Since being designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2003, Real Estate Investment in Casco Viejo (Casco Antiguo) has soared. Foreign and local investors alike have fallen in love with this unique area. Although prices are not what they were 7 years ago when you could buy a whole building (or at least the shell) for only $40,000 with an ocean view, compared to other comparable Colonial Cities like Cartagena in Colombia, Casco Viejo or Casco Antiguo is still a bargain.
Casco Viejo is certainly the best Real Estate Investment you can make in Panama and perhaps even in Latin America. It is perhaps one of the last of the Spanish Colonial Cities to be restored, and there are few places in the world which can match its charm. Often referred to as the "SOHO of Latin America", Casco Viejo is a cultural launch pad, much the same way the neighborhood of SOHO in New York City was (and still is) during the 1960's and 1970's.
Even with the global recession, prices have shown no sign of slowing in Casco Viejo, and interest and investment has barely missed a step. Panama, which has one of the highest credit ratings in Latin America, has the most stable democratic government and economy in all of Latin America, and is the largest banking center in the Southern Hemisphere, is an ideal place for Real Estate Investment or just a great place to live!
Banks, although they have stricter lending policies than you would find in the USA or Western Europe, are willing to lend on average up to 70% for Real Estate Investments. The process of getting a loan is lengthier here than in some other places, but with patience and a lawyer, very manageable. There are well over 100 banks to choose from in Panama when shopping for a loan, both foreign and domestic.
Whether you are interested in buying a fully restored apartment with all the luxuries or a 300 year old building with little left but a street front facade, Casco Viejo has it. At this moment only about 30 - 40% of the buildings have been renovated from Calle 1 (1st Street) to Call 12 (12th Street), which is the most attractive area. But it is likely that this area will expand quickly in the next few years. You can also expect then in the next 24 months the percentage of renovated buildings in the area mentioned will be closer to 80%.
As many of these apartment become restored they are coming on the market as terrific rental opportunities. A more affordable way of joining and experiencing the Casco community.
If you have any questions or want more information about investing and Real Estate in Casco Viejo, please contact us.