Sales in Pedasi, Panama’s fastest-growing beach region, have been slow and steady this year. Just about all agents in the region have documented more interest, however this interest hasn’t necessarily meant more sales.
One of Pedasi’s allures is also one of its setbacks: that the region is so new to development. While this makes for a tremendous untouched veneer, it also sometimes scares away buyers who don’t have the necessary foresight.
What’s New In Pedasi?
In general Pedasi news, the new hospital at the entrance of town is more than half complete. Built on five acres of land, the 23 room hospital will feature a 24-hour emergency room which is a huge welcome to those of us who live here year-round. There is also a new commercial center (the first of its kind to Pedasi) which will house a supermarket and 8 individual commercial spaces. This comes as welcomed news to Pedasi residents who sometimes feel limited by the selection of groceries in town.
The road to Pedasi-proper’s two closest beaches — Playa El Toro and La Garita — is currently being paved with completion scheduled for this November, a feat which will make the developers of both Andromeda Ocean Estates and Costa Pedasi (both of whom happen to be located on this street) very happy. The road to Los Destiladeros, home to Villa Camila, Posada de los Destiladeros, and the Azueros Project, has also been completely paved and now workers are finishing the replacement of the road’s three bridges. What used to be a 20 minute ride in an SUV is now only 5 minutes in a sedan, making what used to be an isolated destination much more accessible and available to incoming tourists.
The Development Landscape in Pedasi
The Dekel group, which is developing Andromeda Ocean Estates, among other projects, has signed an agreement with Cocige, a large construction company that has built several high-rises and shopping malls in Panama City. Cocige has committed to moving a considerable amount of manpower and materials to Pedasi in order to take over construction of both infrastructure and homes in Dekel’s various projects. Up until very recently, Pedasi has sorely lacked a serious, action-oriented construction company, so the smaller developers are forced to bring in their own materials and machinery. The arrival of Cocige may prove as a serious turning point.
Cocige is already building warehouses onsite to store materials and we know of at least two existing lot owners who have been given reasonable quotes by Cocige to build homes. Construction of homes and further infrastructure is set to begin at the end of the year (the start of the dry season) and we are excited for both the developer and for Pedasi in general. Actual, physical progress is a good thing since so much of Pedasi’s real estate movement has been about raw land.
The same Dekel Group has also purchased 6 hectares of beachfront land at the ever-booming Playa Venao and has announced pre-sales of Blue, a new development which will feature three 3-story condo buildings with 20 units each and sixty bungalows with a hotel, community pools and a restaurant/common areas on the beach. Prices at this project will start around $140,000 and the developer reports that roughly half of the units have already been sold (unverified). Cocige will also be the builder for this new project, slated for delivery by 2014.
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As for the Costa Pedasi project, they continue to add beautiful new homes to their growing beachfront community. A total of twelve homes have now been completed with more under construction, more great proof that actual progress is developing in Pedasi: beyond just the normal speculation. The entrance road has a brand new surface and they’ve currently slated a beach club with the restaurant and massive swimming pool to be completed this coming dry season (January).
As for other projects worth noting in the development curve, Bellamar is a planned three-story condominium to be built on roughly ¾ acres of land inside the Andromeda Ocean Estates development. Developed by a nice couple from Missouri who have done similar projects in the US, Bellamar is going to be a high-end project with all the bells and whistles. Pre-sales at this project have begun and 3 of the 18 units are currently under contract.
One our our favorite projects along the beach, Lomas de Playa Venao has finished its second home overlooking the beach at the world famous surf break, Playa Venao. Power has now been fully installed at Lomas de Playa Venao and the first owners are living there full time, which again, is great tangible progress to take note of. As real estate agents, we tend to look at these signs as proof that Pedasi is becoming a real liveable beach destination and not just speculative hype.
Update on land sales
Large land purchases have been occurring recently in the area. In addition to the Dekel Group’s purchase of six hectares at Playa Venao, a group of investors lead by the Prince of Lichtenstein who owns a large beach villa just beyond the Azueros Project has also purchased over a hundred hectares on the beach in Puerto Escondido, 15 minutes from Pedasi in the Los Destiladeros area. Big names like these tend to add to Pedasi’s allure as well as uphold incredibly high quality standards (take a look at the Prince’s villa as an example).
Wildlands, the development group behind the well-known Azueros project in the same area is under new management and plans to begin lot sales shortly. This should breathe new life into what is arguably Pedasi’s most beautiful (and established) neighborhood, with large homes designed by the French architect Gilles St. Gilles. In another great coup for the neighborhood, the South African resort management company “Mantis” has taken over management of Pedasi’s most exclusive hotel, Villa Camilla. Arguably Pedasi’s landmark hotel, Villa Camilla now has the opportunity to thrive under new and motivated management.
And it’s not just the coastal regions that are experiencing real, tangible growth. Small developments of 10 to 40 home lots have sprung up in the center of town and lot sales are steady, attracting both foreign and local buyers. Price points start at $25/square meter ($25,000 for a ¼ acre) and go up to double that. These communities feature titled lots, mature trees and nice green areas. They are attracting a lot of folks for whom the ‘$100,000+’ price tag of lots in the beachfront developments is out of their comfort zone. "Downtown" Pedasi is also one of the more charming interior towns of Panama, home to a number of festivals, artistic gatherings, and cultural events.
A little bit about home sales
An American investor is building spec homes in Pedasi and has sold two recently for $130,000 which is great proof that real estate is moving — albeit, at record rates — in the downtown area of Pedasi. This same developer has three more currently under construction and has acquired enough land to continue building many more. These homes are 2 to 3 bedrooms, roughly 1100 sqft enclosed with another 400sqft of covered terrace. Built in a local style with block and stucco walls, hand-fired clay tile floors and roof and lots of exposed wood, these Pedasi Homes for Sale are going to appeal to a lot of buyers, especially foreigners for whom existing homes in Pedasi are not up to snuff. Locals expect to see other developers follow suit soon and to be able to offer clients very attractive homes at affordable prices.
Oddly enough, for a coastal region, there is still a big lack of beach homes and homes with ocean views available in the area but hopefully those will be coming along as well, both inside and outside of the gated communities. A beautiful 2 bedroom/2 bath home by Gilles St. Gilles was recently purchased as a resale for $315,000 in the Azueros community in Los Destiladeros: proof that prices are more honestly reflecting the market and not necessarily hype.
Opportunities in Pedasi
Panama Equity has just listed two prime lots in Costa Pedasi available for resale. One is an ocean front lot of 1,385sqm (1/3 acre) for $285,000. The other is a second-line lot of 1,467sqm for $124,700. Both prices are negotiable and are already discounted 20% OFF of developer pricing.
We also have a 1.3 hectare (3.3 acre) ocean view piece of land about five minutes from Playa Venao that is just steps to a great beach. This unique property is priced at $200,000 and the per meter price on this land is WAY less than other land in the area and the owner will sell half the land for $120,000. Several nice homes, a boat ramp and new pizza parlor are within proximity to this great piece of land. Power and water are already installed and the land is ready for building.
In Pedasi we have a fenced 2,000sqm (1/2 acre) lot on the main street just outside of town for only $50,000. This would be perfect for a business or large home. We also have several houses in the $120-$140k price range beautiful home lots starting at $25,000.
Thanks for reading! We are always available to answer any questions you may have about the real estate market in Pedasi. If you are in the area, please stop by our office on Main Street, downtown Pedasi!