Showing posts with label real estate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label real estate. Show all posts

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Apartment in residential zone of Panama City with easy access

7400 - San Francisco, Panama City - The Location

San Francisco is truly the best area to live in Panama City. It is a peaceful area, surrounded by
beautiful houses of impressive architecture, an inimitable exclusive and residential zone, close to the ocean but in the center of the city, which allows you to enjoy an incredible view of the ocean or of the city. Everything you need you will find close by: restaurants, schools, supermarkets, video rental stores, pharmacies and just a few streets away, one of the biggest shopping malls of Central America boasting stores selling international brands, at terrific prices, movie theaters and more. San Francisco is also one of the most accessible zones of the city, so it will only take a few minutes to arrive at your destination.

Maintenance fee includes: Maintenance of common areas, 24/7 security, broadband internet, gas.

7400 - San Francisco, Panama City - Key Features
  •  Prime Panama City Location
  •  Close to airport, Panama Canal and Bay of Panama (Pacific Ocean) etc.
  •  Family-owned developer with 35 years experience
  •  20 year exoneration from property tax
  •  Prices from just $270,000 based upon current availability
  •  Anticipated rental yield of 7-8%
  •  15% capital gains tax rate
  •  70-80% borrowing available


LA EXPERIENCIA QUE BUSCABAS PARA VIVIR A TU ESTILO! UBICACION: San Francisco es realmente el mejor lugar para vivir en la Ciudad de Panamá un área tranquila rodeada de hermosas residencias con una impresionante arquitectura una zona exclusiva y residencial por excelencia muy cerca del mar pero en el centro de la ciudad lo que le permite disfrutar de una vista increíble al mar o a la ciudad. Con todo lo que usted necesita cerca del área encontrará: restaurantes escuelas supermercados video clubes farmacias y a pocas calles centros comerciales cines y más.

EL PROYECTO: Con un estilo fresco moderno y relajado 7400 San Francisco encuentras las imponentes East Tower y West Tower. Estarás cautivado por su impresionante fachada con un estilo totalmente original ambas con elegantes lobbies entradas individuales desde sus múltiples vías de acceso y un diseño arquitectónico vanguardista que te hará sentir la experiencia 7400 desde el primer instante.

AMENIDADES: 7400 San Francisco te permitirá disfrutar a diario sin que te cueste más y sin salir de tu entorno 2400mts2. de amenidades como media cancha de basketball cancha de raquetball y áreas verdes para practicar deportes al aire libre.para relajarte cada día te espera un delicioso spa con sauna duchas completas y para ejercitarte un moderno gimnasio completamente equipadoun lujo que tienes con solo tomar la decisión inteligente de vivir en 7400 San Francisco. Cada torre cuenta con su propia área de esparcimiento para chicos y grandes con piscina área de juegos para niños terraza techada terraza abierta y una completa área social con salón de fiestas con cocina área para barbacoa terrazas baños y más para que celebres con toda comodidad y sorprendas a tus invitados.

LOS APARTAMENTOS: WEST TOWER con apartamentos de 153m es ideal para tu estilo de vida porque cada elemento en tu apartamento ha sido seleccionado pensando en que sea único e individual para que cada rincón tenga su propia personalidad y a la vez puedas adaptarlo a tu gusto. Acabados modernos y de buen gusto materiales importados de España de excelente calidad y que siguen las últimas tendencias en decoración: una hermosa cocina con sobre de granito y modulares estilo italiano elegantes baños con sobres de mármol modernos y lustrosos pisos de porcelanato de 60cms azulejos importados ventanas de piso a techo detalles que hemos incorporado para tí porque son parte del concepto 7400 San Francisco.

For more information contact by Whatsapp +5076617321

Monday, August 29, 2016

Panama City property auction seeks qualified buyers


The Panama Stock Exchange reported that an auction will be held for the lot of land and improvements for the Hotel Unicorn (Park Inn by Radisson under construction on Finca 1025) in 44 Street and Justo Arosemena Av., in Bella Vista, one of the prime neighborhoods of downtown Panama City.

Corporate bonds were issued of which about $ 2.7 million were placed on the market for the issuer UHR Development (BVP: UHRD).  The property will be auctioned by the bond trustee to interested qualified buyers under the terms and conditions of said issue.

For more information contact lagrealty @ laglex.com

The appraisal of the property is available in:
Panama Stock Exchange website http://www.panabolsa.com/PDFs/Informacion%20Corporativa/UHRD/informe%20inspeccion%20avaluo%20abr2016.pdf
Slideshare copy http://bit.ly/2bOoZmw






Monday, November 10, 2014

Real estate investment opportunity near Panama beaches



A 25,000 sq m (6.18 acres) parcel is available for development as a single project or for sale of or more of 27 individual lots between 640 and 949 sq m (6888 and 10215 sq ft).  This land has free and clear title and is located a few minutes from more expensive properties at the most popular beaches in Western Panama province at :

  • 6 minutes driving distance from the Interamerican Highway,
  • 12 minutes from Costa Blanca at Decameron,
  • 16 minutes from Sheraton Bijao and Wyndham Playa Blanca
  • 20 minutes from JW Marriott Buenaventura
  • 12 minutes from the new Rio Hato international airport
  • Googlemaps approximate view

This is an affordable investment opportunity which price is starting at $19.50 per square meter at the time of posting.   For more info contact
soluciones @ geocities.com  Voice Message / Tel. +507 66388707






Monday, October 14, 2013

4th Real Estate Forum to be held on Panama City Urban Zoning

At least once each year the AMCHAM Panama Real Estate Committee holds its Forum which addresses timely issues within the sector and offers information and solutions to attendees

The Real Estate Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Panama is pleased to announce the Fourth Annual Real Estate Forum to be held on October 16, 2013 from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm at the Miramar Inter-Continental Hotel.  The forum “Urban Zoning:  The Metro and the Streets.  Where do I park?”  will focus on urban planning in Panama City and how the new Metro and road infrastructure projects affect real estate in Panama City.  The speakers include  Henry Kardonski, General Manager , London and Regional Panama; Juan Manuel Vasquez, Director of Municipal Works and Construction , Panama City Mayor's Office ; Roberto Roy, Executive Secretary, Panama Metro Authority; and Jaime Ford, Minister of Public Works of the Republic of Panama.

Pamela Oakes, Chair of the AMCHAM Panama Real Estate Committee and event planner, said “we are very pleased to bring together these speakers whose projects affect our daily lives and will have a profound effect on real estate.  Panama is undertaking  major infrastructure projects such as building the country’s first metro  system and redesigning the city’s  roads and highways.  Proper planning is required to ensure that upon their conclusion the traffic  in Panama City improves and commuters will have better options.”

AMCHAM Panama’s Real Estate Committee has created and adopted an industry Code of Ethics to which all member real estate service providers must adhere in order to be part of an exclusive referral network. The Committee has become a good source of business for real estate service providers who have sworn to abide by AMCHAM’s Real Estate Committee’s Code of Ethics.


