In the News from Panama

Multinationals Boosting Panama City Rental Market

Punta Pacifica Realty’s property management department is reporting near-record rental activity in 2017, due to a surge in rentals to multinational clients.

PPR, Panama City’s largest property management operation, has rented 18 percent more apartments in the first eight months of 2017, compared to the same period a year ago, including three months with more than 20 rentals. PPR’s in-house record is 23 rentals in a month.

The bulk of the new renters are executives and middle managers from the international conglomerates that are establishing or expanding their Panama City operations. Panama’s economy is expected to grow by as much as 6 percent in 2017, fueling the number of international companies establishing their headquarters in Panama, “the Hub of the Americas.”

In recent weeks, PPR has rented apartments to executives from P&G, UBS Bank, Maersk, Samsung, Nestle and Hino Motors (Toyota’s truck division).

“The luxury towers in Punta Pacifica are the perfect destination for these executives and their young families,” says Eddie Montes, director of PPR’s property management division. “They love the community, the waterfront and the easy access to everything in the city.”

The iconic Trump Ocean Club on the Punta Pacifica waterfront remains the most popular building for multinational executives; 90 percent of PPR’s rental portfolio in the Trump is fully occupied. While Punta Pacifica has seen the largest increase in activity, waterfront towers on Avenida Balboa and Costa del Este are also seeing an uptick in activity.

“Rental demand has been very strong, even in what locals are calling an economic downturn,” Montes says.

The most popular apartments are 1- and 2-bedrooms with flexible spaces for large families, with rents ranging from $1,800 to $3,000 a month. New renters usually sign a one or two-year lease, but PPR is already seeing a growth in the number of executives who are renewing their leases, as they settle in to the Panama City lifestyle.

Jeff Barton is managing director of Punta Pacifica Realty, the top sales and property management company in the waterfront skyscraper community of Punta Pacifica.