The supply of offices, especially Class A ones, is very competitive in the Panamanian capital, as buildings in this category have great locations, finishes and amenities.
"According to realtors surveyed, most of the offices currently listed by customers are those ranging from 100 to 150 square meters and after that those from 200 square meters and up," reports Capital.com.pa.
Experienced brokers like Osvaldo Marchena, international investment and public relations advisor to the firm Tribaldos Real Estate, Inc., recommends the widespread use of the internet in order to seduce the customer before their trip to the country, meet customer needs and develop contacts.
"We must take into account what the customer wants, making a long term investment as an owner or just renting a place to set up their company, because even though they look similar, as investments they are very different and this must be taken into account when marketing a project," said Marchena.
Another veteran real estate agent, Felix Carles, owner of Bienes Raíces y Seguros Carles, says the key is knowing the customer and "attacking" them before they come to Panama. For this you must go out and sell and market the projects abroad, because 95% of the time when a foreign investor comes into the country, they come with a pre-contract already in their hands and very few come to Panama to see what offers there are.
However, this agent also admitted the disadvantages of widespread use of internet, because nobody takes 100% responsibility for what is offered on the net.
More on this topic
Prices at Panama City's Balboa Avenue have remained stable during 2012, and there are no signs of a real estate bubble.
From a release by PanamaEquity.com:
A further drop in Panama real estate prices along Balboa Avenue has not materialized in 2012 and there are strong indications that a major correction in residential real estate prices in Panama will not arrive anytime soon.
Predictions are that the office vacancy rate in Panama City, currently 33%, could reach 45% in 2016.
Following that under usage prevailing in the office market rental rates have dropped by up to 30%. In the case of hotels, they are also experiencing this phenomenon, the vacancy rate has fallen by 50% and in turn nightly rates have decreased by 28%.
A proposal has been presented to the bondholders to extend the term of the debt.
$220 million in bonds issued in 2007 to build a luxury apartment building called Trump Ocean Club, owned by tycoon Donald Trump, will be restructured before the next payment of debt, which is due on November 15.
The fever for building construction has not affected, for now, rental prices for office properties in Panama City.
Although there is in the country an inventory of office space which is enough for over six years, the construction of large buildings for this type of business has not stopped and both vacancy rates and prices are stable and have not impacted the market, reported Capital.com.pa.