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Friday, April 18 2014 @ 09:49 PM EDT

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Proposal To Sell Colon Free Trade Zone Lands Will Be "Consulted"

Real EstatePanama's Minister of Trade and Industry Ricardo Quijano said today the draft law through which the land of the Colon Free Trade Zone will be sold, will be consulted. According to Quijano the enlargement of the consultations will be done because there is no need to do anything in a hurry. However, while speaking on the channel 2 TVN News, Quijano said the draft law has some advantages, such as the leasing of the Free Zone, which are cheap, plus it will give greater security to the users who will be able to own the land. He also stressed that purchasing the land will not be compulsory. The Minister of Commerce said the Government has invested more than $400 million dollars in projects such as highways, and housing. However, that amount can not be invested every year. In that regard, he added there are provinces with primary resources, such as the Colon Free Zone. Moreover, Quijano disapproved that the Council of Colon met yesterday, in the street at the entrance of the Free Zone as a protest measure to show their opposition to the land sales. (Estrella)

Ricardo Quijano - Panama's Minister of Trade and Industry

Editor's Comment: There has been a lot of chatter in the past couple of days over this proposal to all the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone to be sold to the businesses who are using it. Right now I understand they are all in there on leases, and by selling the land then they will have a more firm footing. And of course all of this would generate more money for the central government of Panama. Ricardo Quijano's name is one that comes up frequently as a possible presidential candidate for the Cambio Democratico political party in 2014.

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Panama Real Estate Report for March 2012 - Rounding out a steady first Quarter

Real EstateFor the first three months of 2012, our agency Panama Equity Real Estate has seen strong demand for rental units in the city and an uptick in demand for the beach areas of Coronado and Gorgona. Absorption on the rental side has been the strongest along Balboa Avenue in buildings such as Bayfront, Grandbay and H20 on fully furnished one- and two-bedroom apartment rentals. Apartments for rent in the Trump Ocean Club have also been moving well for us and a small handful of other agencies that promote them.

Overall, selling/listing prices have remained flat with little movement over the last three months in the neighborhoods we continue to track, including Balboa Avenue and Punta Pacifica. Hotel occupancy has been hovering in the 60-70% range which is good, due in part to the Ironman event (which marked the return of Lance Armstrong to the racing circuit) and the Herbalife convention: both of which took place in the last two months.

The Panamanian “high season” for tourists generally extends through April (synonymous with dry season) meaning occupancy typically drops off in the next few months and then picks up again in December. Hopefully continued coverage from newspaper press in North America press will keep tourists coming in steady supply this year. We're already seeing tangible effects from the New York Times, who ranked Panama the #1 Place To Visit in 2012! Hotel owners are looking to capitalize on a handful of large events including the Macrofest, Expocomer and the IFF Panama which are all coming up in the next few months.

Published developer price lists are showing decent inventory absorption, specifically in the projects we are tracking: Allure, Rivage Panama, Panama Pacifico, Andromeda and Bern’s Playa Bonita project. The amount of time spent on the market for our well-priced in-house listings is generally coming in at around 45-60-day period and competitively priced rental units are being absorbed much faster, with an average of around 15 days or less on the market. A select few developers have started to discount list prices by as much as 25% in certain projects, and we believe this trend will continue until the end of the year.

Looking to sell your Panama real estate? Have a look at our marketing plan or our testimonials section to see how we are different.

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ANATI Will Issue 350,000 Land Titles in Panama

Real EstateStarting in the month of June 2012, the National Authority of Land Management (Anati) will initiate a massive effort to issue titles for 350,000 properties, said the general manager of the authority, Franklin Oduber. The process will begin this Monday, 12 March 2012, with a meeting for interested service providers at the headquarters of the ANATI, said Oduber on TVN News, after saying that the effort to issue titles will be "titanic." After the announcement he confirmed that the controversial parcel of land in Paitilla has already been transferred in the Public Registry, and after the scandal that arose around this parcel of land, it is now wholly owned by the Panamanian Government. "I understand the president wants to build a park," he said. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: Hmmm. Interesting. All of the past governments have said they were going to be doing "massive" efforts to issue land titles, and none of them have really come through. In this case, however, it seems like the national government is going to hire, through the ANATI, an outside contractor or service provider to handle the paperwork and to do most of the work. Excellent. In Panama many people live on land that they "own" as "Rights of Possession" property, and in that condition they do not hold a title on their land. As soon as a parcel of land is titled, then the value goes up substantially, mostly because there is some greater degree of protection and less of a chance that someone else will come along and claim ownership. Nothing is guaranteed, however. Remember that there have been many cases of fraudulent land titles issued using forged documents. Crooks come along and create false or forged documents and "steal" the land from the rightful owner. The property is then quickly re-sold or "flipped" several times, in order to put more distance between the original crook and the new victim. Then finally at the fourth or fifth sale, the crook sells the stolen land to a new, unsuspecting victim. There is a whole lot of this sort of stuff going on, and your land can be stolen and gone, right out from under your ass, before you even know it. If you own titled property you damn well better know how to check the public registry online to make sure there's no funny business going on. Normally, if you catch this crap happening early, you can put a stop to it before it's too late. Sleep, and you're screwed.

