In the News from Panama

Trump Ocean Club Sellout Marks Start of New Era

The last of the developer-controlled apartments in the Trump Ocean Club sold on Dec. 9th, 2016 marking the end of a long and tumultuous chapter in the history of the iconic Panama City tower.

More than 55 units were sold in the Trump in 2016, the fastest pace of sales since the pre-sale days. Most of the sales were to North American investors, according to data tracked by Punta Pacifica Realty, which was responsible for the final sales.

Demand spiked in the weeks following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, with buyers betting that the Trump brand will surge in value.

Investors have also taken note of the strong rental revenues generated by the Trump Ocean Club, with Panama’s economy growing at 6 percent a year. In 2016, 20 multinationals opened new headquarters in Panama City, according to the Headquarters of Multinational Operations (SEM), providing a steady stream of new tenants.

With the developer’s supply sold out, now a new era begins, as investors turn their attention to resales, which should see a spike in values. The developer was looking to sell a large number of apartments, which kept prices artificially low.

Now existing apartments are the only available supply, and the inventory is low, especially the one- and two-bedroom apartments popular with investors. Many of our clients at Punta Pacifica Realty who were looking at developer units have already asked about availability of currently-owned units, especially the one- and two-bedrooms, which are particularly popular with investors.

Sales and prices have picked up in Punta Pacifica over the last years, with values increasing 6 to 8 percent, according to PPR research. Most the condos in the Trump sold for between $300,000 and $700,000 with the last penthouse selling closer to $2 million.

The last developer apartment available, a three-bedroom with direct ocean views, had several investors bidding on it.  Eventually it was sold to a Canadian investor, who plans to make it available for rent.

DSC_0983-300x192Jeff Barton is managing director of Punta Pacifica Realty, the leading sales, rental and property management agency in Punta Pacifica, the exclusive Panama City neighborhood of 18 towers perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.