There has been a flood of sales in Panama’s Trump Ocean Club in recent months, as the iconic waterfront tower enters the final closeout phase. Only 8 developer-controlled apartments are left in the sail-shaped tower, which has become the center of cultural and social life in Panama City.
Investors have been pouncing on the deals in the Trump since last October, when there were 50 apartments available. The last 8 should go quickly, with prices rising throughout Punta Pacifica, the neighborhood of skyscrapers on the waterfront.
The remaining apartments are priced anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000 under list price, as the developer looks for quick sales during the limited closeout phase. With prices starting in the $300,000s, the price levels are at 2006 pre-construction levels.
The apartments range from a 102-square-meter one bedroom to four 183-square-meter three-bedroom apartments. The three bedroom apartments are located on the waterfront side of the building with unobstructed ocean views; the five two-bedroom units available are all on upper floors.
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Every apartment in the Trump has wide terraces and expansive views, as well as access to the Trump’s many restaurants and amenities. While there are resales available, the developer units are brand new and come with a 1-year warranty and new appliances.
The discounted apartments hit the market at a time when sales and investor interest are increasing throughout the city. Since 2014, we’ve seen a marked uptick in sales in Panama City, with prices increasing 7 to 10 percent a year in the top buildings. PPR’s sales were up 50 percent in the first quarter compared to a year earlier.
The top countries for foreign buyers include the U.S., Canada, Venezuela and Colombia. However, in the last year there has been an uptick in European buyers, specifically from Spain and Italy.
The majority are investors looking to take advantage of Panama’s many tax incentives and the high return-on-investment offered by high quality rental properties. Most of the buyers are paying with cash.
With its high-end towers on the waterfront, top-of-the-line amenities and close proximity to the best of the city, Punta Pacifica is attracting the highest demand and price appreciation in the city. This is the result of having the newest and most luxurious waterfront buildings, as well as the dwindling supply of apartments in the best buildings.
There is also very little land available in Punta Pacifica to build new towers, ensuring that apartments in the existing towers will grow more valuable as the last apartments are sold. With Panama’s economy growing at the fastest rate in the region, valuations on Trump resale apartments are likely to rise quickly once the final developer units are sold.
Jeff Barton is managing director of Punta Pacifica Realty, the leading sales, rental and property management agency in Punta Pacifica, the exclusive Panama City neighborhood of 18 towers perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.