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The Dump On The Road To Playa Blanca Has Been Closed!

Real EstateBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Well, what to do know about that? I received the following this afternoon via email: "Hi Don, here are a few shots of the closing of the dump. It finally came true. Even the fine combing of the area along the road was accomplished after carnival. Looking forward to meet you again at El Paraiso next week, KB."

Editor's Comment: Last year the dump located on the road to the Playa Blanca resort was on fire. The smoke was terrible, and the residents bitched and complained and held demonstrations and raised a ruckus. Then in February 2011 the Director of Tourism Solomon Shamah visited Playa Blanca and promised residents the dump would be closed and history no later than 15 March 2011. Well, in reality it took more than a year, but apparently it got done. Here are the photos KB sent - you can see that the roadside has been cleaned up, and there's heavy equipment cleaning up and/or burying the piles of trash;







Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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"How Can I 'Force' A Landlord To Uphold His End Of A Rental Agreement (Contract)?"

Real EstateBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received today via email: "Hey Don, Im a huge fan of panama-guide.com and read the news daily. I have a question that I thought you might know something about. I rented an apartment on November 1st, 2011 and I am still waiting on some of the items promised in the lease agreement. Namely the installation of the water heater and the curtains. Are there any legal channels in Panama that I could go through to 'force' the landlord to fulfill their end of the contract? I tried withholding payment but they sought to evict me right away and short of moving I was forced to pay and keep accepting this. Is there a ministry I can go to? Like the ministerio de vivienda or would I just be spinning my wheels? Thanks, JD."

Editor's Comment: Yeah, that's sort of a tough one. You could go to the Ministry of Housing and bitch about the apartment owner not holding up his end of the bargain when it comes to things like the installation of the hot water heater and curtains. However they tend to look at it like the apartment itself is 97% of the value of the contract and the rent. If you don't pay the rent then the owner can and will evict you. I don't know if I have ever heard of someone who has been able to successfully "force" a landlord to comply with this kind of an element in the rental contract. I bet some of the real estate brokers out there who deal with the rental market have probably run into this kind of stuff, and maybe someone could offer some more valuable advice in the comments section. If it were me, I would install my own hot water heater, use it while I lived there, and take it with me when I left. Same for the curtains.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Panama Equity Real Estate's 2012 Report

Real EstateThe real estate boom will continue in Panama in 2012 and for savvy buyers looking for below-market deals, this could be the year that things in Panama get really interesting. As has become apparant over the years, the key to making the right investment in Panama is finding a well-researched, well-connected real estate agency.

In an industry where good information is hard to find, Panama Equity Real Estate’s insightful 16 page report is a must read for anyone invested or thinking about investing in Panama’s dynamic real estate market. Founder and sales director Kent Davis has built a reputation in Panama as one of the hardest working professionals in the country. Over a period of 5 years of real estate mayhem, Kent has undoubtedly emerged as an industry leader.

Highlights of Kent's newest uncensored report include:

  • Construction statistics
  • Pricing trends and analysis
  • Areas poised for appreciation
  • Buying and Selling strategies
  • Click here to see the full 2012 Panama Real Estate Report
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    First Apartments Delivered In Curundu Project

    Real EstateIn a ceremony involving the President Ricardo Martinelli, the government delivered the keys to the first 240 apartments of the first 15 apartment towers built as part of the project to rebuild Curundú. The event was attended by the Minister of Housing and Land Management José Domingo Arias, the Minister of Social Development Guillermo Ferrufino, the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ricardo Quijano, and the Director of the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Giselle Burillo. Martinelli didn't make any statements to the press upon his arrival to attend the ceremony. The Curundú project includes the construction of 1,000 apartments in four story buildings. Each apartment has a cost of $50,000 dollars, and of that total $35,000 will be subsidized by the government. The project includes the canalization of the Curundú river to mitigate floods, improvement of basic water services, and the construction of 6 synthetic soccer fields, 6 tennis courts, and 6 multi-use playgrounds. (TVN)

    Editor's Comment: You can't deny it - the administration of Ricardo Martinelli has gotten more done in the first two and a half years than all other presidents have done in their entire five year terms. This is one more example. When fully delivered he will have completely changed the face of Curundu forever. More than 1,000 families with affordable housing solutions ($15,000 cost to the family) located right in the middle of the city. Who do you think those guys are going to vote for? Balbina didn't do squat for them while she was the Housing Minister, for example, except tour the smoking remains of the burned out wooden shacks when they caught fire...

