Real Estate

Trendy Locations in Panama City

Highlights

The real estate boom started around in 2003 and lasted until 2008 in Panama, when the real estate market was composed by buyers mainly from the United States, Canada, Venezuela and Spain. The majority was purchasing apartments under constructions in areas such as Punta Pacifica, Balboa Avenue and Costa del Este in Panama City; beach front properties in Coronado, West Panama, Colon and Bocas del Toro, as well as in the beautiful islands the country possess, mainly promoted by real estate fairs, media campaigns and the internet, accompanied with competitive prices that made Panama attractive for real estate investments. Just in 2013, the construction sector contributed to the Panamanian economy 30.5 percent, which experienced a growth compared to 2012 of 1.2 percent.

Also, in 2013, the real estate, rental, leasing, professional services and business services was of 9.0 percent, generating an income of USD 2,316.1 million.

Several sectors are influencing the real estate boom in Panama, including tourism, the Panama Canal Expansion, and the consecutive economic growth periods since the Canal was handed to the Panamanian administration, the tax incentives for investors, among others.

However there are other factors that are stimulating real estate investment in Panama. During the past several years, Panama has been consistently rated in the top ten for the best retirement locations worldwide by groups like the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). A welcoming climate, controlled crime rates, excellent incentives for retirees, together with the natural beauty and ethnic diversity that is Panama, all appeal to the increasing number of baby boomers from North America and Europe who are looking for a different option for retirement.

The collective dreams of owning a second home, retiring in a foreign land, and making an investment in a tropical haven have lured hundreds to Panama. Whatever the preference Panama has something to offer everyone. Favorable retiree conditions like tax exemption on foreign source income Panama make the option to investment and live and Panama too good a deal to pass up for many.

Investment Incentives

Because more visitors and tourists are arriving in Panama coupled with the fact that more people are making Panama their first choice to live and setup home, this has all led to a shortfall in the housing market. So new accommodation is very sort after and is in high demand. Property is a very good investment here in Panama and around 50 km of Panama City and the Canal. Political Risk Services (PRS) placed Panama in the top three countries of the hemisphere with the best risk-investment qualifications.

Panama City has become a cosmopolitan modern metropolis - there are many rise buildings overlooking the ocean and the Bay of Panama. Exclusive residential areas like Marbella, Paitilla, Coco del Mar, Punta Pacifica and San Francisco offer a good range of apartments and condominiums for sale. Suburban residential areas in the former Canal Zone like Amador Heights, Balboa, Albrook and Clayton offer large and attractive single-family homes and condominiums.

Casco Viejo is the oldest city on the Pacific Coast of the Americas that has become a desirable place for real estate investment, encouraged by the Panamanian government Casco Viejo investment incentives for the restoration of the historic Casco Viejo district.

U.S. style shopping malls featuring entertainment facilities, hotels, convention centers and the newly inaugurated Subway Line. Single family homes and condominiums are also available in attractive suburbs in Altos de Panama, El Dorado and in the Panama Canal Riviera. Other new options being developed in the city are lofts, villas and condo hotels where owners and guests can share the amenities and social areas adding more variety to the already attractive offer for living or investing.

Panama City combines a variety of world-class attractions and activities nearby. For example, its accessible rainforest form any part of the city, its International Banking Center, its cosmopolitan lifestyle, its cultural and historical attractions, the nightlife and its proximity to the best beaches, among others.

Outside Panama City, there are beautiful real estate properties located in popular destinations including, Chiriqui, El Valle, and Altos de Maria. Known mostly for their cooler climates, incredible flora and quiet peaceful atmosphere, real estate in the highlands of Panama are ideal for those interested in retiring abroad.  

Another popular destination for Panama real estate is Bocas del Toro. This well-known touristic destination in Panama is most known for its crystal clear waters, rich Antillean culture, unique over-the-water architecture, laidback tropical atmosphere, among others. In recent times, Bocas del Toro has become a booming center for European and American Expats, as well as an impressive number of tourists.

Real Estate Values in Panama and primarily in these Pacific Coast Beach areas has been appreciating very steadily, and as interest and growth increases so to do the real estate values.

