June 6th, 2011.
From top secret bank contacts to Hard Rock pool parties to New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Madrid and beyond, Panama continues to entertain and improve the lives of its residents and investors. In this month’s newsletter, we offer access to our private network covering individuals in many essential industries. We also take a look at new impressive growth statistics here on the ground. June means rain in Panama, and for us here at Panama Equity, when it rains it pours!
My mastermind group in Panama
What is your greatest strength? A good friend and colleague was kind enough to help me discover mine. In the end, we both decided that one of my best skills was as a CONNECTOR. I’m proud of my network and a solid network definitely comes in handy in a small country like Panama! In fact, I’d go as far as to say networking in Panama is the most essential aspect of running a successful business!
The job of a great real estate agent is, first and foremost, to help. We help sellers promote and ultimately sell their properties and we help buyers find exactly what they are looking for. The added dimension that makes things interesting for us here at Panama Equity is that we are operating in a foreign country, and especially on the buying side, most of our clients really need help not only purchasing property but acclimating to life in a foreign country and making the connections needed to survive here.
I’ve been fortunate in my four plus years in Panama to make some great contacts, but not without some good old fashioned trial and error. I can now say with confidence that I’ve associated myself with some incredibly talented and professional:
Contractors (electrician, plumber, and painter…Still looking for that carpenter and floor guy though)
Need something in Panama? We’re happy to make introductions! Let us help you build your own network!
Yesterday, Panama moved up another notch in the all important bond-ratings world, as Fitch elevated Panama to BBB status. Ratings indicate a relative credit risk and serve as an important metric by which many investors will gauge Panama’s growth. This means that the cost of borrowing goes down for the government. It also means that foreign investors will gain an extra level of confidence putting funds into projects such as power generation projects, telecommunication infrastructure, and hotel developments, among others.
This announcement was on the heels of another major headline reporting Panama’s GDP for 2011 and 2012, now predicted to come in at or above 7%. We’ve seen continued positive economic news out of Panama for the first two quarters and all indications point to consistent continued growth here on the Isthmus.
The month of June marks the “dog days” of our rainy season, and we’ve been seeing rain at least once a day, but so far haven’t seen the torrential downpours we dealt with in December of last year. Hotel occupancies remain high, and all of our properties under management are rented, which is good news for owners! Real estate prices continue a 12+ month trend as prices are relatively flat, with the exception of a few key projects like Trump which are experiencing price corrections as desperate sellers attempt to unload.
Megapolis gets a new spin
Big news this past week that the Megapolis Hotel and Residences is now going to be the Hard Rock Megapolis Hotel, marking the brand’s first step into Latin America. Does anyone else notice a trend here? First Trump, then Wyndam, then the Starwood group jumps in, and now Hard Rock? Just another feather in the hat in what is lining up to be a truly world class hotel offering here in Panama.
The Hard Rock Megapolis Hotel will feature a killer 62nd floor indoor/outdoor club and a fantastic location next to MultiCentro. Views from the property will no doubt be stunning as the building directly faces the Pacific ocean overlooking the bay of Panama and the city skyline. Megapolis should be delivered before the end of this year and just in time for the busy season!
In other hospitality news, new stats were released last week that showed a 9% increase in year on year tourism numbers, and all of this is prior to the full-blown rollout of the ATP’s massive campaign. They are sparing no expense in a full-on push into several major markets including New York, Toronto, Mexico City and Madrid (all of which feature direct flights to Panama). Marketing channels include major networks such as the BBC and Sony channels as well as magazines like Travel & Leisure and National Geographic, among others. There will also be a digital media presence in Orbitz and Travelocity, as well as with the largest and most popular social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I’ve always seen real estate activity directly tied to tourism numbers, so all signs point to more business in 2011 and beyond!