Specialty and department stores are the entities demanding the most space in commercial centers and malls in the capital.
The vacancy rate for Class A commercial property fell by 7.4% in the first half of 2013 to 4.8% in the second half of 2013, due to the fact that the rise in meters available in major shopping centers has been absorbed at a good pace, with many of those spaces being leased before the works are finished, reported a study by the real estate firm CBRE Panama.
The booming economy and the arrival of foreign executives are driving demand and pushing up prices for rentals in Panama City.
According to realtors in the past five years rental housing in Panama City has grown by 40%. In areas such as Rio Abajo, Carrasquilla and Parque Lefevre the price paid for for renting an apartment used to be up to $500, but now the value could be $800.
Finding apartments with adequate prices, safety and that are close to services, has become a difficult task.
In the last three years in Panama City rents have risen in price by 50% and 60% due to the growth in the country, the influx of foreigners and the construction of new infrastructure. "Rental rates vary according to where they are located. Those who are looking to rent for example in Perejil, Calidonia or San Miguelito, will find prices are between $275, $ 300 and $400, since in more exclusive areas such as La Alameda and la Locería in Ricardo J. Alfaro they range from $600 to $1500 ", reported Elsiglo.com.
After repealing the law allowing the sale of land, the government is intending to put up rental prices.
"Yes, the rents are going to be raised, we said that from day one," said the Minister of Economy and Finance, Frank De Lima, whose aims is that users of the free zone will contribute the more than $27 million per year that are currently paid, towards improvement plans in the province.
President Martinelli has suspended the sale of plots in the Colon Free Zone, and announced increases in rents and changes to the much resisted law 72.
After suspending the sale of land in the Colon Free Zone and noting that if the people in Colon do not want it to be sold, the plots will not be sold, the government of Panama announced that the law will be modified so that the income produced from these areas – be it from future sales or rents -will go entirely to the province, rather than the 35% that had been planned.
After having reached an agreement on prices with the users of the CFZ, the government of Panama introduced in the National Assembly the Colon Free Zone bill.
Panamaamerica.com reports that "After several months of negotiations between the administration of the Colon Free Zone and users, a consensus was reached as to the value of the land according to the appraisals."
Users of the Colon Free Zone in Panama are no longer required to purchase the lot which they currently lease and if they choose to continue renting the amount charged in the first five years can not exceed 10% per year of what they currently pay.
At the end of the first five years, rents can be updated every two years according to the consumer price index, indicated the Zone's Users Association (AU in Spanish).
In the industrial segment, the cost per square meter has increase dramatically.
According to CB Richard Ellis, the price per meter in 2007 was between 2 and 4 dollars while in 2008 it is now between $5 and $8.
The economic prosperity, along with a the fact that there has not been a significant increase in the construction of space, caused a shortage in storage space which resulted in the increase in rent prices in Panama City, explained Carla Lopez, director of Evaluations and Consultations at CB Richard Ellis Panama.
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