Saturday, April 05, 2008

Panama mortgage financing

January 1, 2007

The following are the average terms and conditions of mortgage banks in Panama. This mean that specific rates and conditions may vary from bank to bank.

Financing:

Between 60% - 70% of the purchase price or appraised market value, whichever is the lesser.

Interest Rate:

From 6.5%, plus FECI 1% per year.

Amortization:

Maximum amortization of 20 years divided into Five (5) years renewable at the Bank’s option for three (3) additional terms of five (5) years each. The maximum amortization period will be subject to factors such as Borrower(s) age and Net Worth.

Security:

First mortgage over the property.

Insurance:

Banks generally require that the borrower(s) contracts a life insurance policy for the amount of the loan, endorsed to the Bank, and a fire insurance policy with catastrophic extension for the amount of the loan, endorsed to the Bank. The insurance must be underwritten in Panama.

Bank Commission:

Approximately 1% of the amount of the loan payable at time of loan drawdown.

Other Conditions:

1. The borrower(s) cover all legal and registration expenses charged by Bank.
2. An appraisal of the property given as security to report an estimated market value at least equal to the purchase price.
3. Opening of a savings account, through which, the payments for the loan will be deducted, with a minimum balance equal to three (3) monthly installments.
4. The customer must meet with the lending officer at the Bank at least once.

Documentation Required:

Job letter and copy of two pay slips (for borrowers currently earning a salary).
Copy of the last three personal income tax declarations and/or business income tax declarations or audited financial statements.
Two clear copies of the ID cards or passports. Copy of all the pages in the passport.
Adequate verification of sufficient personal assets (copy of bank account statements, real estate titles, bonds, common stock, etc.).
Copy of the Purchase-Sale Agreement.
Credit references.
The BusinessPanama Group, owner of this website, is one of the largest integrated services groups in Panama. We have experienced real estate brokers, lawyers, bankers, title insurance experts and other professionals to assist clients on any business they need.

At BusinessPanama Real Estate, we can help you with:

Buying a property or home in Panama City, Bocas del Toro, Boquete, Islands or Mountains
Forming a company to own your property
Legal services to purchase the property
Applying for your residence program
Title insurance
Home owners insurance
Bank mortgage financing
Others
In bank mortgage financing, we can take care of the whole procedure from beginning to end on your behalf. We will find the most comprehensive terms for your specific case and coordinate all requirements with the bank and yourself.

We work with all mortgage banks operating in Panama such as ScotiaBank, HSBC, Banco General, Banco del Istmo, Banco Cuscatlan, Banco Nacional, Caja de Ahorros and others.

Panama real estate taxes

Transfer tax must be paid by by seller at the moment of transfer of the property.

A 2% real estate transfer tax is levied on the transfer of real estate based either upon (1) the sale price stated in the official purchase/sale document (sale contract) or (2) upon the official property value, which ever is higher.

The taxpayer may choose to pay either (1) the 2% real estate transfer tax over the greater of the purchase price of the property or the oficial property value, increased by 5% per year of tenancy, or (2) to pay income tax at a 10% rate based upon the assessment value plus a 10% increase for each year of tenancy. If the taxpayer chooses this second option, no further taxes on capital gains on the transaction are levied.

Sale of a new residential property is exempt from this tax if the buyer uses it as a personal residency.

The real estate transfer tax can be offset as a direct credit against the income tax levied on a capital gain arising from the sale, if any.

Income on capital gains resulting from the sale of real estate is taxed in full and on a separate basis regardless of whether the company or the individual had a net taxable income or a net operating loss.

Real Estate or Property Tax

All land and real estate improvements thereon located in Panama are subject to real estate taxes.

Real Estate tax is appraised by an agency of the Ministry of Economics and Finance. It must be paid according to the official assesment value, which is usually the declared value on the sale document.

The maximum annual percentage of assessment is 2.10% which is based upon two items: (a) over the value of the land, and (b) over the declared value of the improvements built.

The taxable base will depend upon the total value of the land plus all improvements. Real estate transactions at prices of more than the appraisal value will automatically increase the value of said properties for tax purposes. Certain properties and improvements thereon are exempt or can obtain exemptions from real estate taxes according to special incentive tax laws.

