggest city and where most ex-pats live. It has fewer than a million inhabitants but is extremely culturally diverse.
You will find a mixture of gleaming new developments and historic World Heritage sites here. The property market is equally diverse, with many types of home up for sale. Away from the capital, the infrastructure is poorer and house prices are lower.
What Is the Property Market Like?
The arrival of many foreign purchasers has led to rising metropolitan property prices in Panama. The Panamanian Chamber of Construction pointed out that prices increased by over 20% between 2015 and 2017. This bucked the trend for falling prices that has been seen following the global economic crisis a few years earlier.
Many of the ex-pats who come here are American, but it is also proving increasingly popular with buyers from further afield now too. The placing of Panama on numerous lists as one of the best places to retire to is sure to attract more buyers. An important part of this boom is that property taxes on primary residences were reduced at the start of 2019.
Best of all, prices are still relatively low here. The areas that are most popular with foreigners and wealthy locals – such as Ocean Reef and the Casco Viejo – can be expensive, but there are plenty of bargains to be had elsewhere if you look around.
The Future in Panama
This country is growing rapidly. Many new construction projects are underway and the economy is now largely service-based. Economic growth is expected to reach close to 5% in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This comes after a year of sluggish growth in 2019, which saw its slowest rate of growth in the last decade. The IMF now think that Panama is on track to become one of the most dynamic economies in Latin America.
This should lead to the property market heating up. With more money swilling around the country, it is likely that there is more demand, particularly for luxury properties.
The combination of a growing economy and a property market with fairly low prices is tempting. If foreigners continue to buy here in large numbers that will keep prices buoyant. Prices could rise further if a strong economy leads to more opportunities for Panamanians to buy properties too.
Buying property in Panama can be quite complicated due to the paperwork involved in it. However, right now it is one of the best places in the world to buy for retirement purposes and also a very decent option for an investment property.