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Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 11:13 PM UTC

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ACOBIR Files Complaint Against Unlicensed Real Estate Brokers

Real Estate Individuals and companies are taking advantage of the current construction boom to act as real estate agents with being properly trained, registered, bonded, or licensed. The Panamanian Association of Real Estate Agents and Promotors (ACOBIR) presented a list of 75 companies to Capital Financiero that are supposedly selling real estate illegally. The government organization responsible for overseeing the real estate industry in Panama is the Technical Board of Real Estate of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. ACOBIR has already presented the same list to the MICI. When Capital Financiero contacted the MICI to ask them if they had received the list from ACOBIR they responded that they are aware of the case. The MICI presented Capital Financiero a "purified" (or trimmed down) list of companies that are supposedly operating without authorization and that have not registered with the MICI. The MICI employee who gave this document to Capital Financiero, Lisbeth de Horna, also acts as the secretary of the Technical Board. She gave this list to Capital Financiero without any kind of official MICI seal and on plain paper (without the MICI letterhead.) There were 58 companies on the list "purified" by the MICI.
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Bocas del Toro Mayor Complains About Growth

Real Estate The mayor of Bocas del Toro, Eligio Bins, fears that "paradise" will turn into "towns of elite surrounded by misery". His statements are related to with the model of residential tourism that is filling Bocas with "houses and marinas, without a development plan that guarantees a low environmental impact and jobs." "In Panama City they talk about Bocas as if it were some kind of paradise where everyone is happy, but that's not true" said Bins, who says that the archipelago is being sold "to the highest bidder." In interviews Bins has asked Torrijos to impose order to allow for the growth of "real" tourism.
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Proposed Bill Would Streamline Land Title Process

Real Estate The Housing Commission of the National Assembly approved yesterday a bill that declares that a massive program to title lands to be good for the public order and social interest. The bill was presented last week by the Minister of Economy and Finance Carlos Vallarino. "70% of the Panamanian population is in some kind of informal situation with regards to their lands and many others are are in a dispute over their possessions" he said. In agreement with the President of the Commission Pedro Miguel González the proposed bill would look to improve and streamline the process to title land. The proposal was sent out of commitee to the second debate "with urgency."

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Panama courts real estate shoppers with low prices

Real Estate by Doreen Hemlock: Add Panama to the list of nearby nations seeking buyers in South Florida for its real estate. Some half-dozen Panamanian exhibitors attended the recent International Real Estate Congress and Expo in Coral Gables, offering luxury condominiums in high-rise towers and other properties to buyers seeking lower-cost alternatives to South Florida. High on their target list: U.S. retirees and Baby Boomers soon to retire, who might enjoy a home 2 1/2 hours by jet from Miami in a country that uses the U.S. dollar and where English is widely spoken. The pitch comes amid a boom in construction and real estate in Panama, spurred partly by tax incentives the Central American nation now offers to foreign investors. For example, overseas buyers of new properties for $200,000 and up can obtain resident visas and tax exemptions, Panamanian executives said at the expo. Panama City now plans at least nine high-rise towers, each with at least 56 floors. Plus construction is to start soon on a 101-story tower billed as the tallest in Latin America, said Aracelli de Jaen, vice president of sales for Panama's Tribaldos Real Estate Corp.
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Insular Law #2 of 7 January 2006 Implemented

Real Estate Edmundo M. advertised islands for sale in the Las Perlas Archipelago in the classifieds section of the newspaper. A simple call to his cell phone and he offers all of the details immediately. "I'm selling the Isla Lampón and the Isla de Afuera to the north and south of the Isla del Rey. They measure nine hectares each one and cost one million dollars" he says, and adds that each island will be sold with the respective title. One the Internet there thousands of websites offering Panamanian islands for sale. A Google search for "Panama islands for sale" returns 10.7 million results. Islands appear for sale in Boca del Toro, Chiriqui, Veraguas, and Colon. Island Majagual, two hours by boar from Panama City, has 44 hectares and is for sale at $1.2 million dollars. Island Paradita, 56 kilometers to the south of Costa Rica in the Gulf of Chiriquí, has 26 hectares and is available for $3.7 million dollars. Facing a rising tide of speculators in lands sales, the Panamanian government created Law #2 of 7 January 2006, which establishes the concessions for the tourist investment and the distraction of insular territory.
The regulation of the law last Monday still has many people in the dark.
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For Sale - 15.2 Hectares on Clayton (sucka)

