Amid the construction boom a few years ago, one real estate commentator said that perhaps the national bird of Panama, the harpy eagle, should be changed to the crane, which is ever present in the skyline. With current and upcoming construction projects taking the stage, construction in Panama is once again booming.
Residential developments, waterworks, a pier and shopping centers are some of the projects for which environmental impact studies were submitted in Panama in June. A report “Construction Projects in Panama”, prepared by the Business Intelligence unit at CentralAmericaData.COM, contains a detailed list of major construction projects for which environmental impact studies were presented to the National Environmental Authority.
The evolution of the Panamanian economy in recent years has been very dynamic. The GDP rate has reached 10.6%, 10.2% and 8.4% for the number of years 2011 to 2013 respectively, standing out as one of the fastest growing nations in Latin America and worldwide.
The drivers of this dynamic economic growth have been construction, wholesale and retail trade, the Colon Free Trade Zone, restaurants and hotels, transportation (including the Panama Canal, the container transshipment ports, railroads, air transport, domestic passenger and cargo transportation), communications, financial intermediation and real estate activities.
The construction of residential projects grew 48.9% to a value of US$730 million, while non-residential projects rose only 12% but with a value of over US$790 million.
These high growth rates are the result of the unprecedented real estate activities boom in the heart of Panama City (Punta Paitilla, Punta Pacifica, Costa del Este and San Francisco). For the most part, it is a prominent offer of residential condos. These are of primary interest to foreign citizens coming from the United States, Canada and Europe. Currently, there are more than 300 residential condos projects in Panama City. The value which is estimated as more than US$4 billion.
On the other hand the real estate sector also expanded in the commercial and industrial areas, which is associated with increased transportation and logistics for the country. This, together with incentives for international companies to establish their headquarters in Panama, the laws promote the free zone, allows for labor, immigration and increased tax incentives.