Trendy Locations in Panama City

Panama City has become a cosmopolitan modern metropolis - there are many rise buildings overlooking the ocean and the Bay of Panama. Exclusive residential areas like Marbella, Paitilla, Coco del Mar, Punta Pacifica and San Francisco offer a good range of apartments and condominiums for sale. Suburban residential areas in the former Canal Zone like Amador Heights, Balboa, Albrook and Clayton offer large and attractive single-family homes and condominiums.

There are many residential districts in and around Panama City. Beautiful condos with fantastic ocean views are available in a price range that suits every budget. Many have pools, spas, gyms and children play areas.

You can find amazing bayfront high class condominium buildings in Balboa Avenue, very closer to shopping and boutiques, malls, banks, restaurants, supermarkets, etc…, such as the Yacht Club Tower, Infinity Tower, Costanera, H2O, Allure at the Park, Ibiza Bay View and Sky Tower, just to mention a few, that have available luxurious apartments ready to occupy.  Also, during 2013, new apartment buildings celebrated their grand openings, such as the famous apartment building created by Philippe Starck, Yoo Panama, an iconic 60 story building with loft style apartments and penthouses with amazing bay fronts and city views. There’s also an iconic office building ready for occupation by the name Bicsa Financial center, with a very modern architecture next door to the Hilton Hotel already positioned as one of the most demanding office buildings in this area.

Bordering Marbella is a residential and commercial district called Obarrio with trendy restaurants, clothing shops and high-end boutiques. This is a favored embassy area. You can find available office space for rent and sale, such as in Attrium Tower and Design Center. You can also find luxurious apartments for sale in projects such as Obarrio 53, River Park, El Diplomatico, The Palm, Miyaki and Galeria Uno.

Closer to Marbella is a luxury residential district called Punta Paitilla. This is an extremely dense area of high-rise condos even by NYC or Singapore standards. We can find luxurious projects under construction such as the The Point and Ocean Front Paitilla.

Punta Pacifica, next to Paitilla, is a brand new area where ultra- luxury condominiums are sprouting from the ground with average units in the 1000 to 4000 square foot range. This is where ultra-modern buildings such as the Dupont Towers, Grand Tower, Q Tower, PH Aqualina, Oasis on the Bay, Loft 41 and Ocean Aire. Also, you can find an iconic building with the form of a sailboat, the Trump Ocean Club and Marina. You might be unimpressed by this fact, but remember that the size, quality and conveniences of these properties will often equate to a property worth about 4 to 15 times this amount in the USA. We recommend checking the locations before you buy, as in all big cities some areas have advantages and disadvantages that are not immediately apparent to a newcomer. Check our Panama real estate for current listings or please contact our Panama City office for real estate advice and we will be happy to help you find the right property for your new life.

The district of San Francisco is more "middle-class" and offers excellent housing value. This district is perhaps 2-3 miles from the city center and is considerably quieter. A newer three bedroom condo with say 1500 square feet, with a modest ocean view, could be purchased here in prices ranging between USD 150,000 and USD 250,000 such as The Towers 50, San Francisco Bay 400 and 500, Bella Mar South and Bella Mar North. We can also find very affordable projects under construction, such as P&L Park Loft, South Coast Tower and Firenze Tower. This area has a wonderful walking and jogging park. Also strategically placed is the Smart Business Center in the heart of San Francisco, with office spaces for commerce near numerous existing commercial activities.

Bella Vista is hosting some wonderful projects like 43 Green View which is under construction, The Palace, Belle View Tower, Vista Balboa, Colores de Bella Vista and Allure Business Center.

Another area that it’s becoming trendier due to its fantastic beach-front location is Coco del Mar, which is located closer to the Atlapa Convention Center and the Corredor Sur highway. It’s also minutes away from shopping centers such as Multiplaza and Multicentro, international cuisine restaurants, supermarkets and some of the best schools in Panama City. Here we can find amazing beach-front projects such as Windrose, Panorama, Dal Mare and Ocean Tower.

