Panama in 2013

I am creating a new category for this post – “Reaching for the sky”

The numbers are out for 2012 and they are incredible as always. Here is how they stack up.

Our economic growth will be posted at 11 % for the year of 2012. That is the strongest in Latin America by far. In the same breath it was predicted that growth for 2013 will only be 8%. These are the same people who said that 2012 would end up at 7%, very conservative but that is typical here.

In the 5 years that President Ricardo Martinelli will have been in office, expenditures and investments in major projects will exceed $15 billion. That is $5.25 billion for the Panama Canal expansion, $2.2 billion for the new metro transportation system and over $6.2 billion in Foreign Direct Investment in mining in Panama where we have the second largest copper reserves in the world. The copper reserves were just readjusted upwards a couple of weeks ago by 27% and gold reserves by 41% at the Cobre Panama project. This is in addition to the huge infrastructure investment in roadway and hydro electric projects expansion across the country.

Construction permits were up 36% in 2012 and expected to increase again in 2013. A lot of this is in the nonresidential sector where office buildings, hotels and shopping centers are being built.

Pricing remained stable in the residential real estate market in Panama in 2012 surpassing price per square foot paid in 2007 despite a meltdown in Europe and the United States during the same period of time.

Two new airports opening in 2013 , the new International airport in Rio Hato and the expansion of the international airport in David will create major opportunities for tourism development in these market areas.

Expansion of the Tocumen International Airport and investment by Copa Airlines in expanded routes in 2013 will insure Panama’s lead as The Hub of the Americas.

It is all in the numbers.

Panama’s positive growth and accelerated project expansion continues providing opportunities for companies across multiple infrastructure sectors.

Government investment and therefore opportunities so far include:

$6.2 billion in revenues projected- Mining Projects

$5.2 billion -Panama Canal Expansion

$2.2 billion-Panama Metro Line

$1.1 billion- Road Projects

$1 billion+- Energy Generation Projects various LNG/hydro/wind

$750 million-Howard Air Force Base Conversion

$540 million- Water Supply & Sanitation

$415 million-Panama Electrical Interconnection with Colombia

$358 million-Public Hospitals

$200 million-Airport Expansion

$80 million- Bridge of the Americas Reconstruction

Private Investment includes: (among other large-scale projects)

$700+ million on New Hotels and Real Estate

Trans-shipment ports expansion and Colon Trade Free Zone.

Thomas H. Brymer II

Wow!  How time flies by when you're busy!  I haven't written a blog in a while, but I have been busier than I ever could have imagined I would be when I first took on this challenge.  For those of you with properties listed and needing to sell, the market seems to be getting stronger and stronger every day.


I'm not sure if it is just the time of year.  The rain has stopped, christmas is over, and carnival is fast approaching.  Here in the city, sales are brisk.  I am getting phone call after phone call for viewings and listings, and can't imagine bieng busier.  I will soon need to hire help, there is just no way to keep up.


As far as the beaches go, Coranado was just ranked the number one retirement location in the world.  Word is getting around, and if you are an owner trying to sell, you won't wait much longer, and a buyer needs to get his money in there right now, as word spreads and the new airport nears completion, prices will not be lower than right now, ever again.  I am stoked, and love showing real estate on the sunny beaches of Panama.  There are so many great condo developments going up, and many resales for those of you who missed out on a great development in the last few years.  


Some resales are selling well below developer prices as there have been a few investors that have stretched themselves a little thin with the global financial situation, so be sure to grab your peice of paradise while the prices are low!!


Make sure to let me know what you are looking for, as not all my listings make this site.




Can You Live on Your Pension in Panama?
By Terry Coles


When my husband Clyde decided to retire after 26 years with the Corpus Christi, Texas Fire Department, he realized that his pension wouldn’t go too far. With the high cost of U.S. health care and an ex-wife getting a portion of his pension, could we afford to retire on what was left?

We could if we found a place with a lower cost of living and more affordable health care. Panama had all of this and more and even allowed us to retire in our 50s.

My partner-in-adventure and I checked out of the working world when I was just 51 and he was 57. A whole new world was waiting to be explored if we only had the courage to take the plunge. Some of our friends and family back in the States thought we were crazy. Others were jealous that we found a way to stop working and enjoy life now.

One of the major reasons that anyone retires to Panama is the Pensionado Program. Panama offers foreign retirees the same benefits that it offers to its own retirees. Discounts on everything from hotels, plane tickets, restaurant meals, utilities, medical costs and more are offered as incentive. When we travel within the country during the week we save 50% on the price of a hotel room. Every time we eat out we save 25% on our already inexpensive meals. We save 25% on airline tickets purchased here to visit the States. Pensionados pay no property taxes for 20 years on new home construction and are allowed to import up to $10,000 worth of household goods tax-free.

Here we take advantage of English-speaking doctors and dentists and pay only a fraction of the cost we paid in the U.S. Imagine seeing a doctor and paying only $6 for the office visit? I had a mammogram performed for only $25 on the same exact machine used in the States, but there it cost over $200. Here an MRI costs only $300 compared to thousands in the U.S. Our dentist speaks fluent English and went to school for six years just like dentists in the States. He performs cleanings himself at a cost of only $22.

Panama City has some of the finest hospitals and doctors in the world. The newest hospital, Punta Pacifica, is an affiliate of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland. My husband Clyde had two cornea transplants in Houston, Texas and needed a doctor to follow up with here. He found a cornea specialist at Punta Pacifica who does the same type of surgery and charged only $50 for the office visit.

The climate in Panama is the same year-round and stays between 75 and 85 degrees. In the mountains temperatures are cooler but near the beaches it’s always hot and humid. The tropical breezes keep us cool enough for comfort and we rarely turn on the air conditioner. Our electric bill averages $30 a month since we use little electricity. We have a hot water heater, stove, and clothes dryer that all run on propane, at a cost of less than $5 a bottle.

Moving to another country is not for everyone, and does come with its challenges. But for those willing to take the plunge and embrace the newness of it all, it can be quite the adventure. Here we have expat friends from all over the world and Panamanian friends too. The locals are warm and gracious and welcome us into their country. All they ask is that we make an attempt to learn their language—and they are more than willing to help us along the way. 


Are you happy? The results of new Gallup Survey names Panamanians as the happiest people of the planet! Gallup Survey ranks Panama #1 happiest, Canada # 11, United Kingdom #25, United States # 33 & Sinapore ranked dead last in happy people.


Coronado Panama proclaimed #1 – THE Very Best – on Live and Invest OverSeas 2013 Report about The Best, The Most Comfortable, The Most Convenient and Most Rewarding locations and/or countries worlwide.



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Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.