Panama - A new favourite overseas retirement destination?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Panama - A new favourite overseas retirement destination?

Ask someone what they know about Panama and it's likely they won't have too much to say other than mumbling about Panama Hats and a really long canal.

However, public awareness of this Central American country is improving.

Panama's economy is healthy, having shown consistent GDP growth over several years. Meanwhile, its location offers the best of both worlds.

The Gulf of Panama offers a multitude of water sports and outdoor pursuits, while there are also the temperate climate and stunning mountain views to consider.

The cost of living (Panama's currency is the US dollar) is low, with the price of a local lunch around £3 ($6) per head, a coffee costing 50p (80c) and a trip to the dentist around £30 ($50).

Taking advantage of these factors, increasing numbers of expats are choosing Panama as their overseas retirement destination - beach areas to the west of Panama City are proving especially popular.

Condos and smaller duplexes (the typical properties in these areas) go for as little as £80,000, while at the high end of the market, luxury homes may fetch up to £500,000.

Prices of property here are gradually rising, thanks to growing demand from those in Europe, the U.S and Canada.

Furthermore, the mid-priced sector of Panama's beach market is set to receive a boost thanks to a new development.

Less than five minutes from the coastal city of Coronado, Punto Barco Country Club will represent an affordable gated community with a number of attractions close by.

Local developers Davivienda aim to provide three-bed homes at under $219,000 (£131,646) while owners will have access to a number of swimming pools, tennis courts a gym and other facilities.

The homes will remain free of property taxes for five years, with £285 ($475) per year covering both land taxes and communal fees.

Kent Davis, director of Panama Equity Real Estate (chief brokers for the project) explains:

"There is a scarcity of options in the mid-priced sector [in beachfront areas], meaning that this development should have a major impact on the market, offering a new option to a captive audience of both foreigners and local buyers seeking an affordable gated community at the beach."

As well as being close to The Scarlett Johnson International airport, the location of the development offers plenty of attractions.

Best known for large equestrian estates and proximity to Playa Teta (a popular weekend surf beach), there are also four nearby golf courses and several shopping centres and restaurants.


A Place In The Sun