Closer the shopping and commercial center, El Dorado, we find Plaza Edison, a space up in a hill were we can find beautiful apartments with spectacular views and closer to a plaza were you can find public entity offices. Some of the projects that are built in this area are: Sky Point Towers, El Mare, Pacific Park Towers and PH Oceania.

Panama Pacifico - Just over the Bridge of the Americas, 20 minutes from the City, this major 4,000 acre new development has a variety of uses, including corporate headquarters, residential communities, offices, logistics facilities, a championship golf course, hotels, retail, top schools, health care and other amenities, not to mention many tax incentives for businesses. Check our Panama City real estate listings for an overview of available properties in this area.

Costa del Este - An upscale real estate development in Panama City. One US style residential area called Costa del Este has hundreds of homes and ocean-view condos in prices ranging between USD 300,000 and USD 950,000. It is located just outside the city, en route to the Tocumen International Airport and closer to the highway Corredor Sur. There you can find residential projects under constructions such as Park Lane, Santa Maria, and Brisa Marina. This area also has iconic buildings and skyscrapers such as Lumiere, Mirador, Pearl at the Sea, PH Elevation, Costa del Este Country Club 100 and 200 and Imperial Tower, among others. There are also projects destined for business and office such as Times Square Center.Town Center Office Suites and the new branch of the Punta Pacifica Hospital with doctor’s office for rent or sale in the Doctor Offices HPP development.

Costa del Este is characterized by its luxury and modern buildings, a high end sophisticated community with unique skyscrapers, such as Maui, a new concept in vertical homes, the answer for modern and vibrant lifestyle for Panama. The perfect balance between technology and luxury residential design that creates exceptional environments. Also in Costa del Este we find the new project Matisse, a luxury tower with premium location, near exclusive schools of Panama, supermarkets, and the south corridor. Specially designed for those who enjoy the pleasure of living in front of the ocean.

Santa María Golf Community - A private residential golf community located alongside the prestigious Costa del Este neighborhood of Panama City. The Nicklaus Design course will offer players a premier golf experience. Potential real estate buyers will enjoy an array of resort-style amenities, including a grand country club with its world-class athletic facilities.

Santa Maria is the new high end, upscale community development in Panama, where luxury living meets the green of beautiful golf courses, with lakes and parks surrounding your home, Greenhouse takes you to a new dimension of exclusive luxury lifestyle, these apartments have been created to generate an environment ideal for relaxation and personal growth. Enjoy with style, Albatross luxurious amenities in 40 Floors with 67 Apartments

Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus founder of Nicklaus Design designed the Santa Maria 18 holes golf course, that crosses the residential areas, parks and lakes of the Santa Maria Golf and Country Club.

Clayton - Located northwest of Balboa, Panama, with the Panama Canal located nearby. It used to be a US residential base for high ranking military officers. It is now used for residential housing, schools, and the headquarters of the "Ciudad del Saber" (City of Knowledge).

One of the top gated communities in Clayton is Embassy Club Lifestyle Community - the most comprehensive residential complex in the city of Panama, created for those who love nature. It has a Spanish Colonial style, in which architecture is intertwined with lush green landscape and consists of approximately 35% of plant areas and protected species. Enjoy Embassy Club Lifestyle center, a residential club ever built in our country. When you purchase your residence or apartment you can enjoy amenities such as a Residential Spa & Fitness Center, Cafe, Ballroom, Owner 's lounge, Game Room, Pools, Tennis Courts, Putting Green among others.

Costa Sur - consists of 44 hectares divided into 6 residential gated communities with 2 urban concepts for conservative and modern tastes. It will be home to 705 families, in addition to a shopping center to meet their needs at the end of the master plan. Costa Linda , is located at the exclusive zone of Costa Sur, just minutes away from an ample variety of commercial facilities, such as supermarkets, department stores and shopping malls.

Casco Viejo - The Panamanian government incentives for the restoration of the historic Casco Viejo district encourage investment here. This area reminiscent of New Orleans or SoHo years ago abounds with shells of graceful buildings that are crying out for renovation. Already restaurants, ateliers, and apartments are tucked into the graceful squares between the museums, National Theatre and the Presidential Palace: even the dungeons beside the “French” Plaza house a restaurant and jazz club. An investment here will enable you to live in history and the buildings can only appreciate in the years to come.