Real Estate Properties with assessed official values of less than US$30,000.00 are exempt from taxes. Real estate taxes have priority over all incumberances on the property.

Taxes can be paid in three installments, namely by April 30th, August 31st, and December 31st.

A tax clearance certificate must be obtained before any real estate transaction can be completed and will be required by the Panamanian Public Registry Office for any transaction regarding the property.

The New Panama Island Law

The New Panama Island Law


The day that President Martin Torrijos stamped his signature to Law 2 in the island of Bocas del Toro, an initial group of 7 projects for an estimated amount of US$732 million were unveiled. Now there are other projects in the pipeline in the Pearl, Veraguas and the Parida islands, showing that investors were awaiting this law....





INTRODUCTION



During recent years, Panama has become a top destination for tourists, investors and retirees from all over the world. Most retirees or “pensionados” come looking for more friendly, secure and affordable communities, such as Boquete, Volcan, the Caribbean islands of Bocas del Toro, the Pacific beaches and, of course, cosmopolitan Panama City.



Incentives for tourism investments were first granted by means of Law 8 of June 14, 1994. The enactment of this law began the process of branding Panama as a tourism destination, attracting investors and tourists alike, but mainly in the hospitality sector.



In the last few years, resort residential communities have taken off and entrepreneurs have identified islands such as the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro to develop their projects, but found that most of the lands in these areas were yet to be titled, thus making the process of installing their projects more difficult.



As early as 2003, a group of foreign and Panama lawyers and entrepreneurs headed by Juan Pardini and JJ Espino identified the serious problems with certain land transactions known as “rights of possession” and started lobbying with authorities and senators from the government of Panama to enact legislation to regulate land tenure and establish clear rules of the game to title land for tourism projects and local inhabitants. The government became aware of the need for second-home or retirement investors to obtain registered title to the lands where their projects are to be developed and secure legal stability for their investments. With this in mind, the Cadastral Land Office (locally known as Catastro) headed by Benjamin Colamarco with the help of Edgar Aguilera, Irma Lee, Carlos Moreno and others promoted a bill of law early in 2005 which after extensive discussions and debates with multiple groups was approved and enacted by the Legislative Assembly as Law No. 2 of January 7, 2006 “which regulates concessions for tourism investment and the sale of island territory for purposes of tourism development and other provisions” (and an Executive Decree containing the enabling regulations for Law No. 2 to be enacted soon), also referred herein as the “Island Law”. This law provides legal security, clear procedures and continuity to the efforts to promote tourism investments in Panama, as set forth in Law No. 8 of 1994.



The day that President Martin Torrijos stamped his signature to Law 2 in the island of Bocas del Toro, an initial group of 7 projects for an estimated amount of US$732 million were unveiled. Now there are other projects in the pipeline in the Pearl, Veraguas and the Parida islands, showing that investors were awaiting this law.



Panamanian law distinguishes between two kinds of property: (a) private or titled property, and (b) public or state-owned property.



Titled property is that whose ownership, area, value, boundaries and other details are duly recorded at the Public Registry of Panama. The Public Registry of Panama contains a centralized record system of all titled property in the Republic of Panama.



State-owned property is all land and territories owned by the Republic of Panama, which can be used by a private person (individual or company) if an administrative concession has been granted over the same for a limited period of time. State-owned properties can also be exploited or used for agricultural purposes by persons in the event a possession rights certificate has been granted by the Agrarian Reform of the Ministry of Agriculture. Rights of possession (in this article referred to as “RoPs”) have also been recognized by local authorities such as Municipalities and Regiments (“Corregidores”). Law No. 2 of 2006 acknowledges RoPs granted by any of the authorities identified above, subject to the process established for the issuance of concessions.



Law No. 2 of 2006 provides to tourism investors the opportunity to either obtain a long term concession or acquire and title the property where they will undertake their projects.



