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How to buy a city in Panama
Mundo continues its search for the perfect family office investment, one that ticks all the boxes of being low risk, high profit, and that involves co-investing with highly reputable family offices who are owners of the project.
In real estate, we have found the perfect investment. Our partner is not just a family office, it is one of the most reputable and well-known families who, together with partners, were responsible for building areas like Costa del Este. Now they have come up with something truly amazing, an entire city with high-end universities, schools, and walkways built impeccably and matching the architecture of Casco Viejo.
Our partners have the architectural plans, they already have numerous buyers and now they are looking for the perfect partner to invest in the city itself and co-partner with them. This family and its co-founders own banks, holdings, and projects and will be the perfect co-investment partners for your family office. Mundo is authorized to vet all family offices that invest and introduce them directly to the owners. This is a huge return on your investment with almost no risk as many of the projects are now being sold.
If you would ask us to name our favorite country where you can do business and relocate, the answer is simple: Panama. This is the only country we know of that has it all: tax and business incentives, territorial tax system, accessible residence programs, permanent residency by investment, a solid and confidential banking sector, free zones, a foundation structure with supreme asset protection options, nice weather, excellent life quality, cosmopolitan environment, a booming real estate market an ever-growing economy and profitable real estate investment options.
Today we want to present what we consider to be one of the best projects in all Latin America, firstly because it is located in the capital city of one of the most important financial hubs of the world, secondly, because of the ROI options, and thirdly because of the uniqueness and beauty of the project’s concept.
Life and architecture in Panama
It is not necessary to live in Panama to obtain the tax residency certificate but living there would certainly make it much easier to officially obtain this status. Living in Panama has its pros and cons. Panama City boasts of having vibrant nightlife, excellent shopping malls, beautiful historical places and it is near many natural wonders such as beaches (in the Caribbean and the Pacific), mountains, waterfalls, etc.
However, foreigners (especially those from the US and Europe) may find Panama´s layout and town infrastructure hard to get used to.
Panama was built during the earlier colonial times, being founded on August 15th, 1519, which means it had to gradually grow from being a settlement of a few people to an important city and one of the most important ports of those times. We can see something similar in another one of Latin-American’s most important Pacific ports: the port of Callao in the city of Lima, Peru, which was founded in 1535.
Thus, two of the oldest cities in Latin America show similar characteristics when it comes to the original layout of streets, squares, and buildings. Such a layout may turn out to be difficult for foreigners, especially those that come from more modern cities.
Panama, for example, is not built for pedestrians. Long and wide avenues in Panama don´t have a pedestrian traffic light in every corner, there are no sidewalks in most of the city, and there are no official addresses. The only exception is a neighborhood called Casco Antiguo, which is a picturesque place where residents and tourists can enjoy long walks, nice squares, old architecture, a remarkable restaurant and bar offer, and beautiful ocean and city views.
Casco Antiguo is currently the only place in Panama City which can be considered to be pedestrian-friendly. Why is this so? Let us look at its history.
Casco Antiguo was built more than a century after Panama City´s first foundation, in the year 1673, and following the almost entire destruction of the old city after a violent pirate attack. For this reason, the general design of Casco Antiguo reflects a new tendency in the colonial construction which intended to imitate the European cities, as opposed to the more improvised constructions of the earlier colonial times of the 16th century.
Casco Antiguo has a very different layout and design than the original city and this is because it was built in 1673, after the “Ordinances concerning discoveries, settlements and pacifications” were released by King Phillipe the Second in 1573.
In this set of ordinances, among other things, King Phillipe establishes new rules and parameters for the construction of towns in the colonies, after having consulted with the most qualified experts of the time. The ordinances set out the requirements for the construction of towns considering important factors such as comfort, beauty, and hygiene. Also, thanks to this initiative, towns began to be built in a more organized way with stipulated rules: orthogonal layout for streets (chessboard-like layout), a central square, and pre-defined dimensions for urban squares.