Regarding investment in this area, the Office of the Casco Antiguo presents the following dispositions:

Type of buildings to conserve and restore those:

1. Of great value, because they are less than 1850.

2. That has grand expressions of the architecture of the time.

3. That conserves the important architectural elements.

4. That have little architectural value, but that are of great value, because they reflect the characteristics of the site (environment)

5. After 1940, that have little architectural value or of the site and may be rehabilitated and have rights to the tax incentives

Preferential mortgage loans for the restoration, destined to:

A.1 Purchase of a building,

A.2 to the financing of the total or partial rehabilitation/restoration of a building, or

A.3 the construction of a building, on a barren land, and

A.4 the mortgage loans of the current lessees to finance the purchase of the buildings it occupies (article 9).

Titling Panama Rights of Possession Property: The Titling Process is the official administrative procedure to acquire and register ownership Title on a Rights of Possession Property.

Island Properties cannot be titled according to the Constitution of the Republic of Panama (only main land can be titled). If you find Titled Properties on an Island, it is because this is an old Title, which was originally registered before the restriction in the Constitution was approved. On beachfront Properties, a setback of 22 meters is required, due to the high tide.

There are still opportunities to purchase large properties on the former US military bases, set among wide avenues, green lawns and coconut palms; many have been converted in to small hotels, apartments and palatial homes. The locations are a stone’s throw from a rain forest but well-positioned close to the national airport and intercity bus terminal. Check our properties currently available in Panama City or please click here to contact us.

Suburban areas are increasing in popularity in the West Panama Province, particularly due to the new bridge over the Canal, Centennial Bridge (Puente Centenario) that opens up the areas of Arraijan, Chorrera and the shores of Lake Gatun for development.

Outside Panama City, excellent properties are available for developers and individuals. The more remote the location the more reasonable the cost but be aware that you may be far from utilities or roads.

Beaches near Panama City

One hour or so along the InterAmerican Highway, there are Pacific beaches where small beach communities abound; above them higher mountain locations combine cooler temperatures with ocean views. Retreats in mountain sites like El Valle and Altos de Santa Maria are very popular with expatriates while the up-market resorts of Punta Barco, Vistamar, Casamar, Santa Clara, Playa Blanca, Buenaventura and Coronado with its elegant beach properties and golf course appeals both to expatriates and Panama city weekenders. Foreign investors also are buying properties and homes in other beach developments in San Carlos, Corona, Santa Clara and San Jose. Check our properties currently available in the Coronado & the Beaches or please click here to contact us.

Bristol Buenaventura Resort: Just 1.5 hours from Panama City, Buenaventura is Panama's most upscale beach resort community. At the heart of this community is the Bristol Buenaventura hotel, an upscale beach resort with gourmet cuisine, an expansive seaside pool, tropical gardens, spa, and a Jack Nicklaus Champion Golf Course.

Coronado: is a coastal city and resort located about an hour from Panama City. It is a vacation town visited yearly by thousands of national and international tourists. Coronado was Panama's first resort development, and for this reason has several years of advantage over other surrounding beach towns. The town has full scale supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, ranging from low cost fondas and fast-food restaurants to beachside bistros, medical and veterinary clinics, a hospital, gardening centers, hardware stores, banks, apparel shops, outdoor markets, a shopping plaza and a new shopping mall.

Punta Caelo is a luxury gated community in Coronado. The area of the development is 18 hectares. There are a number of options of apartments, townhouses. The project also includes beach club, sports club and wellness center with all possible amenities. Additional plus is that Punta Caelo is located in Coronado, and it has all necessary infrastructure and in the town, so one rarely has to visit Panama City without any specific need.

