The price of an apartment in Panama City will depend on the location. Prices in and around the city center tend to be more expensive than apartments outside of the center by a third to a half. A studio or one bedroom in the city could run anywhere between $600 to $1,000 or more. Of course, the smaller the apartment and/or the older the building and amenities, the cheaper it will be.
The Panama City real estate market has been consistently growing in the last decade in both abundance and prices. Many skyscrapers with beautiful condos and apartments continue to be erected in the financial district which adds to the appeal of moving to the capital city.
This has had a positive effect for renters as well. If you are looking for a place to rent in the city, you will experience a very diverse offering.
Search engines can help you get a general understanding of the current market and find up to date listings. Most sites even allow you to create a profile and save your favorite properties or receive notifications by email about them. Here are some popular rental sites:
Facebook expat and local groups like Panama Rentals and Relocation are a great way to find properties and create an instant correspondence with the lister. You can also look out for signs in public places if you are in Panama while you are looking for a rental.
Estate agents are useful for getting on the fast track to finding a rental property. They will know all the nuances and details of the law for renting as an expat. They will also have many connections and properties related to their company. You can let them know what you are looking for and they can come back to you fairly quickly with available properties for you to look at that match your requirements.
You will have to pay a commission to the estate agent which is often the amount of the first month’s rent. As well, it is mandatory by law to pay a sales tax of 7% of the first month’s rent.
When looking for an apartment, you should know that there are many old buildings in Panama that have not been renovated. Older buildings might require more upkeep and have more flaws in the apartment. Even before committing to visiting an apartment, you should try to find out if it is in an old building or not. Usually, websites will say if it is in a new or renovated building.
It is not common to have a written contract when renting an apartment in Panama. Although Panama has two laws that oversee the renting of properties less than $150 USD in urban neighborhoods, it does not have much else regarding renter rights.
Usually there is a verbal agreement in regard to giving notice. Many renters will want their tenants to lease the property for at least six months, but a lease can be agreed upon for any length of time, and even then, it is not a strongly enforced. There is also no rule for when to give notice, but the sooner you can give notice, the better.
Looking for cheap accommodation in Panama City isn’t easy and can be time consuming. Fortunately the times of browsing innumerable adverts, making hundreds of phone calls and visiting dozen of houses belong to the past: with Uniplaces now you can look for your room comfortably sitting at home. You can pick a room in a shared home with other expats, a studio flat if you want more privacy, or you can team up with other friends and rent an entire apartment just for yourselves.
The booking system is very simple and doesn’t require any visit: all can be done in advance thanks to the detailed descriptions and photos of the rooms and you can secure your room before even getting there. Moreover the Uniplaces team will be available for any questions and help.
Uniplaces is an online marketplace for booking mid-long term accommodation with thousands of verified properties.