Panama’s real estate market can be broken down into the following submarkets: cities, beach areas, mountains, islands, and Lake Gatun. One of the most dynamic growth areas in Panama today falls under the “cities” submarket and extends West just outside Panama City from Nuevo Arraijan through La Chorrera to Capira. This is a market area is experiencing rapid growth and is comprised of upper middle, middle, and lower middle class Panamanians with a population of over 300,000 and a recent growth rate approaching 50%. It is fast becoming one of Panama’s main urban growth areas and is a commuter market where home buyers get more house for their money and commute to Panama City for work. Hence the traffic jams in the morning going into the city and in the evening leaving the city.
Many of these commuters will eventually change from jobs and businesses in Panama City to the local area. As the old saying goes: “rooftops drive retail”, and there has been significant retail development in the area with the new Westland Mall being the largest followed by the first Costa Verde retail center at freeway exit to La Chorrera (Costa Verde is one of the largest master planned residential and commercial projects in Panama).
In addition there smaller more localized block malls scattered throughout the submarket. All this housing and retail development also results in job growth in various sectors of the economy. In addition there is a large, growing local labor pool highly motivated to switch to a local jobs as they become available; a situation attractive to businesses looking for a place to locate or relocate.
A key factor in all this growth is new infrastructure in the form of a six land expanded freeway or “autopista” running from Nuevo Arraijan to La Chorrera. In addition there have been new interchanges built along with local surface street improvements recently completed or under construction. A third metro line is rumored to be in the works to extend from Panama City to Westland Mall with a possible fourth line to La Chorrera. In addition, La Chorrera has seen a huge increase in population as it is the capital of the newly created province of Panama Oeste.
As urban Panama City has grown to the East past Tocumen International Airport, the primary remaining outlet for housing, retail, and job growth is this Nuevo Arraijan to Capira submarket. A submarket that has been largely overlooked by investors from North America and Europe, although there is a significant presence of Latin American developers and investors who have operations in other Latin Countries. The growth in this submarket mirrors growth outside of major North American cities and going forward, this is an area that will present opportunities in residential, retail, and commercial development for both local and foreign investors.
For information on land investment opportunities in the Nuevo Arraijan submarket or other areas of Panama, please contact us directly.