Price Controls Imposed In Panama

Empty Grocers’ Shelves In Panama?! (Not Really)

July 28, 2014
Panama City, Panama

Dear Offshore Living Letter Reader,

Last week I read a couple of reports in the press saying that grocery store shelves here in Panama are empty.

These reports got my attention, as, since I’ve returned to Panama from Istanbul a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been to different grocery shops maybe four or five times…and I haven’t noticed any empty shelves. What’s going on?

First, some background.

The Empty Grocery Store Shelves Phenomenon is supposed to be a result of the price controls that the recently inaugurated president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, put in place shortly after taking office. Varela has frozen prices, as he promised he would do, on 22 basic food items. The government is surveying stores and imposing fines on those not complying. Continue reading “Price Controls Imposed In Panama” »

The Property Market In Istanbul, Turkey

Appreciation Of Up To 30% Per Year Plus Double-Digit Rental Yields In This Booming Market

July 24, 2014
Panama City, Panama

Dear Offshore Living Letter Reader,

The real estate market in Turkey wasn’t hit as hard as others around the world in 2008 and 2009. Values in some districts of Istanbul dropped by maybe 25% at the height of the downturn (about the same as in Panama)…but in just a year-and-a-half prices had recovered. That rate of appreciation (10% to 15% per year on average) has continued through this year and is expected to carry on indefinitely.

Specifically, real estate values in Istanbul were up 11.6% on average in 2013, according to the real estate company in Istanbul I spoke with. And 2014 growth rates are expected to be greater.

Despite these impressive rates of appreciation, Istanbul real estate remains a bargain compared with other global-standard cities. With a starting market price of around US$1,000 a square meter, middle-class housing in the Turkish capital can be an excellent buy.

That said, to put things into some perspective, the 11.6% average rate of appreciation isn’t as impressive for the locals, as inflation in the country has been running about 9% a year. Still, real estate has been staying in front of inflation on average, making it a good place for Turks to park their capital. And I believe it’d be possible to realize appreciation well beyond the averages if you bought right. My real estate contact reports possible appreciation of up to 30% per year…again, if you know where to invest. Continue reading “The Property Market In Istanbul, Turkey” »