Thus, Casco Antiguo was built according to this concept. The rest of Panama City, however, was almost entirely developed after the 1920s when the Panama Canal was already working and the country became the bridge of the world, a permanent or temporary home for many people from around the globe.
These were bad news for the future pedestrians in Panama, because after the 20s, cars became more popular and affordable, and this marked a clear urbanism tendency. Now, the cities´ layouts were not built according to the pedestrian´s needs but more specifically for car circulation. This also resulted in the development of suburban areas and neighborhoods as people could now easily work in the city but live far away and just drive to work every day.
Nowadays, in Panama, it is still quite affordable to buy a car and the city is not as pedestrian-friendly as one would expect. Casco Antiguo remains a beautiful place for visiting, taking long walks, and enjoying the views, but it’s located away from the city center, office spaces, banking districts, shopping malls, government facilities, and schools.
Our partners, prestigious developers, saw this and decided to build a new and improved Casco Antiguo, where the exquisiteness of Phillipe’s innovations can be combined with the demands of modern life. In other words, they are creating a city within a city.
If you want to buy a city in Panama, contact our expert for more information.
A city within a city, the concept
Imagine you could build your ideal city, what values would it have? Do you imagine it grey and noisy, or green and peaceful? Would you design its layout thinking mainly about cars or pedestrians?
Let us imagine for a minute that we could build a special place. A place where nature is one step away from your doorway, an urban design that allows you to enjoy an active life outdoors. An environment where music, art, and festivals are waiting for you just around the corner and where the word “neighbor” recovers its true meaning. Let us dream of building such a city.
The truth is our partners have dared to dream this dream and they have been doing so for decades. Welcome to this amazing project, a colonial city in the very heart of Panama Norte, the new hottest development place of Panama City. The project will be surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes inspired by the most romantic cities. Welcome to a place full of life and a community founded under the principles of the new urbanism where people and walkable spaces are the main priority.
For this project´s master plan and building code, our partners work with a prestigious firm of American urbanists, led by the world icon and revolutionary founder of the new urbanism, Andres Duany. With more than 80 squares, this city will be the largest planned walkable community in Panama and the region. With wide sidewalks and bicycle paths, you will be able to enjoy an active life, leaving sedentarism behind, betting on a new philosophy in which everyone can equally enjoy the cultural offers and outdoor places with easy access. This project offers for the first time in Panama the independence and mobility that children, elderly and handicapped people deserve.
In this city, you will live in an open and secure community surrounded by long rivers and leafy forests and with exquisite architecture of colonial houses and low-rise buildings with balconies and internal courtyards . You will find cafes, bars, restaurants, plazas and markets, children’s playgrounds, schools and civic places, gardens, squares, parks, and a sports club. With everything you need for a fulfilling daily life, this project is for people that want a healthy lifestyle, a sense of belonging, and a close connection to nature. Our partner’s team has been dreaming of this new lifestyle and for this reason, they work hard day by day to make this dream come true. This project is supported by a Panamanian real estate developer with more than three decades of experience, founded in 1984. Join this amazing project that is also known as “the New Casco Viejo in Panama”.
A city within a city, the Project
The main concept of this project is that “everything is made for pedestrians”. This is a novelty in itself, especially in a city like Panama. In this neighborhood people will be able to take long walks and children will be able to play on the streets and sidewalks safely.
Our partners offer a master-planned community with 262 hectares inspired in colonial cities such as Sevilla (Spain), or Cartagena de Indias (Colombia). The community will have colonial houses and low-rise buildings with facilities such as malls, restaurants, squares, parks, schools, bars, sidewalks, bike paths, and a trolley.