One of the Committee’s primary goals is to disseminate accurate information to the public about the Real Estate industry, so that investors may meet the challenges and avoid many of the problems involved in purchasing real estate and relocating to Panama.  At least once each year the Committee holds its Real Estate Forum with the valuable support of corporate sponsors, which addresses timely issues within the sector and offers information and solutions to attendees.


About The American Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Panama (AmCham Panama)

Founded in 1979, AMCHAM Panama http://www.panamcham.com is a non-profit, non-political, independent, voluntary association supported primarily by its members. Much of the organization's work is accomplished through the efforts of volunteer member committees which collaborate to help AMCHAM promote free enterprise in Panama. AmCham Panama has over 450 active members, from small local companies to major multinational companies based in the United States.


For additional information contact Maria Florencia Suarez +507 301-3881, email realestate @panamcham.com or go to http://www.panamcham.com/en/events/view/730

Monday, September 02, 2013

Panama: Real estate on solid foundations

Panama: Real estate on solid foundations
Latin America | 7 Aug 2013

The real estate market in Panama is edging towards maturity, buoyed by the booming economy, a major national spend on infrastructure and ample liquidity in the financial system.

Initial estimates from the national statistics agency (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censo) suggest the sector expanded by 9% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2013, having notched up average growth of 7.8% in 2012 and 9% in 2011.

Panama City, home to nearly a third of the population, has been the centre of real estate activity over the past decade, with high-end residential, retail and commercial development combining to produce strong growth. New shopping malls and residential complexes have reshaped the skyline, alongside several hotels, evidence of the evolving tourism sector.

The city’s market for office space has been supported by strong macroeconomic growth and new business-friendly legislation, including the setting up of an incentive regime for multinational companies using Panama as a base for regional operations.

Vacancy rates for Class A office projects dropped to 7% from 12% in the second half of 2012, with the average monthly lease rate edging up from $23.30 per sq metre to $24.41, according to a study conducted by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). New construction of Class A office space eased to pre-2009 levels in the same period, however, suggesting demand could now be levelling off.

CBRE’s study found Panama City’s residential market to be relatively stable. New unit construction eased, in keeping with a rising 76% absorption rate and falling sale prices for Class A real estate. The gross absorption rate across the wider market stood at 77%, with a total of 3346 units reserved from 4330 under construction.

However, there are signs that the retail market in Panama City could be edging towards occupancy saturation. Monthly lease rates fell from $41.31 per sq metre to $40.16 in the second half of last year, while vacancy levels in shopping centres rose from 6.1% to 9.1%. An additional 97,325 sq metres of new retail space was under construction as of late 2012.

Despite its overall impressive growth levels, Panama’s real estate market faces a number of challenges. The country ranked 75 out of 97 nations in the 2012 Global Real Estate Transparency Rankings, behind Mexico (43), Argentina (58) and Costa Rica (70). Jones Lang LaSalle, which publishes the list, described Panama’s transparency level as “low”, adding that a lack of both sophisticated investment vehicles and general market fundamentals were instrumental in determining the country’s position.

Panama also faces a major national housing shortage. The most recent estimates from the Ministry of Housing (Ministerio de Vivienda y Ordenamiento Territorial, MIV), published in 2010, put the shortfall at 136,665 units, against total national supply of 896,050.

The MIV launched a series of social housing programmes in 2010 as part of a target to reduce the shortfall to 30% and increase supply by 4.6%. Once completed, the five-year programme, backed by a $576m investment package, is expected to have benefitted an estimated 344,000 Panamanians. With $268.8m still to be spent, work is expected to accelerate during the second half of 2013 and through 2014.

The real estate sector is expected to continue maturing, with both the private and public sector helping to drive it forward. The government took a small, but significant step forward in May 2012, when it amended its regulations to create a new tax and financial framework covering the purchase and sale of real estate property. The legal changes paved the way for the introduction of key incentives aimed at supporting the housing market, including more favourable interest rates for first-time buyers and tax exemptions for residential home improvements. Ongoing support from the government, together with sustained growth in the private sector, will set the real estate market on course for further expansion in the medium to long term.

For full text see http://www.oxfordbus inessgroup.com/
More information is available in http://www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com/product/report/report-panama-2013

Monday, April 08, 2013

How legal fees work

What is the "right" amount to charge for a legal assignment?  After all, the client only sees the lawyer making notes and nodding during meeting or reads the lawyer written summaries.  What is not seen are the hours reviewing paperwork, drafting more paperwork, conducting research at government registries or dealing with bureaucrats who want to be elsewhere (until they get fired when a new President comes with his people).  And with Panama real estate, buyers often get into trouble after gladly paying thousands of dollars to real estate agents (yes, their commission is hidden in the jacked up price of that flat or parcel) and "saving" hundreds in having their contract reviewed by a competent bilingual attorney in the country of the property.
A Canadian lawyer and SFU professor explains that in the Great North a lawyer may bill $300 an hour, yet I have found real estate buyers willing to pay a 150% markup on property no Panamanian would buy at that price but balking at the rates in the Panama 2001 Schedule.  Some even expect lawyers to take a loss and not pay if a deal goes South, as if clients were also going to share profits with the lawyer if the deal goes very well.  All this why expecting lawyers to pay for employees, prime office square footage, IT equipment and put them at the service of the client.  Lawyers in large cities have been guilty of overbilling, which combined with lack of transparency creates suspicion from the client.
In the end, lawyers - like doctors, financial advisors, plumbers work in a market and no client is forced to use a specific lawyer.  Caveat (that Latin thing): DIY lawyering in a foreign language is as successful as DIY medical treatments - some work, most don't.



How legal fees work


Ahhh legal fees. Its amazing how this issue often spoils the relationship between lawyers and clients, creates fodder for late-night comedians, yet has vastly improved the standing and reputation of sharks in our oceans. So let’s talk about legal fees, so you have a basic understanding of what’s charged, why it’s charged and what you can do if you don’t like what’s charged.

