An Insider’s Perspective on the Amador Real Estate Market
PPR’s expert on the fast-growing Amador Causeway is Brian Kelly, who has made the beautiful stretch of islands his focus for the past two years. Brian is project manager for Naos Harbour Island Residences and Marina, one of the premier residential developments on Amador, which is attracting investor interest from around the globe.
Brian’s connection to Amador goes beyond business. He recently moved his family to the Causeway to take advantage of the unique lifestyle, which allows island living only a few minutes from the heart of Panama City.
In a recent interview, Brian discusses the real estate market on Amador, the recent infrastructure improvements and that special Amador lifestyle.
So how did the latest round of improvements affect life on Amador?
It’s really been like night and day here. I mean, Amador is still very much a weekend place for everyone so it’s full of life on the weekends and the road expansion is a tremendous help with that. The families are out here all day and night enjoying everything that was built. But I think the biggest thing for Amador is that the “feel” of the place is completely different now. There’s a buzz now about it as people are seeing the changes and the growth and all the amenities.
Why is the cruise ship terminal important to Amador?
This will be huge. I lived in a cruise ship-driven island in the Caribbean for 10 years prior to coming to Panama. When a ship docks here, that means 3,000-4,000 guests–not including the crew–visiting Panama. And those people are shopping and enjoying the city. The entire city will feel that. What’s especially amazing is that this will be a “home port,” which means the ships will dock here and people will fly in from around the world, usually staying for at least a day or two. They hang around to see the city and then get on their ship for the trip. Depending on scheduling, the guests usually end up staying another day or two on the backside. This is huge for the economy out here in Amador. I expect to see all the of shops, restaurants and stores starting to upgrade very quickly, as the port comes to life. For investors and owners in Naos, this means thousands of potential short term renters looking for an apartment to stay in for those extra nights around the ship.
How are buyers on Amador different than the buyers in Panama City?
Buyers in Amador are looking either for a different kind of lifestyle or they are purchasing because they are smart investors looking to the future. For that “different kind of lifestyle”–they want the Caribbean feel and a more relaxed sensation. Less hustle and bustle. But they know that if they want that city experience, it’s just 10 minutes away. For the financial perspective, Amador is really the only place within the city that has tremendous potential for serious increases in value. With all the money the government is investing into the area, property prices have no place to go but up. Smart investors know that and see the writing on the wall. It’s why I’ve invested here as well.
How is the investment proposition on Amador different than Panama City?
Investing in Amador is similar to the city, but structurally its set up a bit differently. We proudly sell titled properties at Naos. This something very new for the development and Amador as a whole. That’s because, Naos, the island itself [not the development], is part of the reverted land that was given back to Panama from the U.S. in 1989.
What’s the latest news on Naos Harbour Island Residences?
Naos continues to move forward. Something new for development is that I have decided to move with my family to the property. We have been so busy with sales and the rental program we manage for our owners and investors that my presence on the property is needed full time at this point. Also, I will be transitioning into working with the administration office to help organize and create a better system of living on the property for all involved. My family is very excited about the move, I mean no place else in the world offers a lifestyle and views of the Canal like this. With all the things to do, we are looking forward to spending our time on the Causeway and living an even healthier lifestyle then we do already in the city.
Who is buying in Naos?
The buyers in Naos are from all walks of life. These days, it’s predominantly foreigners who are coming to Naos in search of a home to live in, or they are looking for a second home for vacations that can make some money with short term rentals. We are also seeing buyers looking strictly for an investment. With the issuance of the FINCAS we have had a resurgence of Panamanian buyers as well recently.
They come because the property is beautiful and extremely unique. Given its location on the Canal, the fact that nothing will ever be built to block their views–many are starting to see this place as a little slice of heaven tucked away just 10 minutes from the center of the city
What do you find is the biggest selling point for Naos?
The Canal and the views. I mean you have to see the property to appreciate it. It smells of health and fresh air. The views are endless of the Pacific Ocean. Taboga is directly in front of us and all the while you get to watch the biggest ships of the world start or end their transit of one of the wonders of the world… the Panama Canal. Where else on the planet can you get these kind of views in this kind of setting?
What’s your favorite part of Amador?
The lifestyle… the feeling… It’s very special out here. And I love the fact that I can be in Multiplaza shopping mall within 15 minutes. And I can be at my favorite spots in Casco in less than 10. It’s true that it’s taken way too long for government to get into gear and realize the gem they have out here, but everything seems to be in drive-mode now. I believe that within the next three to five years Amador will become some of the most expensive real estate in Panama… and rightfully so.
Brian Kelly is an expat living in Panama and father of one. He is Project Manager of one of the most beautiful projects on Amador, the Naos Harbour Island Residences and Marina. Click for more information: https://www.puntapacificarealty.com/naos-island/