Under this innovative concept, this city, located in Panama Norte, will be designed and built for the sole comfort of pedestrians. Panama Norte is easily accessible from the city center through the Corredor Norte, a highway that connects the city with the Tocumen International airport and runs on the coast of the Pacific. Halfway between the airport and the city center, this project boasts a privileged location. Let us see what important city points are located near our project:
- 12 schools nearby - 5km
- Corredor Norte (highway) -1km
- Metro station - 5 km
- International airport - 12 km
- Santa María and Costa del Este projects - 7km
- City center - 12km
A city within a city, places and facilities
The first square of the neighborhood will be called Plaza Panama and will have leafy trees and a playground for children. The city will have wide sidewalks and continued balconies so that pedestrians can walk comfortably even on a rainy day.
Plaza Fundadores will be the name of the second square which will have a connection to commercial spots such as stores, restaurants, and cafes. This is the place where people will go shopping, get together for a meal or a drink, and socialize in general.
One of the most exciting things about the project is its connection with nature. The city will have big parks, a river, and small artificial ponds located in such a way that they are easily accessible from every part of the city. Thus, you will be at walking distance of spectacular natural landscapes and green areas, a factor that is vital for leading a healthy and happy life.
The green areas, the health and sports facilities, and the general layout of the city will surely contribute to the development of a sense of community. We expect to host diverse music festivals, concerts, poetry readings, and other important cultural activities which are also a key factor for the healthy life of any modern and well-educated person.
The project will have enormous advantages, some of which are described next:
- Innovative concept.
- Modern infrastructure.
- Designed by an international firm.
- Sports facilities.
- Pedestrian-friendly (easy mobility through wide sidewalks, bike paths, a trolley, and continued balconies for the rainy days).
- Infrastructure that is friendly to children, elders, and the disabled.
- Only 12 km away from the city center of Panama.
- There will be a metro station nearby (8th line).
- Sense of belonging.
- Healthy lifestyle and connection with nature.
- Direct access through the Corredor Norte (access to and from the city center, access to and from the Tocumen International airport).
- Perfect balance between commercial and residential land.
- Positive impact on the region´s economy thanks to the creation of jobs and the promotion of commercial activities.
- Supported by a Panamanian prestigious and experienced developer.
The project has parcels of land and lots for sale available to different developers and end-users, but they are bound to build under the project´s defined parameters and the strictly stipulated urbanization code. Every construction process will be supervised and approved by the project’s committee, thus guaranteeing the perfect neighborhood for the inhabitants. Every project will be designed and built prioritizing pedestrian´s comfort and wellbeing.
A city within a city, project description
• 262 hectares (sellable + common areas)
- 101 hectares of sellable area
- $350/M2 average price
- $400 million in sales
- 80 hectares of sellable area in medium to large parcels of land
- $110/M2 average price
- $88 million in sales
A city within a city, financial aspects of this opportunity
Our experts are looking for a partner to participate in this unique project allocating 10% of the total project equity. Are you interested in this opportunity? Contact our experts now and acquire your shares as an excellent investment in what is about to be the most exciting neighborhood in Panama. Also, you can buy parcels or lots at very competitive prices
If you want to learn the details of this project, please read our article.
At the beginning of this article, we stated that we are not only in love with this project but also with the country. As we said, Panama is our favorite jurisdiction for many reasons. After all, the best project is the one that can combine the finest conditions and features with the perfect location. And the project we are presenting here is a clear example of this. In this section, let us analyze why Panama is the best place for real estate investment.
Panama has one of the strongest economies in Latin America. The official currency is the US Dollar and
Balboa (issued only in coins) Thanks to this, the economy is much more stable than in most of Latin America and the country does not have major inflation issues. The country´s GDP has grown considerably in the last decade (from 7% to 10%).
Panama is not only a strong economy in Latin America, but in the world, being the 23rd fastest-growing country. The most important contributors to Panama's GDP are tourism and services. This means that the government actively promotes both these sectors. The tourism industry, in particular, enjoys a variety of incentives including tax benefits and exemptions in certain areas and under certain conditions.
Let us not forget what may be Panama´s most important wonder: The Panama Canal. This is one of the major engineering works of the 20th century and a key point for the world’s maritime industry. The Panama Canal is crossed by 14,000 vessels a year, and thanks to this the country receives high revenues. Also, the Canal constitutes a direct and indirect way to promote the economy and create job positions, contributing to the general business-friendly environment.