CONCESSIONS



Concessions can be defined as leasehold agreements between the Ministry of Economics and Finance through the Cadastral Office, a government institution in charge of the management of all state owned property, and individual persons or companies for a determined period of time. Once the concession is granted the person awarded the concession must pay to the Ministry of Economics and Finance an agreed lease amount.



Law No. 2 provides the following additional characteristics for concessions over areas located in the tourism zones as defined by the Ministry of Tourism, whether located on islands, coastal lands, and other properties of the State, to be granted for tourism projects:



Longer concession periods granted to investors for use of state-owned lands:
Law No. 2 of 2006 establishes concession periods of 40 years with the option for an extension of 30 years.
There also exists the possibility of a concession for 60 years, with an extension for an additional 30 years.
The length of the concession will depend on the amount of the investment and potential for generation of employment, subject to the parameters to be set by the Ministry of Economics and Finance.
The granting of these concessions will be awarded by means of a public bidding procedure as it will be more fully detailed in the enabling regulations.
An express procedure for the procurement of concessions over lands to be used for tourism projects.
All improvements and buildings constructed over concession areas may be titled and recorded in the Public Registry. This will facilitate procurement of financing for the investors as well as the option to sell, lease, transfer, mortgage or in any other manner make use of the concession granted to him and the improvements attached thereon.


Law No. 2 of 2006 creates an “Express Window” (“Ventanilla Unica”) within the Cadastral Office of the Ministry of Economics and Finance in charge of receiving all applications as well as processing all approvals and authorizations required for concessions. This special department will have representatives from all entities whose approval is necessary to complete the concession contract and start a project. To speed up project start-up, and once the developer present all basic requirements, this Express Window department may issue a provisional authorization to begin operations, while the developer complete all remaining requirements for the permanent concession.



Among the requirements to be provided to the Ministry of Economics and Finance to obtain the concessions created by this law are:



· Preliminary development master plan of the property.

· Project budget.

· Development program and execution schedule.

· Evidence of financial capability of the petitioner.

· Certificate issued by the Ministry of Tourism certifying that the requested area is located within a tourism development zone.

· Approved Environmental Impact Study.

· Certificate that the petitioner is registered before the Tourism Enterprise Registry of the Ministry of Tourism.

· Performance bond for 10% of the value of projected works, which will expire once the improvements are recorded.



DIRECT PURCHASE



Islands, whose ownership, according to the Constitution of Panama, up to now, was limited to nationals, have always been an area of special interest for tourism related investments.



Law No. 2 of 2006 provides the following incentives to foreign or national individuals or corporations interested in purchasing island territory for developing a tourism project:



· Island territory may be sold for tourism related purposes, provided an affidavit is granted, confirming the purpose of the investment and the number of jobs to be created.

It is important to repeat that no more than 50% of an island can be sold to foreigners or foreign interests in a corporation. The sale of island territory must be submitted to a public bidding procedure as it will be more fully detailed in the enabling regulations and obtain the approval of the Ministry of Economics and Finance. However, projects over RoPs or already initiated or undertaken on an island before the enactment of Law 2 may request direct sale of the island property.

· Individuals or corporations legally occupying island territory will have the right to obtain concession of the same and be able to transfer it to a third party.



The contract for purchase of island territory must include at least the following:



· Description of the land granted for sale, including area, measures and boundaries.

· Value of the land object of the sale. The price will not be less than the average of the appraisals made by the Ministry of Economics and Finance and the Cadastral Office.

· Estimated amount and details of the investment, including the amount to be invested in utilities and infrastructure for the project.

· Environmental Impact Study and Mitigation Plan.

· Complete description of the project in its definite phase, including investment amounts and execution term for the development of the project.

· Description of beach easements, which can be no less than 22 meters.

· Precise description of the public domain assets located within the island territory.

· A bond of at least 10% of the value of the contract and that will be valid during the term of the project. This bond will expire proportionally as the improvements are recorded.



All projects within these areas must comply with the territorial zoning master plan to be prepared by government authorities. Until this master plan is approved, each project may submit its own zoning plan which will be processed and approved through the Express Window.



