Panama is seen as a country linking North and South America, making up the thin parcel of land between the two continents and providing the famed trade route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
But Panama in the modern world is much more of a link than just trade and physical geography. Since the end of the dictatorial reign of General Manuel Noriega in 1989, Panama has become a shining example of how a country that was previously seen as old-fashioned and closed has developed and opened itself up to the economies and investment of international business and retained its character and traditions.
This development of the country and its potential has led to an influx of overseas property investors seeking to take advantage of the growth of international business and also the tourism opportunities that are available in a country that has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
For UK buyers in Panama, the first forays into the market were ubiquitously in Panama City, where the safest property investments were available and where the market for rentals had the highest potential returns. Since then more resort-based developments have come onto the market, and Panama is now seen as much as a lifestyle destination as an investment one.
That said, Panama City is still a great hub for the overseas property buyer to explore initially, and many expats are choosing to settle there as well. The capital has the business drive that has welcomed large numbers of multinational companies to the city, and with that builders have developed high-end apartment complexes to cater for the workforce. This was the initial investment opportunity spotted by overseas investors.
The development of more tourist resorts in the coastal areas has since spread outwards from Panama City, combining properties on the sandy beaches of both the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Amador, just outside of Panama City on the Pacific side of the country, and the towns of Portobelo and Maria Chiquita on the Caribbean Sea are resorts to watch out for.
With the focus of property in Panama now shifting towards lifestyle alongside the investment angle, there are a number of retirement developments now on the market. Given that the tax breaks for private investors in Panama are valid on any property purchase, the incentives for US and even UK retirees to move to Panama are strong.
There are no restrictions for British nationals buying in Panama, and if buying in the country Brits have the same rights and protections as Panamanian residents. As an offshore haven, it is also possible for purchase property through a company should you wish to set one up.
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