Panama Realtor's Location Picks for 2012

Anatoly Gaviria February 1, 2012

With the steady growth of the real estate market in Panama, there are certain locations that are showing extra promise for growth and appreciation. We've outlined a number of these locations along with details on why they are in a prime position to pull ahead of the pack.

Punta Chame

The road 23 km road to Punta Chame has been resurfaced, making what used to take at least 45 minutes by car, now less than 20 minutes. As a result there has been a surge in construction and interest in the area. Most notably are Punta Chame Villas and Nitro City, Action Sports Resort. Their hotel and restaurants are fully operational and such extreme sports as windsurfing, wake boarding (on their artificial lagoon with motorized cable system), and other water sports are being offered. Currently under construction, and well underway are their motocross track and skate park.

One of the most attractive features of Punta Chame however, is the prices. There are serviced bay-front lots starting and 80 USD per m2. The lots on larger beached open ocean side of Punta Chame average about 200 USD per m2. Compared to neighboring by beaches such as Gorgona and Coronado, the price per m2 starts at 350 USD and can have asking prices as high as 600 USD per m2 depending on location.

Punta Chame is on a great trajectory, and the good news is that there is still room for development. Unlike many of the other beach towns of Panama's Pacific, Punta Chame still has land available to develop. Beachfront parcels of land for development with as much as 1 km of linear beach-frontage are currently starting at less than 30 USD per m2.


Majagual is the small rural residential area located just past the fishing village of Veracruz. Its a very commutable, 30 minute drive from down town Panama City and boasts some of the most stunning ocean views in Panama. Compared to land in the reverted areas (former canal zone) which starts at 220 USD per m2, land in Majagual can still be obtained for about 50 USD per m2. The area is very promising as far as appreciation and development are concerned. Both the Canal expansion and Panama Pacifico, which is the 2nd largest development in Panama next to the Canal expansion itself, are located within a 10 minute drive of Majagual. Other notable landmarks for the area include the Playa Bonita Intercontinental Hotel as well as a Westin Hotel which is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

Development parcels with impressive ocean views can be obtained for about 15-20 USD per m2, and there is also land for development on the ocean for about 75 USD per m2.

Costa Abajo

Costa Abajo, which translated literally means down coast, is the coastal area west of the Gatun locks of the Panama Canal. It was announced earlier this year that the 3rd bridge over the Panama Canal is to be constructed in Colon. Currently the only way to get to Costa Abajo by car is by taking the swinging bridge across the Gatun locks in-between ship transits. Waits of 30 minutes or more are not uncommon in order to cross the swinging bridge. The new bridge and its corresponding road systems will make the area of Coast Abajo much more accessible. There are a number of important tourism attractions, both natural and man-made including the Achiote Road, Bird Haven, The San Lorenzo National Park, and the Gatun locks, that will help put Costa Abajo on the map and a world class tourism destination.

We currently have development parcels with significant amounts of ocean and beach frontages starting for as little as 16 USD per m2 which breaks down to approximately 1.60 per square foot.

Residential Developments to keep an eye on:

Hacienda Pacifica

Hacienda Pacifica is located just over one hour west of Panama City and within 5 km of the beach resort town of Coronado. Hacienda Pacifica is a gated residential community with approximately 40 homes either delivered or under construction and an established and growing number of full time residents. It's located within 10 minutes drive of the nearest full scale grocery stores, shopping plazas, healthcare facilities, golf courses and beaches.

There are new homes available within the development for less than 215,000 USD. The lot sizes and quality of the homes are a very fair value and the monthly maintenance fees are also very reasonable at an average of 75 USD per home. Hacienda Pacifica includes two club houses, one on a river with a very nice natural swimming pool, the main club house with a swimming pool, social area and tennis courts. The roads are wide and well maintained and the grounds immaculately maintained and full of fruiting and flowering trees. Hacienda Pacifica is a very realistically and fairly priced development within reach of many expats looking to retire and live in Panama.

Additionally, the beach areas west of Panama City are quite ideal as far as integrating to life in Panama. These areas are comprised of a good mix of both expats and locals alike. The quality of life, infrastructure and available amenities as well as the cost of living in these parts of Panama are still very reasonable. Banks will generally finance up to 70% for foreigners and the homes in Hacienda Pacifica are prime candidates to be approved for bank financing.

Viveros Resort

Viveros is a luxury island resort located just 15 minutes by plane from Panama City. The development is well underway and has several luxury homes already delivered. Viveros will feature a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, and a full service marina as well as at-least 2 hotels. The prices are very reasonable considering what you get, and beach front lots average about 200 USD per m2 or 20 USD per square foot. Compared to other beach resorts of Panama's Pacific who offer similar amenities, the prices per m2 in Viveros are about � the price of comparable resorts. Additionally, Viveros Resort has signed an agreement with the Trump Ocean Plaza and will serve as the Beach Club for the Trump Ocean Club residents and guests.

Altos del Maria

If you are looking for a mountain community then you must consider Altos del Maria. It enjoys spring like weather year round and is located just 1.5 hours from Panama City. The maintenance fees of this resort are unbeatable at just 40 USD per month per lot or home. This fee includes a portion of the water consumption as well as maintenance of the roads and security. There are a plethora of nature trails and green belts, and the development lives up to its motto of living with nature. Prices in Altos del Maria start for as little as 30 USD per m2 for land.