Real Estate The National Assembly is going ahead with plans sell a 15.2 hectare lot on Clayton to the horror of environmentalists who say the land is part of the Camino de Cruces National Park and therefore a protected area. The warnings have not fallen in deaf ears. The Assembly have tried to sell the land twice, on the 11th and 31st of May, but both auctions were declared desert because bidders never appeared. But a third attempt could be announced shortly, since, according to the president of the Assembly, Elías Castillo, "right now there is nothing preventing the sale". The National Environmental Authority (ANAM) seems to support him. A report from the Department of Environmental Protection dated 18 April 2006 certifies that the land is "outside the limits of the Camino de Cruces National Park." Castillo does not know what the potential buyers might do with the land but two companies have expressed interest - Castro and Castro and Royal Development.
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Land Values Rocket in Calidonia (Lower Balboa Ave.)

Real Estate The increasing value of prime lots along Balboa Avenue in Panama City have taken investors, promoters and government authorities by surprise. Mega-construction projects in Calidonia have shot-up the value of land. "Nobody expected that foreign investors would pay attention to those lands, which has unleashed a transformation in the sector", said Jose Batiste, Director of Development of the Housing Ministry. The Spanish group Olloqui is building the the Palace of the Bay (Palacio de la Bahia), a 97-story steel-framed building that will cost more than $160 million dollars to build. This and other projects have driven up the value of land in the area which now costs more than $1,000 per square meter, more than 10 times what it was worth a year ago. New construction projects will continue to transform the Panama City skyline, and high-rise towers will replace long-standing Balboa Ave. landmarks such as the Boulevard Balboa, La Cascada, and the post office.
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Housing and Construction Fair at Atlapa This Weekend

Real Estate About 80 apartment buildings and construction projects will be on display this weekend at the Fifth Annual housing fair sponsored by the National Council of Housing Promoters (Convivienda) which will be held this weekend from 2 - 4 May at the Atlapa Convention Center. Convivienda is comprised of 15 construction companies that are building more than half of the current projects in Panama. Last year member companies built 4,781 units which sold for $289 million dollars, which represents an increase of 31% over 2004. In 2006 they expect to deliver 5,600 additional units.
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One Retiree Every Seven Seconds?

Real Estate Baby boomers from the United States are not safe from fraud artists. Many have fallen victim to schemers who offer lands they don't own for sale through the internet, mainly in Bocas del Toro. The situation has the National Council of Private Companies (CONEP) is asking authorities to take action "as soon as possible" due to the fear and distrust these cases could generate among retirees. CONEP President José Javier Rivera said swindlers sell ROP land that has already been sold to several people. Henry Acevedo, the National Director of Domestic Trade of the Ministry of Commerce said that last year the Prosecutor's office in Bocas del Toro handled six cases involving fraudulent land sales to foreigners. Other real estate sources said more cases exist although all of them have not been formally denounced. This is verified by Acevedo who added that they received complaints about people conducting land sales who are not properly accredited real estate agents almost daily. The President of the Technical Board of Real Estate Agents said that those types of complaints have to be handled by the competent authorities because the board can only impose fines on licensed real estate agents.
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Guest Book: A risk-taker with designs on Panama

Real Estate By Nancy Beth Jackson: AZUERO, Panama Gilles Saint-Gilles has designed has designed boutiques for Jean-Louis Scherrer, palaces for Arab princes and apartments for New York socialites, but two years ago he shuttered his studio on Avenue Montaigne in Paris, not to retire but to take a chance. "A little bit of insecurity is very important," he said, reclining in the Japanese teahouse he built on a hilltop here. "If you want to be creative, you have to like a little insecurity. Too well-installed, you lose the power of youth." Now 60, Saint-Gilles vacationed in Panama nine years ago and discovered the Azuero Peninsula, which juts into the Pacific roughly midway between Panama City and the Costa Rican border. Its rolling land, climate and calm reminded him of Tuscany. "It changed my life for me," he said. He saw the landscape as a canvas where he could create a beachfront community of luxurious villas and began buying tracts of land that would total 450 hectares, or 1,100 acres, near the fishing village of Pedasi. Three years later he brought craftsmen from France to train local artisans and began building Azueros.
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