Known as the Singapore of the Americas, Panama is considered one of the most important business hubs in the world. The country offers many tax incentives including 17 double taxation treaties, exemptions, free zone special import and export policies, and a territorial tax system. If your tax residency is in Panama and you generate your income abroad, you have to pay a 0% tax rate, but remember that you still need to file your tax returns each year.
In Panama, you can either register an IBC or a free zone company. With the latter you will have special incentives and exemptions but, depending on the zone you choose, you are also restricted to some activities in particular. Either way, thanks to its many advantages, Panama is the ideal place where to establish your headquarters and operate through branches in other jurisdictions.
Visit our country focus corporate section for more information.
The banking sector in Panama offers three important advantages: functionality, safety, and confidentiality. The banks in Panama generally offer excellent services like online banking. If you travel often or live abroad, this is a very useful feature as it allows you to easily manage your accounts remotely. Also, the banking sector is a very safe and developed one, with world-class level service. Lastly, although Panama has signed up to the CRS, it remains a confidential banking jurisdiction. Each bank must report to the fiscal authorities of the country of origin, however, if you smartly structure your financial affairs, you can establish your tax residency in Panama and make sure that all your income is derived abroad. Thus, the banks in the foreign jurisdictions will report to Panama, but you will pay zero tax. If you are not a tax resident in Panama, your Panamanian bank will report to your country, but there is still a high level of confidentiality because the banks do not share information with the Panamanian government unless there is a crime involved or a legal process in progress.
-Flexible residency programs:
One of the features that make Panama famous in the international financial sector is the wide range of residency permits. You can acquire residency by investment, by establishing a business, by proving to be a professional with a university degree, by having a lifetime pension, or by demonstrating meaningful personal or business relations in and with the country. Each of these programs is subject to certain conditions which we describe in detail on our country page.
These options are good enough in themselves, but Panama has released an even more attractive option in October 2020. The Panamanian government has released a new residency program which is the equivalent of the European golden visa because, through this program, an individual of any nationality can apply for permanent residency by investment. The investment can be real estate, Panamanian stock market vehicles, or a bank deposit. The most attractive option, in our view, is real estate as it allows for permanent residency with a minimum investment of 300,000USD. We describe this program in detail here.
-Excellent life quality:
Panama offers a great lifestyle with incredible landscapes (beaches, mountains, waterfalls), active nightlife, shopping malls with exclusive brands, and great weather. The city is very similar to Miami, but the costs are much lower. In Panama, you can acquire a beachfront luxury property at a much lower price than you would get in similar cities like Miami, or the Gold Coast in Australia.
Thanks to the large number of ex-pats living in Panama there is a vibrant cosmopolitan environment and therefore a great international cuisine offer. Here you can find the most delicious French, Italian, Jewish, Japanese, Chinese, Peruvian, Argentinian, and Lebanese dishes among others. And let´s not forget the exquisite local gastronomy.
The investment advantages of Panama in a nutshell
- Panama receives one of the major FDI flows in America.
- Panama is the perfect investment environment thanks to its straightforward processes and advantageous tax structure.
- Good diplomatic relations with the US.
- Political and economic stability.
- Stable currency directly tied with the US dollar and controlled inflation.
- Home of the Panama Canal and therefore a regional international trading hub.
- Attractive business and tax incentives.
About the developer
Mundo works with the best partners and developers in Panama and the world. The primary focus of this project is to build a colonial-style city that brings back the lost values of solidarity in a pedestrian-friendly environment. This project offers the possibility of leading a healthy lifestyle in close contact with nature and only 20 minutes away from the city center.
Our partners are a highly reliable development company that participated in the construction of some of the most exclusive areas of Panama City.
With all this, it is safe to say that this is a unique investment opportunity offering great ROI and a better and healthier lifestyle. Contact our experts and invest in the new Casco Viejo now.
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