The same “Express Window” (“Ventanilla Unica”) within the Cadastral Office of the Ministry of Economics and Finance will be in charge of receiving all applications as well as processing all approvals and authorizations required for direct purchases of island territories.



RESTRICTIONS



Due to the nature of islands, and for sovereign protection purposes, the following restrictions have been set for these special tourism areas:



· They cannot be located less than 10 kilometers from the borders.

· They cannot have been designated as historical patrimony or national patrimony.

· They, due to their characteristics, cannot have been dedicated to the conservation of the environment or for forest or scientific purposes.

· They cannot be part of Indian territory.



The sale of these special tourism areas cannot exceed 50% of the total territory of each island and ownership cannot be transferred to another State. Tourism projects pursuant to Law 2 cannot exceed 30% of the total territory of an island.



As an effort for nature conservancy, the following limitations have been set for certain areas:



The construction over coral formations is forbidden as well as any activity that may cause the death or destruction of their ecosystem.
The cutting, use or commerce of swamp forests, their products, parts or derived products is forbidden, except for tourism projects after the approval of the respective environmental impact study.


As a final note regarding restrictions, concessions and sale of beachfront property may only be granted up to 22 meters as of the line of high tide. The area of 10 meters as of the line of high tide is considered beachfront and cannot be granted in concession under any circumstances. The area of 12 meters as of the beachfront can be granted in concession as a coastal easement.



SPECIAL SITUATIONS



Law No. 2 of 2006 cover a special procedure for individuals domiciled in an area, who have kept a permanent and uninterrupted possession of national island property, for at least 2 years before the enactment of the law, and prove that they have used such property for their own home or agricultural purposes.



These persons will be granted a concession for a period of 90 years without having to participate in a public bid process, plus not having to comply with the requirement of posting a bond and, being exempted from payment of the concession lease.



A corporation that properly purchase the RoPs from an individual resident in the area who proves that he complied with the requirements of Law 2 will be subrogated in the rights of such person for purposes of obtaining the concession.



Another special situation set forth in Law No. 2 of 2006 is the obligation of concessionaires and investors to hire non-skilled local personnel from the area during the construction of the project.



2ND HOME & VACATIONAL HOUSING



In an additional effort to promote residential tourism investments in Panama, Law No. 2 also provides incentives for “Vacational or Permanent Residential Units”. The purpose for this incentive is to promote the development of vacation and retirement homes or buildings, which may be built over concession areas on islands or coastlands, provided they are located within a tourism development zone as defined by the government and only one parcel per petitioner. These projects additionally will enjoy the incentives and benefits of Law 8 of 1994. Enabling regulations will be enacted to provide rules for the size of the parcel, costs of constructions and improvements over the same.



CONCLUSIONS



Law No. 2 of 2006 confirms the decision of the Government of Panama to support, promote and grant more legal security to tourism investments plus an orderly development and a better use of the island and coastal resources of Panama. The implementation of this Law No. 2 of 2006 will definitely result in benefits and profits for both the tourism industry and the country of Panama and its people.



Written by



Juan F. Pardini

President

BusinessPanama Group

www.BusinessPanama.com



With the assistance of

Gilda Berman and Michelle Delgado

Attorneys at Pardini & Associates

www.Padela.com





In the BusinessPanama Group, we have experienced licensed real estate brokers, lawyers and other professionals to assist you on any business you need.

We can help you with:

Locating properties in Panama City , Bocas del Toro, Boquete, Islands or Mountains
Developing a project on the islands
Forming a company to own your property
Legal services to purchase the property
Applying for your residence program
Title insurance
Home owners insurance
Bank mortgage financing
Others
We will be delighted to assist you, represent you, or advise you. As Panama is the bridge of the Americas , let the Business Panama Group be the bridge between you and Panama 's rich potential. We are here to help you find a beautiful home or successfully launch your project without problems in Panama .

For more information, please contact any of offices in Panama City, Boquete or Bocas del Toro.

