Punta Pacifica Realty (PPR) is growing its property management operation, as rental activity continues to surge in Panama City’s top buildings.
In addition to expanding services, PPR is opening a new office in the lobby of The Ocean Club. The new space will make it easier for tenants and landlords to meet with PPR representatives and access resources, PPR Director of Property Management Eddie Montes.
PPR is also hiring new staff as it prepares to service a new wave of clients and properties.
“We’re hiring new people based on the growth we have seen in recent months and the number of new properties in the pipeline,” Montes says.
The pipeline includes the upcoming delivery of several of Panama City’s most anticipated developments, including Beach Club Residences on Ocean Reef islands. The new developments will bring a new generation of quality apartments into the rental market. Many new owners who bought their homes with PPR will now use PPR as property managers.
As Panama continues its orderly re-opening, the rental market has definitely shifted in recent months, Montes says. Inventories of available units are decreasing, leading to more competition for top units and higher rental rates. Occupancy rates have jumped from 80 percent a year ago to 93 to 95 percent in many buildings, Montes says.
A one-bedroom apartment in The Ocean Club or similar top building that was renting for $1,400 to $1,500 a year ago is now closer to $1,700 or $1,800 a month.
“The bump in prices is a good sign for owners as we come out of the pandemic,” Montes says. “On the other hand, if you’re thinking of renting, you’d better move quickly, because prices are going up.”
The market has returned to pre-pandemic levels, in part due to the consistent stream of multinational executives coming into the market in recent years. The number of multinational placements is expected to steadily increase over the next few months as companies return to full staffing levels.
But there have been some shifts. Smaller units are more in demand these days, as foreign executives working in Panama are often waiting to move their families. Apartments in buildings with resort-style amenities are also popular.
“In many ways, we’re returning to a normal market,” Montes says. “The bottom basement prices of the pandemic are gone and renters are going to have to move if they expect to get a nice apartment in a top building.”
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