Slowdown Hits Northern Panama Real Estate Development


Valle-Escondido-Panama.jpg

Valle Escondido, Panama

Of the 34 projects approved in the last two years in Boquete, the expat-friendly enclave in the hills of northern Panama, only 11 are moving forward, according to a regional official.

Revenues from building permits are down 60 percent, the municipal engineer told La Prensa.

"As usual there appears to be some exaggerations along with the facts," replies Boquete developer Sam Taliaferro in his blog. While acknowledging the slow sales, he says the data inaccurately reflects the number of foreign buyers in the area, a touchy subject with the locals.

Of the 23,000 people in the area, 6,000 are foreigners the paper reported.

"There is no way that 3,000 homes have been built over the last five years to house that number of people," Taliaferro writes. "I am the largest builder in the area and have only built about 100 homes in the last five years."

The article also states there are 37 hotels and five restaurants in Boquete, which is still fairly remote.

"They must be counting every place that advertises a spare room and every kiosk selling cokes and chips to get 52 restaurants," Taliaferro writes.

In Valle Escondido, Taliaferro's development, there have been 12 sales in the last 90 days and the first condo hotel building recently sold out, he reports. He expects to start pre-sales soon on the next building, where three-bedroom, 147-square-meter units will start at $185,000.



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