Buying real estate in Panama?

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Best areas to buy and invest in property in Panama City

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property investment Panama City

Yes, the analysis of Panama City's property market is included in our pack

The question of 'the best neighborhood to buy a property in Panama City' does not have a one-size-fits-all answer.

Some of you are buying to live there, while others want to make the best investment possible. Individual preferences and circumstances matter.

That’s why the article below is covering every intent.

At TheLatinvestor, when we write a blog post or when we update our our property pack for Panama, we want to bring solutions and cover different aims in a clear and organized way.

Enjoy the read, and please remember that we are not financial or investment experts. This article is for informational purposes only.

To improve the readability and user-friendliness of this article, we will categorize neighborhoods in Panama City into various groups, including budget-friendly options, emerging hotspots, and areas with high rental demand, among others. Consequently, some neighborhoods may appear in multiple categories and be mentioned several times throughout the article.

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buying property in Panama City

How is the real estate market in Panama City?

The real estate market in Panama City is currently experiencing a dynamic and upward trajectory.

One of the core strengths of the city that sets it apart is its unique positioning as a gateway between North and South America.

This strategic location, coupled with the presence of the Panama Canal, makes the city a global business and logistics hub. These factors contribute significantly to the city's appeal for real estate investments.

People are drawn to Panama City for various reasons. The city boasts a vibrant cultural scene, modern infrastructure, and a bustling economy, making it attractive to a diverse range of buyers. From young professionals seeking urban living to retirees looking for a comfortable and warm climate, the city caters to a broad spectrum.

Additionally, Panama City offers a relatively lower cost of living compared to other major global cities, yet provides a high quality of life.

Foreign interest in Panama City's real estate market is particularly strong. This is largely due to the favorable investment climate, which includes tax incentives for foreign investors and retirees.

Furthermore, Panama uses the U.S. dollar, which adds a layer of financial stability and ease for international transactions.

A testament to the market's dynamism is a data point highlighting consistent growth in property values over the past decade. Despite global economic fluctuations, Panama City's real estate has shown resilience and an upward trend in valuation.

One unique and positive aspect of properties in Panama City is their blend of modern amenities with rich cultural and historical elements. Many properties offer contemporary living spaces while being situated in areas steeped in history and local culture, providing a living experience that is hard to replicate elsewhere.

Looking to the future, several factors indicate that properties in Panama City will continue to gain value. The ongoing expansion of the Panama Canal is set to bolster the city's position as a major global trade and logistics center.

Additionally, the government's commitment to infrastructure development, including transportation and technological advancements, will enhance the city's attractiveness.

Moreover, Panama City's growing reputation as a tourist destination adds to its appeal, potentially increasing demand for both residential and commercial properties.

Top neighborhoods in Panama City to consider for living

Areas in Panama City that are budget-friendly

If you're looking to buy property in Panama City on a budget, there are a few neighborhoods you might want to consider.

Here is a summary table. Below, we will give more details.

Neighborhood Average Price per Sqm Property Types Resident Demographics Strengths Weaknesses
Juan Diaz $1,500 - $2,000 Apartments, Single-family homes Young professionals, Families Growing commercial activity, Proximity to airport Longer commutes to city center
San Francisco $2,000 - $2,500 Older apartments, Houses Expatriates, Middle-class families Central location, Blend of residential and urban Properties might need renovation, Traffic issues
Pedregal $1,200 - $1,800 Single-family homes, New apartment complexes Working-class, Newcomers seeking affordability Potential for growth, Lower property prices Still developing, Limited amenities and transport

Juan Diaz

Juan Diaz stands out as an affordable option.

It's cheaper because it's a bit further from the city center, meaning less demand. However, property values might rise as the area is developing rapidly, with new infrastructure and amenities being added. You'll find a mix of apartments and single-family homes in Juan Diaz.

The average price per square meter hovers around $1,500 to $2,000 in Juan Diaz. Residents are diverse, including young professionals and families. The strengths are its growing commercial activity and proximity to the Tocumen International Airport.

The downside is it's not as centrally located, meaning longer commutes to the city center.

San Francisco

San Francisco is another great choice.

It's known for offering good value for money, particularly because it's an older area and properties might need some renovation. This factor could lead to an increase in property values, especially as the neighborhood becomes more popular for its central location and charm.

In San Francisco, you'll find a range of properties, from older apartments to houses, with prices averaging around $2,000 to $2,500 per square meter. The neighborhood is popular with expatriates and middle-class families, offering a blend of residential calm and urban convenience.

