Real Estate Values in Boquete, Panama “Best in 7 Years” –

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Property prices in the highlands around Boquete, one of Panama’s most sought-after expat retirement havens, may represent their best value ever—certainly the best seen in seven years, reports.

Right now, real estate prices in Panama’s highland country around Boquete are low.

Yet Boquete, a popular retirement haven with North Americans, has never been so vibrant. There’s a new theater, new cafés and restaurants, and an international school. The city of David is only a 40-minute drive away, and road improvements underway are going to shorten that to 25 minutes within the next two years. Plus, there’s talk of more flights coming to the airport.

At 4,000 feet, Boquete offers retirees a beautiful mountain setting. The Caldera River roars down the mountainside and through the middle of town. There’s rich pasture. The dormant Volcán Barú provides a dramatic backdrop. The mountain air is fresh and temperatures are a comfortable 60 to 77 F year-round.

Right now, in the middle of town a new, 1,453-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo lists for $120,000. Rentals are in high demand here and an investor could easily charge $1,000 a month for rent.

Close by, in Volcancito Village, a newly built duplex of 883 square feet with a 355-square-foot terrace lists for $95,000.

“With prices so low, now is the time to act on property in Boquete,” says property expert, Ronan McMahon.

In 2004 and 2005 Boquete really caught on among expats. The trickle of pioneers turned to a flood of North American real-estate shoppers, developers, and speculators.

“When I visited in 2007, I counted more than 20 real-estate projects at various stages of planning and development—targeted mostly at the North American market,” McMahon reports. “Prices shot through the roof. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo could set you back $200,000 or more.

“But then the housing market in many parts of the U.S. collapsed. Credit dried up back home. Buyers could no longer buy with the stroke of a pen to release an equity line of credit on their home.”

With few buyers over the next six years, the market in Boquete ground almost to a halt.

Projects failed or never got off the ground. And now some private sellers need out.

“This situation right now is a ‘value window.’ I don’t expect it will stay open long. Boquete is beginning to appear on the radar of wealthy Panamanians and other Latin Americans as a second-home location. They are catching on to Boquete as a weekend retreat,” McMahon says.

While it’s a buyer’s market overall, sellers who urgently need to sell their properties are accepting truly bargain-basement prices.

“Therein lies the key to buying: Find a distressed seller,” McMahon reports.

Read more about Boquete’s real estate values, here: Property Prices Fall in Boquete, Panama.

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