Gorgona: is 79 km west from Panama City on the Pan American Highway (about one hour drive). It is located between the towns of Chame and Coronado, 5 minute drive from either town. Gorgona is the closest beach to Panama City. Its beaches and proximity to the city have attracted interest from developers. Gorgona has 4.2 km long beach with white / black sand and turquoise waters. Gorgona possesses one of the best surfing beaches (Malibu) in the area, and a fish market. The beach is mostly calm, but can have an undertow in some areas

Royal Palm is a residential project in front of the ocean, with a seductively innovative design, located in Gorgona Beach, just 50 minutes away from Panama City, and a few minutes from Coronado

Royal Palm, inspired by the ocean, designed for living!!

San Carlos is a township and city head of the district of San Carlos in the province of West Panama, Republic of Panama. The town has 3,578 inhabitants (2010). This city is the largest trade and economic movement in the district, standing out as the place where the main public institutions, hospitals and authorities and district judges

Fontanella del Mar in San Carlos: Inspired by new urbanism, Fontanella del Mar is located directly on the Pacific coast beachfront La Ensenada, San Carlos, just 55 minutes from Panama City. Fontanella del Mar is a different project ...finishes first in a relaxing environment, a variety of amenities and a simply spectacular ocean views, also surrounded by green areas and trails. As a whole the project has twenty-five single family residences, nine small buildings and three buildings condo type hotel, the project is a long way in construction and has been partly completed as can be seen on the pictures.

The community will have 4 models of houses to choose from, and each model can be customized to the client's needs, all houses have that beach feel with bright open spaces and ample windows with amazing ocean views.

Green Turtle Cay is one of the very few Resorts in Panama right in front of the beautiful Caribbean ocean, with crystal clear waters, perfect for scuba diving, this project has been carefully designed, to meet the highest expectations and deliver true 5 stars services and amenities to all property owners

Islands

The real estate in Bocas del Toro offers beautiful Caribbean beach property. Here the islands are surrounded by palm-fringed golden sands and turquoise waters where the rain forest meets the ocean. Here families shop by boat, enjoy water sports and the natural beauty of this wonderful location - better yet it is still affordable. Whether you are looking for a small lot or a small hotel we can help you find it. Most buyers are Americans, Canadians and Europeans. Check out our current listings in Bocas real estate here, but keep in mind that we keep many unlisted properties, so it’s always recommended to contact us.

The Pearl Islands, now famous because of the Survivor reality show, the Veraguas Islands including the Coiba paradise, declared National Marine Park, and the Parida Islands, off the Pacific coast of Chiriqui; all offer incredible opportunities for purchasing land to develop hotel & residential resorts, marinas & golf clubs in island dream locations, now available for purchase by foreign investors under the new Law. We repeat that most properties that we have in these areas are unlisted properties, so it’s always recommended to contact us.

Mountains and Highlands

Chiriquí is the furthest most western province of Panama bordering Costa Rica. One feels that magic happens here as rainbows arch over the region. Horses freely roam the fincas or farmlands below the majestic mountains. Sublime landscape surrounds you as you climb higher up to the mountain town of Boquete. Sunlight reflects on the streams, rivers and waterfalls running through the canyons. The highlands are adorned with rainforests, volcanic peaks, coffee plantations, orchid farms and a flower-filled towns which truly seem to be enchanted. Lush green mountainsides flank the vibrant town of Boquete, which is host to the largest expat community in Panama. AARP magazine named Boquete the fourth best place to retire in the world or the number one destination in Latin America. The assessment was based upon their criteria for the cost of living, natural beauty, access to health care, and ideal climate.

In the cool Chiriqui highlands, the jewel in the crown is Boquete, voted one of the top four best retirement destinations in the Western Hemisphere by well-known international magazines. Due partly to its beauty and temperate climate, buying real estate in Boquete is the choice for many foreign retirees and there is a growing community of expatriates. However, at the same time, it remains a special local community of some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. The cost of living is very reasonable here as there is no need for heating or air conditioning and the local vegetables and fruit not only taste great but are incredibly cheap. Your choice can be a lot in a modern development or a more remote finca or coffee farm. Imagine sitting beside a crystal clear stream, enjoying glorious views toward the green hillsides and cloud forests dominated by the extinct volcano, Volcan Baru, and drinking one of the best cups of coffee you have ever tasted. That is the taste of Boquete! An investment here has tangible residual benefits!

