- The Lowdown: What You’ll Get on Balboa Avenue
- Supply and Demand: What’s Moving the Balboa Avenue Market?
- Pricing on Balboa Avenue
- Tips for Buying and Financing Real Estate, Optimizing Your Property Taxes and More
- Why Choose Balboa Avenue?
A short walk from Calle 50 and the Banking District, Balboa Avenue is a place to see and be seen. To read more about the reasons Balboa Ave consistently tops expat lists on where to live in Panama City, scroll down to here.
While technically in the Bella Vista district, the Balboa Avenue neighborhood is considered by many real estate agents as a “stand alone” neighborhood because of the scope of the offerings – both for rent and for sale, and sought after by such a diverse clientele – first-time buyers, those looking for a second home in Panama, investors and more.
The Lowdown: What You’ll Get on Balboa Avenue
Over the last decade or so, Balboa Avenue has been a hub of real estate activity, seeing over 20 new high rise condominiums go up, including the Yoo Tower, Star Bay Hilton Hotel and office complex, as well as the famous Intercontinental Hotel, host to the world’s diplomats when they’re in town.
Balboa Avenue apartments are mostly modern in design, and the buildings almost always feature a host of attractive amenities, such as pools, gyms and a concierge. In some, there are added luxuries, like tennis and squash courts, Turkish baths, saunas, and infinity pools and pool-bars on landscaped outdoor terraces.
Best of all, though, are the views. For the most part, apartments along Balboa Avenue offer direct and unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean, thus commanding a higher price point (and higher rental income for investors) compared to other apartments around the city. Following the completion of the Cinta Costera coastal beltline park and highway system in 2010, the area around Balboa Avenue also got a massive facelift and traffic and noise issues eased, reassuring existing residents that had to deal with it in the past and enticing new ones to move in.
Supply & Demand: What’s Moving the Balboa Avenue Market?
With only a few residential high-rises currently under construction along Balboa Avenue and not many parcels left to develop, you won’t be seeing much by way of brand new condos coming on the market in the coming years. And while prices are still off their 2009 peaks, we believe that strong demand and ebbing supply will continue to keep prices up, as interest is on the rise with buyers from primary markets such as the U.S. and Canada along with growing interest in the luxury market all over the city. In fact, the luxury resale and rental markets have both been on a strong footing generally in the city, which is keeping prices strong.
Current development projects include the new facelift for Urraca Park and the second phase of the construction of Line 2 of the Metro, which will run from Urraca Park to Felipillo. Click here to read more about overall real estate trends to follow in 2017 and, if you’d like to do more research, check out our in-depth report on the dramatic changes underway in the luxury real estate market.
Pricing on Balboa Avenue
Real Estate prices along Balboa Avenue have for the last few years hovered in the range of $1700 – $2800 per square meter, depending on the age of the property, amenities offered, the overall finish quality, and of course views from the individual units.
Newer buildings of interest along Balboa Avenue include The Allure, Sky Tower, Rivage, Bayfront and GrandBay Tower.
Tips for Buying and Financing Panamanian Real Estate
If you can snatch up a pre-construction condo, you may be eligible for developer financing, which is a big time saver and can be prudent in the long run, depending on how much time you plan on spending in Panama. For additional insight on mortgages in Panama, read our mortgages and financing guide for the options available to you on how to qualify for a bank mortgage in Panama and the documentation you’ll need.
If you’re new to buying and investing in Panama, here are some tips on how to optimize your property taxes and the lowdown on getting homeowner’s insurance.
Why Choose Balboa Avenue?
Balboa Avenue is a place of seeming contradictions. It’s a hub for the city’s commerce, home to its new architectural landmarks, a glistening scene of world-class dining and a shopping mecca for fashionistas from Paris to Palm Beach. But it’s also where local fishermen unload their catch at dawn and serve up the freshest ceviches at the Mercado de Mariscos. It’s where locals and tourists alike, every weekend, go to stroll along the Cinta Costera and sample Panama’s street food scene at it’s best.
Its this eclectic energy that keeps Balboa Avenue buzzing! Here are some of the reasons Balboa Avenue consistently tops expats’ lists on where to live in the city:
- Balboa Avenue is a focal point for big-name events. From ballet performances, triathlons and all the parades you can imagine (for Christmas, Carnival, Pride, Disney…) to electronic dance parties, there’s always something happening on Balboa Avenue.
- The Cinta Costera is THE place to get active in the city. Look out at the Pacific as you jog, roller-blade or downward dog – you’ll be doing it on 9km of the widest and nicest paved lanes and newest workout equipment. Nestled amidst the palm trees, you’ll also find a state-of-the-art skate park, brand new kiddie playgrounds, workout stations, and tennis, volleyball and basketball courts. Plus the Cinta Costera is closed to cars altogether on Sundays from 6am to noon.
Balboa Avenue is also home to some of the hippest gyms, yoga, pilates and dance studios, and the whole spectrum of specialty fitness techniques, as well as spas and salons.
- The Best In Shopping: Balboa Avenue is at the heart of Panama’s luxury new retail infrastructure and Soho Mall, Multiplaza Pacific Mall and Multicentro are all a short walk away, featuring designer labels from Paris, Rome and New York, as well as award-winning Panamanian names and high-street labels.
- Wining and Dining: The area around Balboa Avenue is full of excellent restaurant options from vegan and gluten-free to Italian, Brazilian, Mexican, French, Argentine etc, and some spectacular high-end places. If you’re in the mood for a fresh ceviche, octopus or lobster fix, the famous and recently revamped Mercado de Mariscos fish market is an easy stroll down the Cinta. At the high-end, Makoto (sushi), Segundo Muelle (Peruvian) and Cabana (Italian) dazzle diners with cutting-edge cuisine and views of the sun setting over the Pacific.
- Raising Kids On Balboa Avenue: While it might not spring to mind as the ideal place for kids if you’re moving to Panama from the American suburbs or a leafy European neighborhood, it’s actually a surprisingly great choice. There are several excellent daycares and bilingual schools (elementary through high school) in the area and the outdoor options for kids are possibly some of the best in the city. The neighborhood is very walkable (and stroller-, roller-blade- and scooter-friendly), drivers are respectful and police is omnipresent, making it one of the safest parts of the city. If you have school-age kids, read this article on choosing schools in the city.
- Getting Around: from Balboa Avenue you can really get anywhere you’d need to in Panama City within minutes. You’re right at 50th Street and the Banking District and next door to the best malls in town. Walk, ride a bike or rollerblade to run errands and go out at night, or hop in an Uber or the Metrobus or Metro right up the street, which will get you to farther neighborhoods or straight to Tocumen Airport. We have more tips for you on how to get around the city here.
Check out our Guide to Living in Balboa to read more about everything the area has to offer