Recession Buy #1: Resale In Panama City

Recession Buy #1: Resale In Panama City

April 2, 2009
Panama City, Panama


  • Special Offer At Panama City’s Wyndham Hotel…
  • Bali Is Cheeeeeeeeeeap…Rent For US$5,000 Per Year…


  • Centuries Of History And Oodles Of Charm For A Bargain In The “Other” South Of France…

Dear Overseas Opportunity Letter Reader,

I don’t think my young friend would mind my telling you: He’d like to sell his apartment. The truth is, he’s been wanting to sell it for a few months now.

But Panama City’s real estate market has slooowwwwed down. This is a good thing and necessary. The property market in this town was over-heating.

Now, during this cool down phase, sales are slow, and prices are falling.

This is just what we’ve been telling you to wait for, dear reader. This is the time to buy.

If you’ve been taking our advice and waiting on the sidelines for the deals to present themselves, here’s one you should consider seriously. As my young friend explains:

“My condo is in Panama’s San Francisco neighborhood. This is one of the best locations in the city.

“Furthermore, I’m offering it at a rock-bottom price, because I’m serious. I want to find a buyer.

“In fact, this may be the lowest comparably priced property on the market right now.

“It’s a two-bedroom, 2 ½-bath unit of 102 square meters (1,097 square feet) on the 17th floor of a 21-floor building.

“From the terrace, you have both city and ocean skyline views (the view at night is the best).

“The kitchen is open, which is nice for entertaining and a rarity in Panama. There’s an in-unit laundry area.

“I’m selling completely furnished, including all appliances (stackable washer/dryer, split-system air conditioning units, etc.). The place is ready to move into or to rent out immediately.

“The apartment is just 2 years old, which means you’ve got 18 years remaining on the property tax exemption.

“Here’s the best part: I’m reducing the price this week to US$155,000.

“That’s US$1,519 per meter, not accounting for the US$10,000 in furnishings, appliances, lighting fixtures, and air-conditioning units.

“Let me put this into context. Unrealistic sellers right now are asking US$1,750 to US$1,800 per square meter.

“Not-really-motivated sellers are asking US$1,650 +/- per square meter.

“Motivated sellers are asking US$1,550 per square meter.

“When you account for the furnishings and the appliances, my price per square meter is US$1,421.

“The place could be rented either short- or long-term. I spoke with a local rental management group. They suggested I might get US$1,000 per week, US$2,500 per month, short-term. Long-term, you’d be looking at rental income of about US$1,500 a month.

“Each option has its advantages. Short-term allows you use of the place yourself in between renters. Long-term means you don’t have the management hassles of short-term, and it typically means less wear and tear on the property.”

This is an unbeatable price for a very rentable and fully turn-key apartment in one of downtown Panama City’s best locations. More information here:

Kathleen Peddicord

P.S. These kinds of “Recession Buys,” as I think of them, are popping up all over the world right now. Some are one-offs, like this resale Panama City apartment. Others are whole developments where prices have been slashed or special terms, including no-money-down, are being extended. I’m picking and choosing the best of the dozens of these recession sale offers crossing my desk. I’ll detail them for you, one by one, in this special Recession Buys series. The interesting opportunities right now are many and diverse. Stay tuned.


We met yesterday for lunch with the management of the Veneto Hotel, where we’ll be holding our two May conferences–How To Retire Overseas, May 12-13, and Live & Invest in Panama, May 14-16–to confirm details of the events, as well as the specially discounted room rate we’ve negotiated for conference attendees.

I’m delighted to report that the lunch buffet was great, the guest rooms comfortable, and the meeting space ideal. Plus, our special discount rate of US$140 a night includes both breakfast and wireless Internet. Our Conference Director Stephanie Valencia can tell you more when you get in touch to reserve your place at either conference. Reach her here:


“Kathleen, wonderful newsletter, full (very full) of information.

“Having been reading only for the last few months, I am not sure if you have covered Indonesia previously.

“However, after living early retirement in Bali for two years, I am surprised if it has not been featured among your cheapest places to live. Believe me, it is cheeeeeeeeeeap. A reasonable unfurnished villa rents for US$5,000 per annum. Eating out is very inexpensive. Climate is glorious.

“There are various problems with visas and the local population, etc.

“We are now back in the UK but will probably return sometime later this year.”

— Graham S., United Kingdom


“What are the prices for property in the Languedoc region of France you wrote about recently?”

— Peter L., Ireland

France Correspondent Lucy Culpepper, in her report in the March issue of the Overseas Retirement Letter, includes a sampler of properties on the market in Languedoc as of her writing. For example:

  • A small village house of 420 square feet for sale furnished, two bedrooms, asking price US$70,419
  • A753-square-foot village apartment in good condition, two bedrooms, possible rental, asking price US$96,000
  • Typical stone house in the old town on three levels possibly dating back to the 12th century, 1,938 square feet, in need of renovation, asking price US$151,200

More properties, along with Lucy’s complete guide to living and retiring in this “other” South of France, are available this month to Overseas Retirement Letter subscribers. Become one here if you’re not one already.

French Course Online