LWhy? Because you charge for what you sell. So do we. Like you, if we don’t charge legal fees, we couldn’t afford to pay the rent to our landlords, the salaries to our employees, our payroll and other taxes, our computer, copier, and technology leases, our utilities bills, our lines of credit and the numerous other costs and charges that every business - no matter what it sells - has to pay to stay alive. And we wouldn’t be able to pay our own mortgages and all that we want to do with our personal income, given the many, many, many years we spent toiling in University and Law School without one.
Like it or not, as much as it’s a profession, law is also a “business” and if businesses don’t earn a profit, they wont be in business very long. Numerous legal decisions through the years have allowed us to charge a “fair fee” for our services. But when the best and brightest new lawyers one year out of law school are demanding (and getting) somewhere near $100,000 per year in Vancouver and Toronto, “fair” won’t always mean “cheap”.
Lawyers can charge fees in a few ways. Motor vehicle accidents and some other insurance claims are often done on a contingency fee basis, where the lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the monetary award paid at the end of the day, although this is rarely done by business lawyers or those doing commercial litigation. But you never know. Maybe a particular lawyer may consider a contingency fee arrangement for a commercial law matter in a particular situation.
Some things lend themselves well to “flat fees”, like simple incorporations, simple wills and simple real estate conveyances, although if the job becomes more complicated than “simple,” the hourly rate may apply. But ask your lawyer about flat fees. All they can say is no. Or yes.
Normally, legal fees are charged on an hourly rate that reflects the lawyer’s years practicing at the Bar; a more senior lawyer charging more than a junior one because the former has more experience. The lawyer will input the time he or she took to do certain functions in tenths of an hour, so if a telephone call about a matter (excluding pleasantries) was 12 minutes long, that should be recorded as a point 2 and multiplied by the lawyer’s hourly rate. If a letter to opposing counsel took 30 minutes to draft, that should be recorded as a point 5 times the lawyer’s hourly rate. And so on.
Legal work in larger offices should be done by a person in the office whose hourly rate is the most appropriate and efficient for the function. A paralegal, junior lawyer or articling student with lower rates may well be able to deal with certain functions less expensively for the client than the senior lawyer with a higher hourly rate (i.e. legal research by an articling student; a court application by the junior etc.). So canvas this issue with the law firm you want to use as the lawyer you’re dealing with may be too expensive for you, but others in the office may be billed out at just the right rate.
I’m always asked, “how much do you charge per hour?” for what I do, but when you think about it, this is often the wrong question to ask a lawyer. Hourly rates are part of the equation of what a legal bill will be, but they aren’t the only part of the equation.
It’s often hard for the lawyer to judge at the “get-go”, what the final bill will be for a particular legal function until the job ends because of uncertainty beyond the lawyer’s control. This applies to what litigation lawyers do as much (or more) as it applies to what business lawyers do. It always depends.
From the litigation side, if discoveries take four days rather than the expected two, or the other side is making protracted procedural or other applications before trial, or the trial goes on longer than anticipated, (to name only a few examples), this will lead to higher legal fees, because it’s a function of the lawyer’s time to deal with these additional complications.
Likewise, from the solicitor’s side, drafting or reviewing complicated documents will take longer than drafting or reviewing simple ones. Modified instructions from the client part way through the deal, or the deal going off the rails, or extensive negotiations to keep the deal alive, or legal requirements imposed by federal or provincials laws, or legal requirements imposed by previous judicial decisions, or an unreasonable lawyer on the other side of the file, or a multitude of other problems along the way will take longer to deal with and will cost more legal dollars than if the complications didn’t happen.
But $300 or $400 per hour doesn’t give the client much certainty in terms of what the final bill will be, does it? So the best thing to do is to try to deal with a lawyer who regularly does the kind of work you need done (in most provinces, we can’t say that we “specialize,” even though, in all practicality, many of us do) and ask the lawyer what the range of fees are expected to be for a particular function, agreement or transaction. If the lawyer has “done this kind of work before,” the lawyer should have a fairly good idea of the fees that can be expected at various stages of the engagement, and the things that, in his or her experience, can often send fees higher. I tend to give a range of what I expect for particular documents I draft or particular stages of the engagement, and because I’ve done it before, I generally know what to expect. But if it goes off the rails, or the matter involves more time than I expected, the fee may be higher. My clients will be informed of this hike in my engagement letter, so it’s totally transparent.
Engagement letters are the norm now in British Columbia and other provinces. It’s a contract which spells out what the law firm will do, what it won’t do, and what it will charge for its services. It will normally set out the hourly rates of the lawyer (or lawyers) doing your work, and it might include an estimate for handling the matter (or handling stages in the engagement).
Disbursements (that is, the law firm’s out of pocket expenses) will be accounted for, and added to the bill. If you have a problem with postage, photocopying, long distance telephone charges, and printing costs, deal with the lawyer at the time of the initial engagement so everyone knows what the deal is and what it isn’t. Frankly, the bigger your file is, the more clout you may have to negotiate these things. But remember, the lawyer you “negotiate” with can still say “no thanks, find someone else”.
A payment in advance or “retainer” is often requested if the client is new to the firm. It’s drawn during the engagement, and if the matter costs less than the retainer, the balance is returned. If it costs more, then the lawyer may well ask for the retainer to be replenished before doing any more work. If your legal bills are over the terms of the engagement letter or the invoice (i.e. net 30), the law firm will have the right to stop work until its paid unless other arrangements are made. If the accounts are over 60 or 90 days, law firms may well involve a collection agency or start an action to recover fees. You’d do the same thing with accounts receivable in your business, so why shouldn’t we do it in ours? You aren’t a bank and neither are we. Certainly an even better practice is for the lawyer to communicate with the client regularly about fees so there are no surprises, and for the client to deal with the lawyer over an account it doesn’t agree with so the issue doesn’t linger.
It’s up to the lawyer as to whether he or she will charge for an “initial consultation.” Usually when I get a “cold call,” it’s from someone who’s read my books, articles and other publicly available information on the Web.
I’ll often spend quite a bit of time with them on the phone for free just to save them from having to fight downtown traffic and pay for parking. But I’ll have to make a judgment at some point during the call whether I’m talking to someone who’s just shopping around for free advice. Telling them at some point in the call that to go further, I’ll need them to sign an engagement letter and pay a retainer will separate the tire kickers from the serious clients, because at some point, I have to get back to the work that pays the bills.
I don’t believe lawyers should be “taxi drivers” and bill their time for every second they work on a file. Time on a file should be a guide only, and on large projects there’s always give and take, because usually, you don’t want the client to fire you and find another lawyer. I’ve had a lot of the same clients for 10 years or more, and if there’s a big bill, we always talk about it before I send it; in part, so we can massage the amount before it goes out, and also because clients like to be kept informed and included in the decision. My clients also pay right away when they’ve agreed on the bill before it formally goes out. Communication is the key to happy clients, and lawyers.
Lawyers can charge more than their hourly rate if the service was worth more. So if 15 minutes of my sage advice saved a client $500,000 because of my knowledge and experience, I’m entitled to charge more money based on the value that I’ve provided. That’s because the advice was worth more than $100 and saved the client a bundle.
But you might have a dispute with a lawyer about an account. Every province has a way that clients can challenge the legal fees charged by lawyers, and judicial officers are charged with assessing whether an account is a fair fee in the circumstances. The law society in your Province will have a tab on its web page about how to challenge a lawyer’s account.
You can always fire your lawyer if you aren’t happy, and if you aren’t getting good, responsive service or good advice at a fair fee, you should. However, your lawyer has no obligation to forward your file to you or your new lawyer unless the old account has been settled. Your new lawyer may not be able to do anything without the old file, but that’s the point. It’s called a solicitor’s lien, and it’s quite normal.
Finally, lawyers can fire our clients too. I’ve done it a few times, very politely, over the past 25 years when clients are unreasonable, disrespectful or don’t pay their accounts, and it still amazes me how upset they get when it’s me that does the firing. “You can’t do that!” they say. Oh yes I can. It’s a relationship, and it has to work both ways. I like what I do and I really like my clients. But life’s too short to work for people I don’t want to work for.
Special to the Globe and Mail
Vancouver franchise lawyer Tony Wilson is the author of Buying A Franchise In Canada – Understanding and Negotiating Your Franchise Agreement and he is ranked as a leading Canadian franchise lawyer by LEXPERT. He is head of the Franchise Law Group at Boughton Law Corp. in Vancouver and acts for both franchisors and franchisees across Canada, many of whom are in the food services and hospitality industry. He is a registered Trademark Agent, an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University and he also writes for Bartalk and Canadian Lawyer magazines.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Disney makes it to Panama! - sort of...


