Bad news for Panama realtors
PANAMA. Panamanian developers and real estate salespeople who have been targeting US retirees and near retirees will have to turn their...
PANAMA. Panamanian developers and real estate salespeople who have been targeting US retirees and near retirees will have to turn their sights elsewhere if they are to unload the over 14,000 vacant, or under construction homes in Panama City.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) representing over 40 million people in the 50 and over age group, has released a report that will not bring joy to those who have been investing in Panamanian real estate in the hope of making a quick buck by flipping apartments.
Reports show that even the much vaunted prestigious Trump development could be facing problems, as investors take a second look at their portfolios while the Panamanian boom shows signs of rapid deceleration.
Across the city unfinished developments are carrying signs offering apartments for rent or sale, a sure sign that the flippers are pulling in their horns or disappearing.
Buildings where owners were handed the keys six months ago sit half empty while owners of multiple units, faced with high maintenance costs are struggling to find renters in an increasingly competitive market.
Other towers reach into the night with not a light showing.
When a similar downturn hit Florida 18 months ago over speculators were walking away from deposits reaching the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
One business commentator wondered how long it would be before the real estate industry in Panama suffers the meltdown that followed the overheated Spanish market, where many real estate companies were forced into bankruptcy, and hundreds closed their doors.
The AARP report says the recession is hitting older Americans hard, forcing many to cut back on contributions to retirement accounts
With that the dreams of a new home in another country quickly evaporate. They are also spending less on entertainment and restaurant meals.
A survey of Americans aged 45 and older conducted for the influential advocacy group found many had suffered savings and investment losses and are having trouble paying for essentials such as food, gas and medicine and are planning to postpone retirement. Hardly a promotional boost for overpriced condominiums in Panama.
The 40-million member group said it is working to ensure the stimulus package being developed by President-elect Barack Obama includes help for the unemployed and aid to cash strapped states for health care.
The group is also seeking help for homeowners facing bankruptcy, money for job training in health care professions, and aid for doctors and hospitals to upgrade health information sharing technology.
The U.S. recession officially began in December 2007.