Dupont Towers Panama

BP-499 Dupont Towers
Last updated: 2008-04-05

Province/Town: Panama City
Exact Location: Punta Pacifica
Type: Panama City Apartments
Transaction Type: Sale
Sale Price: $331,000.00
Sale Price Terms: Between

Wanting a piece of the Panama City skyline? This project is located in Punta Pacifica, one of the newest and most modern neighborhoods in the city with magnificent views to the ocean and the city skyline. With easy access to shopping malls, supermarkets, fashion spots, and an infinity of places around the city, along with all the amenities just a walk away.

This project is on pre-construction. It has 42 floors. It has different sizes of apartments starting from: 166mts with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms; 211.30mts with 2 bedrooms, family room and 2.5 bathrooms (maid’s quarters w/ bathroom); 265.60mts with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms (maid’s quarters w/ bathroom)

With an easy access to a different avenue, in 20 minutes you can be at the mountains, 1.5 hour at the beach, and 5 minutes from the City of Panama.

The project has 24 hour security, a water reserve tank, fire alarm system, power plant, handicap access, high speed elevators, and a beautiful social area with: Gym, Pool, Solarium, Jacuzzi, Basketball court, Putting green, Gazebo, BBQ area, a beautiful lobby and even a private spa.

All installations ready if you want to install air conditioner. Central air conditioning is the primary however, a split air conditioning system is possible.

Project will be ready in October 2008

Friday, April 04, 2008

Grupo Provivienda

This new real estate group has many project to offer, one of the latest if Bijao
You can visit their web site here http://www.comelivepanama.com/

Panama, better known as Central America's most modern and architecturally diverse city, has become the new hot trend in the international real-estate market. Panama’s changing skyline is due to the growing number of US and Venezuelan Residences that are choosing Panama as their number one place to live and retire. Panama has it all…incredible weather, modern centers, shopping, white beaches, rivers, lakes, mountains, jungles, rainforests, diverse culture and cuisine, and the best real-estate investment opportunities that can be found in all of Central America.

Live in Panama…Panama has near perfect weather, a stable government, no currency barriers, low cost of living, low crime rate, clean air, relaxed pace of living as well as abundant outdoor recreation. Panama has everything from golf and tennis to river rafting and diving. Modern infrastructure gives Panama the edge over traditional retirement destinations like Mexico or Costa Rica.

Grupo Provivienda, Panama's top residential real estate developer, has been an instrumental asset in Panama’s real estate development and growth for more then a decade. Grupo Provivienda has become the benchmark in Panama’s real-estate boom. Their experience and knowledge in construction makes their product the right choice for living or real-estate investment.

Grupo Provivienda successfully constructs and markets state-of-art apartments which make life in Panama an extremely comfortable and memorable experience. Grupo Provivienda understands consumer needs and has demonstrated the ability to deliver high quality developments throughout Panama and international markets.

Come live in Panama and enjoy all the benefits which it has to offer
Panama real estate

Trump Ocean Club

Trump Ocean Club,

International Hotel & Tower

Panama City, Panama
A $400 million, mixed-use development, the Trump Ocean Club, International Hotel & Tower will be an immense joint venture of the Trump Organization and K Group, a premier high-end resort developer in Panama. It will be located in Panama City at the beautiful Punta Pacifica Peninsula.

The 1.8 million square foot project will feature a 68-story condominium tower with approximately 300 hotel condominium units and an additional 500 condominium units. Each of the units will have unobstructed panoramic ocean views.

As a mixed-use project, the Trump Ocean Club, International Hotel & Tower will be much more than a high-rise tower. Its impressive amenities will include:

* International casino
* Yacht Club and Pier
* 24-hour marina
* 8,600 sq. ft. wellness spa
* State-of-the-art gym
* Two pools including an Infinity Pool
* Gourmet and casual dining restaurants
* Boutiques & shops including jewelry store, beauty salon, etc.
* Private beach club at Contadora Island
* 4,400 sq. ft. business center
* 24-hour concierge service
* 24-hour valet service
* Chauffeur driven limousine service
* 24-hour medical service

The development of Trump Ocean Club in Panama coincides with Panama's plans for a $5.5-billion improvement of the Panama Canal. Donald Trump said his interest in Panama was sparked three years ago when his Miss Universe pageant was held in the country. "I am excited to bring the prestige of the Trump Organization to this exceptional destination project," Trump said.