Panama has become a regular port of call of the Disney cruise ships. Disney Magic holds the record for the highest regular toll paid for passage through the Panama Canal, at $331200
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_Magic

This is the closest we have yet to see a Disney operation being set up in Panama, despite the recurrent story that keeps coming up on the Internet about a Disney resort.


The story first came up in 2006 during the real estate boom. http://primapanama.blogs.com/_panama_residential_devel/2006/01/is_disney_comin.html The then Minister of Commerce Jose Paredes theorized it could be related to the purchase of Hacienda Santa Monica by a group of foreign investors. The Minister mistakenly said that the investors had made a deposit and no further payments, when in fact the investors have been precluded from paying the rest of the price when the seller Wilson Lucom died and the relatives stalled the probate case. And the buyers were not related to the Disney companies.

In 2009 an April 1 "news item" supposedly issued by a non-existent reporter AP called Rodrigo Campos mentioned a Disney park to be located on the Pan-American Highway near the entrance to the resort town of Coronado, the 350 acre park. http://www.panama-guide.com/article.php/20090401154924637

Even a BusinessWeek website http://bx.businessweek.com/foreign-direct-investment/walt-disney-coming-to-panama/6467937499164575937-2516e83dc8dc74e509c929cbbd984b74/ and the El Siglo newspaper were suckered into what was an April Fools joke http://www.panama-guide.com/article.php/20090401154924637

What has become an urban legend or a way of raising depressed real estate prices occasionally makes it back, as the original item remains stored in website cache memories, with some Internet users still believing it...

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090422161316AASM8lD
http://www.mouseinfo.com/forums/mousellaneous/89052-new-disney-park-according-papers.html
http://www.panama1.com/foros/showthread.php/725-Walt-Disney-Coming-to-Panama-NOT!
http://forums.wdwmagic.com/showthread.php?t=616557

Disney resorts - unrelated to theme parks - do exist in the Caribbean and throughout the U.S.
http://www.kingdom-travel.com/Walt_Disney_World_Resorts/Disney_Caribbean_Beach_Resort.shtml
http://www.kingdom-travel.com/Walt_Disney_World_Resorts/Disney_Saratoga_Springs_Resort_Spa.shtml

This means that those wanting to visit Mickey will need a U.S. visa or travel to theme parks in Europe or Asia.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Property Investing in Panama


View a database of carefully selected investment property in Panama


SUMMARY : Panama City is one of the world's least expensive first-world cities. It is also among the most modern and prosperous cities in Latin America with over 3 million people. The city's array of tall skyscrapers is reminiscent of Miami. It boasts incredible shopping where almost any product from the U.S. may be easily found. During the past several years Panama has been consistently rated in the top ten for the best retirement locations worldwide. A welcoming community, safe environment, low crime statistics, excellent incentives for retirees, together with the natural beauty and ethnic diversity that is Panama, all appeal to the increasing number of baby boomers from North America and Europe who are looking for a different option for retirement.

Currency: (USD) Dollar

US Dollar: A global benchmark currency. Little or no exchange rate parity fluctuation against Middle East currencies. The cost of living is significantly lower than that of Western Europe.

Economic climate: The trend towards an open economy and possible trade pacts with such nations as the U.S. and Mexico are conducive to investment in Panama. There are also no government expropriation or interference as in many Latin American countries. A business-oriented government encourages foreign investment. A government that realizes the value of private business to a developing country backs all investment. In 1946 Panama's business-oriented mentality led to the creation of the Colon Duty Free Zone, considered to be the second largest free trade center in the world, after Hong Kong. In addition, the Panamanian government offers foreigners who invest in Panama many attractive incentives such as legal residency and tax privileges.

Capital Gains tax: Since the enactment of Law 8 of 1956, successive legislation has been passed offering tax benefits to developers. It has been widely accepted that, as a result of these incentives purchasers of real property have also benefitted. This tax is applicable if there is a capital gain. This tax is also regulated by Article 701 and applied at a flat 10% rate, whether a corporation or an individual is acting as a seller, on the gain resulting from the price of the sale minus the price of the acquisition by seller, as well as registration, notary and real estate agent expenses. If there is no capital gain on the transfer of a property, the 2% transfer tax, is also paid in advance for the sale, levied on the difference between the price of the sale or an appraised value increased at a 5% yearly rate (whichever is higher) and the price of acquisition by the seller.

Popular investment areas: Panama City has become a cosmopolitan modern metropolis - there are many raise buildings overlooking the ocean and the Bay of Panama. Exclusive residential areas like Marbella, Paitilla, Coco del Mar, Punta Pacifica and San Francisco offer a good range of apartments and condominiums for sale. Suburban residential areas in the former Canal Zone like Amador Heights, Balboa, Albrook and Clayton offer large and attractive single-family homes and condominiums. Casco Viejo -- the oldest city on the Pacific Coast of the Americas -- has become a desirable place for real estate investment, encouraged by the Panamanian government Casco Viejo investment incentives for the restoration of the historic Casco Viejo district. Outside Panama City, there are beautiful real estate properties located in popular destinations including, Chiriqui, El Valle, and Altos de Maria. Known mostly for their cooler climates, incredible flora and quiet peaceful atmosphere, real estate in the highlands of Panama are ideal for those interested in retiring abroad. Bocas del Toro is another popular destination for Panama real estate. Most known for its crystal clear waters, rich Antillean culture, unique over-the-water architecture and laidback tropical atmosphere. In recent times, Bocas del Toro has become a booming center for European and American Expats, as well as an impressive number of tourists. Several of these destinations are also considered Tourism Development Zones, where additional tax benefits are granted to investors in hotel projects. Real Estate Values in Panama and primarily in these Pacific Coast Beach areas has been appreciating very steadily, and as interest and growth increases so to do the real estate values.

Price ranges: The Panamanian government incentives for the restoration of the historic Casco Viejo district encourage investment here, this area reminiscent of New Orleans or SoHo years ago abounds with shells of graceful buildings that are crying out for renovation. Outside of Panama City excellent real estate properties are available for developers and individuals. The more remote the location the more reasonable the cost but be aware that you may be far from utilities or roads. The real estate in Bocas del Toro offers beautiful Caribbean beach property. Here palm-fringed golden sands surround the islands and turquoise waters where the rain forest meets the ocean. Here families shop by boat, enjoy water sports and the natural beauty of this wonderful location - better yet it is still affordable.

Budgetary guide: Prices per square meter in Panama vary according to the location (city, mountain, beach). In the city, you may find prices starting 1000$ per square meter in a new condominium. In the mountain, the price may drop down to 20$...yes this is not typo however in those cases you might want to research the access possibilities to this property. Many areas in the mountains have no road of access and local transportation might not be available. In the beach, prices depend on the zone. An hour away from the capital prices start at 600$ per square meter depending on the quality of the beach and neighborhood.