However, some properties might require updates, and traffic can be an issue during peak hours.


Pedregal is also worth considering for its affordability.

It's more budget-friendly because it's a developing area, less established than other parts of the city. The potential for property value growth is significant, thanks to ongoing development projects.

You'll mainly find single-family homes and some new apartment complexes in Pedregal, with average prices around $1,200 to $1,800 per square meter. It's a mix of working-class residents and newcomers seeking affordable housing. The area's strength lies in its potential for growth and lower property prices.

The main drawback is that it's still developing, so amenities and public transport options are limited compared to more central areas.

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Areas in Panama City that are popular and upscale

When looking to buy property in Panama City, three neighborhoods stand out as upscale and popular choices. These neighborhoods each have their unique character and draw different types of residents.

Neighborhood Average Price/sqm Property Types Resident Profile Strengths Weaknesses
Punta Pacifica $3,000 - $4,000 Luxury apartments, penthouses Affluent individuals, expats Ocean views, amenities High cost of living
Costa del Este $2,500 - $3,500 Houses, apartments Upper-class families, expats Family-friendly, modern infrastructure Removed from city center
San Francisco $2,000 - $3,000 Mixed old homes and new apartments Local professionals, expats Vibrant, close to city center Varied living standards

Punta Pacifica

This neighborhood is one of the most expensive and upscale areas in Panama City.

It's known for its modern skyscrapers and ocean views. Properties in Punta Pacifica are mainly high-end apartments and luxury penthouses, attracting affluent individuals and expats.

The average price per square meter in Punta Pacifica is around $3,000 to $4,000, reflecting its exclusivity. Residents enjoy top-notch amenities, shopping centers, and private schools, making it ideal for families and professionals.

However, the high cost of living and the dense urban environment can be drawbacks for some.

Costa del Este

A planned community that blends residential, commercial, and recreational spaces.

It’s slightly less expensive than Punta Pacifica, with average prices per sqm around $2,500 to $3,500.

The area is popular among middle to upper-class families and expats, boasting modern infrastructure, beautiful parks, and a range of property types from houses to apartments. Its well-organized layout and family-friendly atmosphere are major strengths.

However, it’s somewhat removed from the city center, which could be a disadvantage for those who prefer a more urban lifestyle.

San Francisco

Known for its blend of traditional and modern living.

It offers a mix of old homes and new apartments in San Francisco, attracting a diverse group of residents including local professionals and expats.

The average price per sqm in San Francisco ranges from $2,000 to $3,000. The neighborhood boasts good restaurants, a vibrant nightlife, and is close to the city center.

However, some areas can be noisy and congested, and the mix of old and new properties means varied living standards.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Panama City

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Panama. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Panama City

Areas in Panama City that emerge as new hotspots

Let's explore these emerging neighborhoods in Panama City that, according to our local partners and our customers, are getting quite a bit of buzz lately.

Neighborhood Average Price/sqm Property Types Resident Profile Strengths Weaknesses
El Cangrejo $1,500 - $2,500 Refurbished properties, new developments Young professionals, expats Bohemian vibe, central location Traffic congestion
Casco Viejo $2,000 - $3,000 Restored historic buildings, new developments Culture enthusiasts Historical, vibrant culture Gentrification issues
Obarrio $1,800 - $2,800 Mixed residential and commercial properties Young professionals, families Relaxed environment, urban amenities Balance of residential and commercial

El Cangrejo

Initially a middle-class neighborhood, El Cangrejo has evolved into a trendy area popular with young professionals and expats.

It's becoming known for its bohemian vibe, with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and art galleries. The property prices in El Cangrejo are more affordable, ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 per sqm.

The area's evolution is marked by an increasing number of refurbished properties and new developments.

It's likely to continue gaining popularity due to its central location and cultural appeal, although it may struggle with traffic congestion and limited parking.

Casco Viejo

Once a neglected part of the city, Casco Viejo has undergone significant restoration.

It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, attracting tourists and residents with its colonial architecture and vibrant cultural scene.

Properties in Casco Viejo are a mix of restored historic buildings and new developments, with prices around $2,000 to $3,000 per sqm.

The neighborhood appeals to those who appreciate history and culture, but it still faces challenges with gentrification and maintaining its historical integrity.


Traditionally a residential area, Obarrio is emerging as a blend of residential and commercial, attracting young professionals and families.