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    Inside Trump Ocean Club 2012

    Real EstateOver the last six weeks, owners of Trump Ocean Club residential and condo hotel units have been relatively in the dark as to periodic updates and status reports. After a recent visit to the promoter’s office within the project, Panama Equity can share the following exclusive information:

    -Fees have been reduced across the board and we expect further reductions on the hotel management charges. Common area maintenance (CAM) charges in the residential units have been reduced from $4.05 per meter to $2.84. This means that owners of a typical two bedroom measuring went from $620.00/month to $434/month. CAM charges in the Trump Ocean Club project include cable, internet, and phone service.

    -Condo Hotel fees and the overall economics of the owner’s investment are still an issue of contention. Two weeks ago, Hotel management (Trump Hotel Collection) enacted an across-the-board reduction of hotel fees, including a 17% reduction in the CAM charges and 40% per-use fee reduction. We are expecting condo hotel demand to pick up again as investors return due to the fee reduction and increased returns.

    -Closings have started again and are up to the 53rd floor, with the Developer’s commitment to close out remaining sales by the end of the second quarter.

    -Rumors about Trump International pulling out of the project appear to be unfounded, as Eric Trump in a December interview in Capital Finaciero remarked “we as the hotel administrators are incredibly happy about the last six months. Our occupancy and success rate was 160% higher than what we had projected and (Trump) is without a doubt the most luxurious hotel in Panama and Central America.

    -Although Newland Development missed a November bond payment, the bondholders are still willing to work with Newland on a successful completion of the project. In short, things are looking better than an ever for the Trump project in Panama.

    -Sales in the project in the fourth quarter of 2011 topped over 10 million dollars. The majority of these sales were resales and default reassignment, meaning new inventory absorption has been stagnant in the project. The majority of resales in the residential side were coming in on average of $3,000 per square meter.

    Panama Equity: Panama Equity has been working with past investors and inside sources at Trump to connect buyers for the last four years in the Trump Ocean Club. We are expecting to see strong sales in Trump over the next four months, which is Panama's high season for tourism. The best deals rarely get published, and because of our relationship with investors and contacts within the Trump organization, we are the go-to source for defaults and contract reassignments in the Trump Ocean Club.

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    Panama Casa - Premier Vacation and Corporate Property Rentals

    Real Estate Panama Casa, founded nine years ago, has grown over the years and is now recognized as one of Panama’s leading real estate enterprise. The company has an extensive listing of properties available for rental both long-term and short-term; it also provides a wide range of related services, including property sales, commercial real estate management, asset management, airport pickup, tours and more. With 20 years of experience in the real estate industry in the US, Jeff Duda founded Panama Casa Services, which has become the premier property management company in Panama and is now expanding internationally. Under the name Janelbi based on the same principles of providing consistent top quality service in the corporate housing and vacation rental industries. (more)
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    Global Finance & Investments, S.A. - Office Space in Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower

    Real Estate Global Finance & Investments, S.A. is the first to announce available, ready to occupy office space for rent in the brand new and luxurious Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower in Panama City. Located in the Punta Pacifica district on the ocean front, Trump Ocean Club boasts some of the most desirable attractions for any size company seeking office space in a high end and multi function building. Aside from the standard-setting name of Trump itself, the Tower offers a five star hotel, several delicious and well staffed restaurants, a 24 hour gym, infinity pools overlooking the ocean, office space, and soon to be casino as well as a spa. Whether you are a one to three person operation that can take advantage of our business center floors, an international business with a large employee base that requires a large and private space, or simply seeking a virtual office from outside of Panama, we have a very diverse and ample inventory with unmatched flexibility ready to meet your needs.

    GFISA has many flexible options that you are able to consider when looking for office space at Trump Ocean Club. We offer spaces ranging from 100mt2 to 700mt2 (size of a complete floor) that can be built to your specific needs and wants; we can assist in this process as we have nearly a decade in construction experience in Panama alone. We also offer fully furnished office space in our all-inclusive Business Center configuration which is always the most popular. Another service we offer is the “Virtual Office”, ideal for a company that requires the services of a business center, but simply does not require a physical office every day of the month.



    (more)

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