Other nearby areas like Volcan, Potrerillos and Caldera are attracting major investor interest. We will be pleased to show you our Volcan, Boquete and Chiriqui real estate properties and others nearby in this beautiful region, including the Chiriqui beaches, but keep in mind that we keep many unlisted properties, so it’s always recommended to contact us.

The Pacific Coast of Chiriqui offers secluded beaches of black or white sand including island property. Developments are beginning at Barqueta, Boca Chica and Puerto Armuelles.

Rincon was conceived and designed to become a “Worlds Destination” for leisure and investment, at the crossroads of North and South America; located one hour south of David, Panama. The 1,000 acre property's center point is a 300 acre gently sloped cove rising from a secluded calm water bay off the Pacific Ocean.   The name "Pearl of the Pacific" was given by the current property owner. The planned marina village will become the center piece of the project including retail, commercial, residential, and hotel developments as well as a world-class marina facility. Additional themed residential based communities will include an equestrian center, golf, beach, and estate home developments.

Rincon is perfectly located for leisure and sporting activities.  There are numerous world class activities within an hour’s drive from our location. From sport fishing at the Hannibal Bank, to touring local rainforests in the Serranía de Tabasará (central mountain range) at 4,000 feet above sea level, there is something for everyone.

During the last 2 years, many 2nd home investors and retirees have purchased in the beautiful beaches of the provinces of Chiriqui, Veraguas and Los Santos. The best known areas are Boca Chica, Lajas and Barqueta in Chiriqui; Torio, Cebaco Island, Bahia Honda and Santa Catalina in Veraguas; and Pedasi and Cambutal in Los Santos. Most properties that we have in these areas are unlisted properties, so it’s always recommended to contact us.

Benefits

Benefits of investing in real estate in Panama include:

  • US dollar-based economy
  • Low inflation and zero foreign exchange risk
  • Equal treatment of foreign and local citizens
  • Property tax exemptions apply to all new construction
  • Fourth time ranked number one for retirement living
  • Panama is safe
  • Panama has the lowest inflation rate and the most stable economy in Latin America
  • Tourist friendly
  • Has a wide selection of beaches and islands
  • Has a first-world infrastructure
  • Has world-class sport fishing, diving and sailing
  • Has no hurricanes or major earthquakes
  • Tourism investments have exemptions from import duties, income, land, real estate construction materials and equipment, taxes etc.

Some of the reasons why Panama City is considered a great area for real estate investments are:

  • It is at the convergence of two continents at the Bridge of the Americas.
  • It has been rated the most "International City" in Latin America.
  • It is poised for tremendous growth in the next decade.
  • It is within an hour of some of the finest fishing and or bird watching in the world.
  • It is at one hour drive from pristine beaches and cool mountains.
  • It is located on the Pacific coast, yet it is only 45 minutes to the Caribbean.
  • It has one of the most increasing numbers of expatriates in Latin America.
  • It is among one of the safest cities in the hemisphere.
  • It has excellent infrastructure (internet, telephone, roads, water, etc)

Tax Incentives

Investors interested in the Casco Viejo restoration project will enjoy the following incentives:

  • Former laws in force in Casco Antiguo are modified in order to extend the protection area, so it could include part of the neighborhood of Santa Ana, Salsipuedes, and part of the Terraplén.
  • The classification of the protected properties is developed in detail, together with the usage and type of restoration that will be permitted to carry out in such properties, depending on their architectural, historical, and environmental characteristics.
  • A system of mortgage loans with preferred interests is established for the restoration of real estate in the area of San Felipe.
  • The property owners in Casco Antiguo will be exempt from paying the Real Estate Tax owed at the moment of the transfer (sale) of the property.
  • The profits derived from the transfer of real estate will be exempt from paying the Income Tax.
  • The land and improvements of restored buildings will be exempt from paying the Real Estate Tax for a period of thirty (30) years counted as from the restoration of the property.
  • The first sale or sales that take place after the completion of the building´s restoration will be exempt from the Real Estate Transfer Tax.
  • The profits generated by commercial, professional or industrial activities which are carried out and have their effects in the Casco Antiguo, are exempt from the Income Tax for ten (10) years counted from the restoration of the occupied property.
  • The equipment and materials used in the construction, restoration, and equipping, will be exempt from the Import Duties.
  • The tenants of the properties in Casco Antiguo can deduct from their Income Tax the rates of rental for a period of five (5) years.
  • Those buildings destined for public parking will be exempt from the Income Tax for a period of ten (10) years.
  • An indemnity payment is established for those tenants of apartments in Casco Antiguo who must vacate the property because of a restoration project. The restoration project developer will receive a transferable fiscal credit with a value equivalent to the payment done.