Trump Ocean Club will occupy prime real estate in Panama City overlooking the Punta Pacifica Peninsula.

"With this development, we will set a new standard of luxury in Panama. The Trump Ocean Club, International Hotel & Tower, will be a magnificent and distinctive contribution to Panama City, one of Latin America's most dynamic cities."

Roger Khafif, president of K Group commented, "The Trump Organization is committed to realizing in Trump Ocean Club, a one-of-a-kind, best in class, destination for living, working, boating and shopping in Panama.

"No other property in this rapidly growing and desirable region can compete with the Trump signature brand and its level of world-class amenities.

"This is the first time that the Trump Organization has invested in real estate development in Central America, highlighting the present level of confidence Mr. Trump has in Panama, our budding economy and our first-class developments."

Punta Pacifica is a high-end, newly developing area on a peninsula that juts into the Pacific. This exclusive neighborhood is next door to high-end malls, high-rent offices and the most luxurious high-rise condos in Panama.

Keep in mind, Trump Ocean Club is in fact a Trump property and will reflect the elegance and opulance that go hand-in-hand with the Trump name.

Furthermore, Panama is quickly becoming the mecca for luxurious residences in Latin America, and the Trump Ocean Club is destined to be its crown jewel!

Construction on the project began in May 2007 and should be completed by late 2010.

Prices for the condo hotel studios at Trump Ocean Club are from $383,000. Prices for the 600 condominiums range from the $500,000 to $850,000+.

Additionally the Bay Loft units just came on the market. These are some of the most desirable residences in the entire Trump Ocean Club building. Not only do they face the water, but they overlook Trump Yacht Club, too. And if you enjoy your privacy, then these units are worth every penny.

Bay Loft owners will have their own private lobby, private concierge and private elevators leading up to the studio, one- and two-bedroom units. Bay Loft units at Trump Ocean Club start at $332,000, and all units have their own private terrace with commanding views of the Pacific Ocean and Panama Bay.

Demand for this project has been tremendous and inventory is moving very quickly. Please contact us for additional information and instructions on how to reserve a Trump Ocean Club, Panama condo hotel unit while a broad selection of units remains.

Want to learn more about Panama? We've put together a brief summary.

Wall Street Journal writes about Panama

Whether it’s the mainstream media, or individuals who have discovered Panama, the praise for this tiny Central American country keeps growing. The travel book publisher Foot Print Books calls Panama one of the world’s “great crossroads.”


In a July, 2007 article in Fortune Magazine entitled “Latin America’s real estate Panamania,” Fortune describes Panama as “one of the world’s hottest real estate markets.”


The Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and National Geographic have published exciting pieces highlighting the undiscovered delights of Panama.

The Wall Street Journal describes “the new breed of intrepid retirees (that are) branching out” to Panama. The Boston Globe calls Panama “an undiscovered tourist paradise.”

One retired investor admiring the view from his apartment recently said, “Panama looked like a good investment and a place to have a good time. You don’t need a lot of sense to see that property will increase in value.”
Said one Canadian who spent a year in Panama with her husband and two children.

“It’s an awesome experience. It was very, very nice. It was very different. It was very relaxing. When you look at Canada everything is fast-paced. When you come here you have to take a couple steps back…They don’t believe in a clock,”

The Panama Festival and Expo 2008

The Panama Festival and Expo 2008 A Premier Trade Show.

Come to PanaExpo, the world class 3-day trade show which exhibits investment and lifestyle opportunities in Panama, that runs from Friday May 2 to Sunday May 4 at the Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Road in Mississauga, Ontario. Mississauga is just west of Toronto, Canada.

PanaExpo visitors will have the opportunity to ask experts about investment and retirement opportunities in Panama and how to enjoy this gem of a country. International Living magazine called Panama “one of the best places in the world for retirees today.” Frommer's listed Panama as the world’s number four travel destination in 2007.

PanaExpo will also showcase Panamanian cuisine, culture, dance, and the arts. Exhibition space is currently available.