The average price per sqm in Obarrio is around $1,800 to $2,800. It offers a more relaxed environment compared to the bustling city center, yet it's close enough to enjoy urban amenities.

The area is expected to grow in popularity, especially with ongoing development projects.

However, it could face challenges balancing its residential charm with commercial growth.

Make a profitable investment in Panama City

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in Panama City

Top neighborhoods in Panama City to invest in property

Areas in Panama City with a strong rental demand

If you're considering buying real estate in Panama City for renting it out, these neighborhoods with high demand for rentals should be considered.

Neighborhood Tenant Profile Average Rent Rental Yield Tips Weaknesses
Punta Pacifica Expats, Business Professionals $2,000 - $2,500/month 5-6% Ocean views, Modern amenities High maintenance costs
Casco Viejo Tourists, Young Professionals $1,500/month 6-7% Close to main squares Limited parking, Noise
El Cangrejo Students, Families $1,200/month 7-8% Near universities, Metro stations Older buildings, Traffic

Punta Pacifica

This upscale neighborhood is a hotspot for rental demand due to its luxurious lifestyle and proximity to key areas like hospitals, malls, and business centers.

It attracts expats, business professionals, and affluent locals seeking high-end apartments with modern amenities. You can expect to rent a two-bedroom apartment for about $2,000 to $2,500 per month in Punta Pacifica, leading to a rental yield of approximately 5-6%.

To optimize rental income, focus on properties with ocean views, modern facilities, and within gated communities.

However, be aware that high maintenance costs and competition can be drawbacks.

Casco Viejo

Known for its colonial charm and vibrant nightlife, Casco Viejo appeals to tourists, young professionals, and expats who love culture and history.

Rental properties in Casco Viejo are mostly refurbished colonial buildings offering a unique living experience. A stylish one-bedroom in Casco Viejo can fetch around $1,500 per month, with a yield of around 6-7%.

Opt for well-maintained, authentic properties close to main squares and restaurants.

The challenges here include limited parking and noise levels due to the bustling nightlife.

El Cangrejo

This neighborhood is a blend of residential and commercial, attracting students, young professionals, and families.

Its central location and affordable living options make it popular. A three-bedroom apartment in El Cangrejo can be rented for around $1,200 per month, with a yield of about 7-8%.

Focus on properties near universities and metro stations.

However, older buildings and traffic congestion are potential drawbacks.

Don't lose money on your property in Panama City

100% of people who have lost money in Panama have spent less than 1 hour researching the market. We have reviewed everything there is to know. Grab our guide now.

invest real estate in Panama City

Areas in Panama City where property prices might increase in the future

In these areas in in Panama City you can still find properties at a reasonable price, with room for appreciation as the neighborhoods develop.

Neighborhood Tenant Profile Average Price/Night Tips Weaknesses
Balboa Avenue Tourists, Business Travelers $80 - $150 Panoramic views, Tourist attractions Noise, Competition
San Francisco Family-oriented, Short-term Renters $60 - $100 Near Parque Omar, Good connectivity Traffic, Commercial balance
Amador Causeway Tourists, Families $70 - $120 Views of Panama Canal, Near Biomuseo Remote location

Balboa Avenue

This area is famous for its stunning ocean views and high-rise buildings.

Short-term tenants in Balboa Avenue are mostly tourists and business travelers looking for luxury and convenience. They prefer properties with modern amenities, pools, and gyms. The average price per night in Balboa Avenue can range from $80 to $150.

To increase rental income, focus on properties with panoramic views and proximity to tourist attractions.

However, the area can be noisy, and there's stiff competition.

San Francisco

Known for its diverse dining and shopping options, San Francisco attracts short-term renters who prefer a more local experience.

They often look for family-friendly apartments or houses. Average nightly rates in San Francisco are around $60 to $100.

Properties near Parque Omar and with good connectivity are preferable.

The challenges in San Francisco include traffic and maintaining a balance between residential and commercial appeal.

Amador Causeway

This area is popular for its scenic views and recreational activities.

Short-term tenants in Amador Causeway are usually tourists and families seeking a relaxing environment. They prefer accommodations with easy access to nature and outdoor activities.

Nightly rates average $70 to $120 in Amador Causeway. Properties with views of the Panama Canal or proximity to the Biomuseo are desirable.

However, the remote location can be a downside for some tenants.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Panama City

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Panama. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Panama City