Service Fees: Fees charged by the Public Notary and the Public Registry which total in the range of $200 to $300 for registering a buy/sell contract for the sale of real estate in Panama.The closing costs vary depending on the particular transaction. For example, if the property is held in the sellers personal name, and the buyer is transferring the property title to a Panamanian corporation (most recommended), then the closing costs would include; (1) the legal property transaction fee of US$1200 (includes; title search, buy/sell contract, closing, & property title transfer service), (2) public registry title transfer fees of approx. US$2.50 per every US$1,000 of the sales price and – if applicable - the mortgage amount, (3) escrow fees from 0.5% to 1% of the transaction amount (vary depending on amount of transaction), and (4) incorporation fee of US$1000 to setup the Panama corporation. However, if the property is held by a Panama corporation already, and the buyer is purchasing the shares of the corporation, then the transaction is relatively simple because there is no registration of title transfer, meaning that there is no title transfer tax, and no public registry title transfer fees. In this case, the closing costs would include; (1) the legal property transaction fee (includes; title search, review of tax liabilities, purchase of shares contract, and closing for US$800), (2) change of directors / resident agent of the corporation (approx. $350), and (3) escrow fees from 0.5% to 1% of the transaction amount (vary depending on amount of transaction).The notary and public registry costs total up to approximately $200 to $300 depending on the particular transaction. Title transfer taxes are by law paid by the seller. Escrow fees (if an escrow company is used), are normally paid by the buyer, and range from one half of one percent (0.5%) up to one percent (1%) of the transaction.

Mortgages: Between 60% - 70% of the purchase price or appraised market value, whichever is the lesser. Interest Rate from 5.5% to 6.5%, plus FECI tax of 1% per year.



For more information go to:
www.slampanama.com
www.pensionadovisa.com
www.strategicpointconsulting.com

Monday, August 02, 2010

What foreign investors should know when buying property in the US

Property managers with foreign investor clients (what you should know).
By Mullin, Kevin J.
Publication: Journal of Property Management
Date: Wednesday, July 1 1998

Unless a tax treaty exists between the U.S. and a specific country, foreign owners, including estates, corporations, nonresident aliens, and partnerships, pay a flat 30 percent withholding tax on the rents produced by their U.S. real estate investments. This tax applies unless foreigners' investments are connected with a U.S. trade or business or the foreign owner has made an election with the Internal Revenue Service to be taxed on a net basis. (Having rental income taxed on a net basis after deductions for costs or operations, maintenance, and carrying charges usually results in a lower overall tax for the foreign owner.) On the other hand, U.S. citizens and residents, both individuals and corporations, are not subject to this withholding tax.

This 30-percent withholding tax is calculated on the gross amount of the rents generated by the property without allowable deductions for interest, depreciation, repairs, management and association fees, insurance, real estate taxes, or other expenses of owning and operating the property.

Managers as Agents

Since the IRS has no jurisdiction to collect this tax against a person residing in a foreign jurisdiction, the law generally designates the U.S. person who has the last contact with the money before it leaves the U.S. as a "withholding agent." The withholding agent is charged with the responsibility for paying over the 30-percent withholding directly to the IRS. Failure to do so can result in the withholding agent being personally liable for payment of the tax, plus interest and penalties.

For rental real estate, the withholding agent is typically the property management company that collects the rent from the tenants, pays the expenses of owning and operating the property, and remits the balance to the owner. Unfortunately, the property management company is often blissfully ignorant of the implications and potential for liability that the designation of withholding agent brings under law.

Avoiding the Withholding Tax: Foreign Owners

Because of this potential tax liability, the property manager needs to know with certainty whether its foreign client is subject to the withholding tax or whether the client is exempt from withholding. For the foreign investor, there are two ways to qualify for an exemption from the withholding tax and, instead, pay its fair share of income tax on a net basis after deductions.


Trade or Business. The first way a foreign person can achieve exemption from the withholding tax and be taxed on a net basis is to qualify its real estate operations as being "engaged in a U.S. trade or business." Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule for determining when a foreign investor's real estate operations rise to the level of a U.S. trade or business. Instead, the legal test is based on the nature and extent of the foreign investor's activities in the U.S., which leaves the foreign investor looking to various court cases for guidance.

Resolution of one's status as not being engaged in a U.S. trade or business (and thus, subject to withholding taxes) under these cases can be fairly determined if the foreign person's activities are very limited, such as owning one rental property leased on a triple-net basis. Moreover, it is fairly dear from the court cases that a foreign investor will be considered to be engaged in a U.S. trade or business if the foreign investor's activities are considerable, regular, and continuous with regard to his or her properties. For example, owning several properties and being involved directly (or through an agent) in lease negotiations, maintenance and repairs, collection of rents, payment of operating expenses, and performing record keeping, would almost certainly qualify a foreign owner for this classification. However, should a foreign investor's activities fall within these two extremes, it may be difficult to gauge the character of the investment, which leaves the foreign owner and the property manager to guess.

Net Election. Having to guess how a court will decide on the question of being engaged in a U.S. trade or business can be a hazardous way to operate real estate for both the foreign owner and the property manager. By way of relief, the Internal Revenue Code does allow a foreign corporation or nonresident alien individual to make an affirmative election to be taxed as being engaged in a U.S. trade or business, which takes the uncertainty out of the process. To qualify for the election, the foreign corporation or nonresident alien individual must derive revenue from the U.S. investment. Because the foreign person will not otherwise be able to qualify for the election, investments in nonproductive properties, such as raw land, should be leased to generate some revenue, even if the use is merely interim or temporary. In the case of a nonresident alien individual, the real estate investment must be held for the production of income.

To make the election, the foreign owner merely files a statement with his or her federal tax return that identifies that an election is being made along with a schedule of all the taxpayer's U.S. real properties, their locations, and a description of the improvements on the properties. This election is effective for all qualifying U.S. properties for all subsequent years and can only be revoked with the consent of the IRS.

The foreign investor who makes such an election also needs to file a Form 4224 annually with its property manager, which notifies the property manager
that the foreign owner is exempt from withholding tax for that tax year.

Avoiding Withholding Tax: Property Managers

That the foreign investor can elect to be taxed on a net basis is fine, but how is the property management company to know whether its principal is a foreign owner and whether the foreign client has made such an election to be taxed on a net basis, thus relieving the property manager of the withholding tax obligation? Guessing incorrectly whether one is a withholding agent or whether someone is a foreign owner or relying on a false verbal representation will not relieve a withholding agent from its obligations under the law. The best ways to avoid potential liability are:

* Assume that the property manager is a withholding agent in all cases until the IRS certification forms described below are received proving differently; and,

* Use the IRS certification forms with every client as part of the application process to systematize the approach to this issue. Completion of these forms will provide a "safe harbor" for the property manager even if it should later be determined that the owner falsified the forms and that withholding taxes should have been paid.

Property managers should become familiar with the following IRS certification forms, which need to be received from the client prior to any rental income from the property being realized. The best time to obtain such forms is at the time of management contract signing and thereafter as required.

