If you can’t decide between Panama and Nicaragua for your real estate investment, you’re not alone. Both offer a rich culture, abundant biodiversity and beautiful landscapes. In this article we look at three key attributes to help you prioritize which country may be right for you.
Real estate price point
Panama and Nicaragua can be classified as ‘affordable property markets.’ Both offer property at lower prices than Costa Rica (across all property categories) and Belize (for most categories). But when compared side-by-side, Nicaragua wins with the lowest property prices in the region according to research on asking prices conduced by Reveal Real Estate. But if you look hard enough, Panama still offers ‘ground floor’ investment opportunities especially in less established areas such as the Azuero Peninsula or the Boca Chica area a little east of the town of David in Chiriquí province.
Diversity of property types
Panama City, the capital of Panama is arguably the most cosmopolitan city in Central America and a world-class financial. So if you’re looking for a full blown urban experience (with a bit of old world charm thrown in) then Panama is the place for you. But for stunning Pacific coast beaches, our pick would be the southern part of Nicaragua’s coastline. Nicaragua has beaches that will rival any in the region. Panama’s Pacific coast does have its fair share of beauty (particularly if you head offshore to the islands), but for classic Pacific coast investing (white sand beaches, dramatic headlands, sheltered coves) Nicaragua wins in our books. Then again, if you’re looking for Caribbean property head to Panama and make sure you research Bocas del Toro real estate, a stunning archipelago in the west of the country. Nicaragua’s Caribbean real estate market is far less developed and infrastructure is very patchy.
The Panama real estate market is at an interesting stage in its development. It can’t quite be classified as ‘emerging’ but it’s also not fully developed or ‘mature’ either. As a result many investors are drawn to Panama properties for what they consider a comfortable balance of risk and reward. The investment fundamentals are strong, prices are low and there’s a strong potential for capital appreciation over the medium term. Nicaragua’s market as a whole is more ‘speculative’ in nature and may do less well in the current post-crisis, more risk adverse investment context.