Property Taxes in Panama

Properties with a registered value of USD 30,000 or lower do not pay property tax. For properties of a higher value, they pay as follows: 1.75% from USD 30,000 to USD 50,000; 1.95% from USD 50,000 to USD 75,000; and 2.1% over any property value above USD 75,000. On houses or apartments where the construction permit is issued after Sept. 1, 2006, the following exemptions will apply:

  • Value up to USD 120,000: 20-year exemption
  • Value from USD 120,000 to USD 300,000: 10-year exemption
  • Value over USD 300,000: 5-year exemption.

The exemption is transferable during the exemption period to any new buyer. The land itself is not exempted, and would continue to incur property tax if its value is above USD 30,000.

Rental Income Taxes in Panama

If you receive rental return on your property, you will be liable for income tax up to a maximum of 25% (on returns greater than USD 250,000). However, if you invest in one of the special “tourism zones,” you may be exempt from income tax for 15 years.

Transfer Tax

Real estate transfer taxes in Panama are paid by the seller, and are 2% of either the updated registered value of the property or the sale price–whichever is higher. The updated value is the registered value, plus 5% per year of ownership. If the property is bought by a corporation, it is customary for the shares of the company to be sold (instead of the property), thus eliminating the need to pay transfer tax.

With all these dreams to turn into reality, we would be remiss if we did not include a few words of caution to help you hold on to your dream. The acquisition of real estate abroad requires careful and professional advice. Panama does not have a multiple listing service for realtors and in many areas unlicensed and unqualified individuals will approach you to sell you property, or they may sell thru the internet. If you use a licensed realtor you have some protection if your purchase is found to be untitled or in contentious ownership, for example some family owned properties cannot be sold unless all parties agree.

A reputable, licensed realtor like BusinessPanama Real Estate researches the property before it is offered for sale. It is always wise to ask to see a copy of the real estate license. The realtor must be able to give you the finca number of the property (every property has one regardless of type or size).

BusinessPanama Lawyers will protect your interests and carry out due diligence on the property and check your contract of purchase. It is important to ensure the property is titled with a registered plan. Your lawyers can confirm that your survey matches the registered boundaries even within a development. When purchasing in a development, you should check that the master plan has been approved and utilities and roads are guaranteed. Be aware that there is land offered for sale in Panama that is held by right of possession only. 

When purchasing an existing building (or having a home built) your lawyer should check that the building permits and occupancy permits have been granted. Without title to your land, plus all permits, and registration of the mejoras (construction) on improved land, you will be unable to obtain approval for the tax exemption on your property.

Title insurance is available in Panama only through a prestigious US company a history of insuring the validity and authenticity of land titles in the United States. We have title insurance experts to help you. For more information about title insurance, please click here to contact us.

In BusinessPanama Real Estate, we have licensed real estate agents, lawyers, insurance specialists, mortgage brokers, investment advisors and other professionals to assist you on all your real estate needs.

We can help you with:

  • Locating properties in Panama City, Beaches, Islands or Mountains
  • Forming a company to own your property 
  • Legal services to purchase the property 
  • Applying for your residence program 
  • Title insurance 
  • Home owners insurance 
  • Bank mortgage financing
  • Others

If you are a developer or promoter, the BusinessPanama team of agents, lawyers, advisors and experts will provide you a variety of services from the pre-purchase of the property to all phases of development including structuring, subdivision, financing, contractual, design, environmental, construction, permitting, pre-sale and sale.

For more information, please click here to contact us.

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