Statement and Form 1078 (U.S. citizens and residents). U.S. citizens and residents should provide a statement in duplicate to the property manager that they are not foreign persons but citizens or residents of the U.S. No particular form is necessary for this statement, but it needs to be in writing and should be signed by the person making the statement. If the client is a person who is a resident alien of the U.S., the client can complete such a statement or can use Form 1078. No withholding is necessary from clients who complete either the statement or Form 1078, but the property manager is required to transmit the duplicate copy of the statement or Form 1078 to the IRS upon receipt.

W-8 and Form 4224 (foreign persons). Nonresident aliens and other foreign persons should complete and deliver to the property manager Form W-8, which certifies that the person is a foreign person. Completion of Form W-8 will trigger a withholding obligation on the property manager unless the foreign person also delivers a completed Form 4224. Form 4224 certifies that the income received by the property manager is exempt from withholding because it will be taxed on a net basis. Form 4224 must be filed with the withholding agent for each taxable year by the owner of the income and before payment of the income to which it applies. Failure to obtain a Form 4224 from a foreign person who claims exemption from withholding may result in denial of the exemption.

New Certification. Effective January 1, 1999, a new, simpler regime for certification will be implemented. These regulations will combine several existing forms used in connection with withholding including Form 4224 into a single, expanded Form W-8. While the new regulations should make it easier for property managers and their clients to comply, the basic system of withholding on income from real property is not being changed and must still be followed.

Other Issues for Foreigners

When acquiring U.S. real estate, there are good reasons why a foreign person should not take title to U.S. property in his or her own name, but rather should consider using an offshore-U.S. corporate structure. For example, a nonresident alien who takes title to the U.S. real estate in his or her individual name is exposed to the imposition of U.S. estate taxes, which can run as high as 55 percent on the fair market value of the property (determined as of the date of death) with very limited deductions. By comparison, U.S. estate taxes can dwarf the income tax consideration.

For foreign corporations that acquire income-producing U.S. real estate directly, a surtax, the 30-percent branch-profits tax, is imposed on top of the regular U.S. corporate income taxes. Accordingly, foreign corporations and nonresident alien individuals who currently own property in their own names should carefully consider restructuring their real estate investments into an offshore-U.S. corporate structure with the U.S. subsidiary owning the real estate directly. In this way, owners can avoid not only withholding taxes, but also U.S. estate and branch-profits taxes.

In spite of these issues, foreign persons often do take title to U.S. real estate in their own names. Thus, property managers should take precautions and seek competent professional advice so that their foreign clients' problems do not become their own.

This article is for general informational purposes only and no action should be taken or withheld based on the information supplied herein. This material is presented with the understanding that the author and the publisher do not render any legal, accounting, or other professional service. In no event will they be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential damages resulting from the use of this material.

Kevin J. Mullin, J.D., C.P.A., has been practicing law for over 15 years with a focus on advising foreign investors on their U.S. real estate investments and international business and tax planning. Mr. Mullin has offices in Denver, Colo., and Washington, D.C. www.intl-taxlaw.com . He also maintains representative offices in Latin America and the Middle East to support his professional and client relationships globally.


http://www.allbusiness.com/personal-finance/individual-taxes/690576-1.html

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Real estate agent liability Re: Any recourse?

Objet: Real estate agent liability Re: Any recourse?
À: "panama laws for expats"
Date: Dimanche 8 Novembre 2009, 11h57

http://www.kuluttajavirasto.fi/Page/60662588-3611-4ed9-9ca7-20896bd7df40.aspx#
  • The real estate agent's liability for defects

The agency is not responsible for concealed defects in the apartment

The agent does not have general liability for defects in the apartment, for example damage from humidity discovered after conclusion of the sale or other concealed defects. The seller of an apartment or real estate is liable to the buyer for defects - including the information provided by the agent prior to sale and any defects in that information.
The agent is not liable for e.g. incorrect information on the house manager's certificate, unless the agent had reason to believe that the information in question was incorrect. The seller is liable in such situations.
On the other hand, the agent has a far-reaching liability for the legality and quality of his brokerage work.
  • For instance, if information regarding a humidity defect is noted in the brokerage contract, but the agent fails to disclose this to the buyer, the agent has made a mistake in his work. Under such circumstances the agent is liable for any damages suffered as a result of the mistake.
  • If the agent's work performance is not up to the agreed standard, the customer may request that the commission is decreased.
Get help from the consumer advisor and file a complaint if necessary
If you have questions on any ambiguities regarding the work of real estate agents, contact the consumer advisor. The consumer advisor gives counsel regarding the legislation and rules governing the work of real estate agents and, if necessary, directs consumers forward, for instance to file a complaint with the Consumer Disputes Board.
Disputes over real estate transactions are sometimes unclear as to who is liable for incorrect or incomplete information supplied with regards to the apartment - the real estate agent or the seller. In this case the complaint should be filed against both parties.
Complaints regarding real estate agents may be filed with the State Provincial Office. The State Provincial Office may issue a warning to the real estate agent, force temporary closure of the agency or have them removed from the register of real estate agents. The State Provincial Office may not, however, order a real estate agency to pay damages or compensation.



http://www.ncrec.state.nc.us/bulletin/vol11-2bulletin/courts_rule_on_issue_of_misrepre.htm
COURTS RULE ON ISSUE OF MISREPRESENTATIONS

Summarized below are several recent court cases involving misrepresentations in real estate transactions. These cases illustrate what appears to be the current trend in judicial thought away from the traditional concept of "caveat emptor" (Let the buyer beware) and towards the more modern, consumeroriented philosophy of "caveat licensee" (Let the licensee beware).


WASHINGTON -Summary of Facts: A "listing broker" gave a "selling broker" an incorrect description of the boundary lines of a property. Although information on file with the listing service clearly contradicted the listing broker's statements to the selling broker, the selling broker relied on the listing broker's statements and transmitted the incorrect information to a buyer. The buyer discovered the error after closing the transaction, and subsequently filed suit against both the listing and selling brokers, alleging misrepresentations. Decision: The court ruled in favor of the buyer, stating that the listing broker (although an agent of the seller) was, nevertheless, liable to the third party for the misrepresentations- that the listing broker was also liable for the actions of his subagent (i.e . , the sell ing broker) whom he authorized to transmit the incorrect information; and that the selling broker was also liable because he failed to exercise reasonable care and skill to discover the error.

MAINE-Summary of Facts: A purchaser of a lot filed suit against a seller for fraudulently representing that the lot had been approved for installation of a septic tank; the purchaser made no independent inquiry to determine the accuracy of th 11 representation. Decision: The court ruled in favor of the purchaser ' stating in part that "A plaintiff may justifiably rely on the fraudulent misrepresentation of a defendant, whether made intentionally or recklessly, without investigating the t'ruth or falsity of the representation. Reliance is unjustified only if the plaintiff knows the representation is false or its falsity is obvious to him". (Although the defendant in this case was the seller, the same reasoning would also seem to apply equally to agents of a seller.)


IDAHO-Summary of Fact: A broker had made representations to a buyer which were based upon i'ncorrect information supplied by a seller. The buyer filed suit against the broker for making misrepresentations, but the broker claimed that he was only acting as a "conduit" for information flowing from the seller to the buyer. Decision: The court, in its ruling, stated that "(T)he real estate agent (broker) will be liable to a prospective purchaser if he knew or should have known that the representations were inaccurate or if he could have, by reasonable investigation, determined the accuracy of the representations."


ALABAMA-Summary of Facts: A seller who knew his house had a faulty septic tank did not reveal this defect to his broker. A subsequent buyer of the property filed suit against both the seller and the broker for failure to disclose this defect. Decision: The court ruled in favor of the buyer stating that although the broker did not have actual knowledge of the defect, the broker (as agent for the seller) was obligated to learn about any deficiencies and to inform prospective buyers of such defects.


TEXAS-Summary of Facts: A broker who was selling his own property failed to advise the purchaser that the foundation of the structure on the property had settled and needed repairs. The purchaser subsequently filed suit against the broker/seller. Decision: The court ruled in favor of the purchaser, stating that a seller has a duty to reveal known defects to purchasers. (Although the defendant in this case was a seller, the same reasoning would also seem to apply equally to agents of a seller.)


NORTH CAROLINA -Summary of Facts: A purchaser of a house and lot filed suit against a builder, alleging that the builder had failed to disclose that the house had been built on "disturbed soil" (the house was constructed over a large hole filled with debris and then covered with clay). Decision: The court ruled that "Since this defect in the lot and the house . . . was not apparent to plaintiffs (the purchasers) and not within the reach of their digilent attention and observation, defendant (builder) was under a duty to disclose this information to plaintiffs". (Although the defendant in this case was a builder/seller, the North Carolina Supreme Court held in a related case that a real estate agent would also have come within the rule applied in this case if the agent knew or had reason to believe that the builder had constructed the house on "disturbed soil" yet withheld this fact from the purchasers.)


Although several of the cases cited above were not decided on the basis of North Carolina law, North Carolina real estate brokers and salesmen should be well aware of the principles set forth in all of these decisions: These principles, simply stated, are (1) that a real estate agent who intentionally or unintentionally gives a purchaser incorrect or incomplete information may be held liable for such statements even though the source of the incorrect information was the seller or another broker, and even though the purchaser could have verified the information himself; (2) that a seller and nis agent have an affirmative duty to disclose to prospective purchasers any latent (hidden) defects connected with the property (for example, faulty septic tank, leaky basement, etc.) about which they are aware or should reasonably be aware,- and (3) that although a real estate agent owes his primary loyalty to his principal, (usually the seller), the agent must treat all parties in the transaction fairly.


Furthermore, if a licensee has actual knowledge of material facts regarding a property (or should reasonably have known of such facts), but the licensee fails to disclose these facts to a prospective purchaser, then such nondisclosure may subject the licensee to disciplinary action by the North Carolina Real Estate Licensing Board.


--From information published in the Idaho Real Estatement, California Real Estate Bulletin, Mississippi Real Estate Hotline, and the Washington Real Estate News.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why property agents should act only for one party

This letter was written by a reader of a Singapore and explains why conflicts of interest do arise when a real estate agent represent both seller and buyer, as is very frequent in Panama.


property agents should act for only one party: Forum
[2009] 04 Nov_ST

Title: Why property agents should act for only one party: Forum
Source: Straits Times
Author:

Legal News Archive

I REFER to last Thursday's Forum Online letters by Mrs Teresa Yao ('How new rules can protect property agents') and Mr Teo Kueh Liang ('Barring same-agent property brokerage not practical').

Both writers have highlighted the plight of the majority of ethical property agents, whose image has been tarnished by a small group of unscrupulous and dishonest agents.

In any profession, it is impossible to completely wipe out the bad hats. Therefore, after an acceptable standard of practice has been established, understood and made into law, non-compliant practices should be punished.

In any property transaction, the two most important parties are the seller and the buyer. They must enter into a legally binding contract in order for the sale to go through. It is therefore natural that we facilitate the interests of the seller and the buyer first.

The interests of the property agent come after those of the seller and the buyer, as his role can come into being only after he has been appointed.

The terms of appointment, that is, what the agent can or cannot do, for example, must be expressedly agreed between him and the one who appoints him, so that there is no ambiguity that leads to future problems.

When the Ministry of National Development puts into law a system for the seller, the buyer and the property agent, it must separately examine the relationship between the seller or buyer and the property agent, from the relationship between the seller and the buyer. If the seller or the buyer chooses to hand the responsibilities over to his agent, he must adequately reward the agent.

To protect his own interests, the property agent should act for only one party and not both.

Patrick Sio



Read also:

Filing complaints against Panama real estate agents
Liability of real estate agents in property purchases

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Panama Arbitration Panel Rules in Favor of Foreign Property Buyers


A decision from a Panama arbitration panel upholds rights of foreign property buyers against local real estate developers.

Panama City, Panama ---- The Panama Center of Conciliation and Arbitration rendered an interesting decision regarding a purchase contract involving local companies as sellers and U.S.-resident foreign nationals as buyers of an apartment in Panama City. The decision is an exception to a string of abuses committed by local developers against foreign investors.

The economic group which developed and sold the residential apartment project and its individual architect as member of said economic group were condemned indistinctly to pay to the foreign promissory buyers the price of the property plus interest until the actual day of its payment, as remedies for damages caused by the defendants for an unilateral breach of the contract, with bad faith being found in their behavior.

The promissory sellers failed to communicate the promissory buyers when the construction of the project began in order to collect the second installment of the purchase price of a condo unit, as required by a promise contract which only stated “second payment must be made 30 days after construction begins”.

Instead, the sellers disposed of the condo unit and sold it to a third party –when the promissory buyers were on time to make the second payment. The promissory buyers later received a letter from the developer informing of their unilateral decision to end the contract because payments were not received in a timely manner which allowed for early termination. The developer offered to return the deposits only if the promissory buyers signed a liability waiver.

Lombardi Aguilar & Garcia in Panama served as legal counsel for the promissory buyers. The legal team of the firm included Guadalupe Martinez-Casas, an attorney with experience in international arbitration cases before fora such as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Ms. Martinez-Casas is a foreign law consultant in Argentine law, who previously served as attorney at the Buenos Aires firm of Llerena & Asociados. She is a graduate of Universidad Latina de Panamá (MBA), Universidad Torcuato di Tella (LLM and Economics), and Universidad de Buenos Aires - UBA (LLB).


About Lombardi Aguilar & Garcia
Lombardi Aguilar & Garcia was created as an alternative for clients worldwide who seek fast, innovative and effective solutions to their legal problems. The firm currently provides services to individual and corporate clients in Panama as well in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Its partners maintain a commitment with professional ethics and social responsibility by participating in the board of directors of groups such as the Panama Bar Association, the German and the American Chambers of Commerce (AMCHAM) of Panama, and the Association of Chinese-Panamanian Professionals (APROCHIPA).

The firm centers its law practice in private client services and asset protection (Private Interest Foundations, Trusts), business structures (Offshore Corporations), tax planning, real estate and e-commerce. It also advices in areas of Law such as Corporate, Commercial, Intellectual Property, Maritime, Tax, and Immigration Law as well as related litigation that may arise.

For more information, contact +507 340-6444, +507 66388707, e-mail aaguilar (at) nysbar.com, or see: Lombardi Aguilar & Garcia http://www.laglex.com/

Keywords: Panama, real estate, property, investment, litigation


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See also Lawsuits against developers increase
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

In Bocas del Toro - Mistaken land identity hell


IN BOCAS DEL TORO
Mistaken land identity hell
03-26-2009 | MARIJULIA PUJOL LLOYD
mpujolstar@ laestrella.com.pa
A couple has bought their land with title, but they still do not have any protection when somebody apparently has the wrong land title

Panama Star PANAMA. Lands disputes between foreigners and Panamanians are becoming quite common, mainly because properties, especially in beauty spots in the provinces of Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro, have increased their value dramatically.
This time a powerful Panamanian family, the Eleta are trying to take part of the land belonging to an English - New Zealand couple.
In letters sent to the Panama Star by Dr Ricardo Rangel and Linda and David Gillingham, they complained that on three occasions the Circuit Judge of Bocas del Toro, Manuel Garcia has tried to enter their farm, located in Isla Colon, with the purpose of measuring their plot and separating the Eleta’s from theirs, although according to the public records it is nowhere near it.
The story began 10 years ago when the Gillinghams bought their land, which was properly titled at the Public Registry. They built a house, a botanical garden and a nursery.
Everything was fine until January 2009, when the Circuit Judge demanded access to their property, to measure and separate a plot from it, although he did not have a warrant.
The letter said that according to the file, Compañia Faustina S.A., which belongs to the Grupo Eleta, represented by the firm Morgan y Morgan, requested an order of separation of the land of the plot 3499, of which incidentally Eleta does not have possession.
Faustina’s the land registration title indicates that the plot was separated from land belonging to Minerva Blacaneaux Quintero and her farm surrounds it.
Blancaneaux’s lawyers asked the judge to stop the process on the grounds that it is impossible to establish boundaries if Faustina did own the land, but he refused to throw out the case.
Surveyors from Faustina and Blancaneaux determined that the land that Faustina wanted to separate was inside the Gillingham’s property, exactly where their house, botanical garden and nursery is and miles away from where the Blancaneaux land is located.
The Gillinghams said that Judge Garcia is planning to enter their property again on March 27, accompanied by the Blancaneaux and Faustina representative, although they have clearly demonstrated that they have possession of the land.
The couple feel that they have been harassed and have invited neighbors, public in general and the media to go to their botanical garden on March 27 at 9:00 to witness the proceedings.

THE ELETA GROUP
The Eleta Group is formed by the powerful Eleta family with commercial interests in media, insurance, animal feed, racehorse breeding, and environmental protection to mention a few.
The group has property all over the country, but especially in the provinces of Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro.
The Eletas are part owners of the television radio network Medcom as well as Cable Onda.
For many decades the powerful Eleta family has exercised a great deal of influence in the country, developing prosperous companies and opening the first television station of the country.
The family is part of the wealthy Panamanian aristocracy and their members are involved in the arts and charitable organizations, but they keep their affairs out of the public eye and prefer to remain anonymous most of the time while directing their empire.
MARIJULIA PUJOL LLOYD

FACTS
The Gillinghams bought their land ten years ago, properly registered, but still that did not protect them against another company’s claim.
The boundaries of Faustina S.A. appear to be wrong, but nobody seems to have noticed that.
On the March 27 the matter will be solved one way or another




Monday, November 03, 2008

CNBC covers Latin Fever in Panama


Some people are still bullish on Panama....



Real Estate October 2008

Latin Fever


With real estate bubbles bursting across Europe, investors are heading for booming Latin America, says Sorrel Downer

Sweltering in a battered taxi in the heart of a street market in Panama City, it's easy to forget that this is a top destination for some of the world's most powerful commercial real estate investors. But, owing to the turbulence in the North American and European property markets, Panama, along with Mexico and Brazil, is beginning to look like a safe port in the storm. As European investors look to reduce risk through diversification and higher returns, Latin America is coming under closer scrutiny.

The service, natural resource and manufacturing sectors got the lion's share of the €67bn in foreign direct investment poured into the region last year, but there has been sustained growth in the real estate sector that doesn't look like easing off, and it's real estate that is regarded by many analysts as one of Latin America's best performing assets.

The UK has been slow to go to Latin America. "Sitting here in London," says Thompson, "very few people in charge of funds have Latin America on their radar, mainly because there's very little experience of doing business there, and more interest in Asia and Russia. But people are putting a toe in the water. We're starting in Brazil because of the size and stability, but also looking at places like Costa Rica and Panama - countries where there is genuine wealth, inflation is under control and there's a boom in real estate underpinned by a growing middle class."

Investors see the potential of real estate in Panama City's old quarter, now undergoing renovation, funded partly by foreign capital. But then Panama is full of positive signs: the expansion of the canal, proposals for refineries, and the development of banking, communications, tourism, and call centre industries evoke a certain optimism. Already, there are so many prestigious tower block developments underway along the shoreline of the Bay of Panama that there's talk of a glut. But enterprising investors are finding solid alternatives: financing office developments, for example, sometimes on a large scale such as the €435m 'mini-town' project on a former military base in the Canal Zone for which UK firm London & Regional Properties beat off 16 international competitors; or residential investments in exclusive gated communities and resorts up the coast, on the Azueros Peninsula, and on the Pearl Islands, or retirement communities in the temperate mountains around Boquete.

New arrivals to Panama will find themselves in hot competition with homegrown investors, as well as the North American firms squeezed out from Costa Rica, where land prices have rocketed and prime beachfront land parcels have been snapped up.
http://www.cnbceb.com/ViewArticle.aspx?PageID=1238


More about Panama real estate investments in the Home: World - Panama Buying the Home of your Dreams DVD video from Amazon

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Complaints against real estate agents

Everything is sweet-talk with your real estate agent during the purchase process: endless trips all over the city or the beach, superlatives used to describe everything about the property. You sign in the dotted line, click on that "Send" button for the transfer of funds. Next thing you learn that the property has several defects, you overpaid and - worse - "your" real estate agent all this time was being paid by the buyer to close the deal no matter what. You call the agent to face the music but then he acts as his name in Spanish implies: "corredor" (runner).

The Technical Board of Real Estate is an entity of the Ministry of Commerce which not only grants real estate agent licenses but also deals with complains against agents and those who sell real estate without a license. Complaints do not need to be filed by an attorney but they need to be in Spanish http://www.mici.gob.pa/bienes_tramites.php#cinco, so a translator is needed.

Accredited agents are listed online, although with some delay http://www.mici.gob.pa/bienes_doc.php

A Code of Ethics was enacted in 2001 (CODIGO DE ETICA DEL CORREDOR DE BIENES RAICES. RESOLUCION Nn 092-2001. (De 28 de Julio de 2001) http://www.unacobinpanama.com/doc/codigo_etica.pdf http://www.acobir.com/publicaciones/documents/Codigo%20de%20Etica%20de%20CBR.pdf which deals with several restrictions on agents.

The two real estate agent associations, ACOBIR and UNACOBIN, also take complaints against their members as a reason for expulsion, which will not get any money back but serves as a moral penalty.

Final note: There is no law which says that real estate agents must get paid 5% commission. The market rules.