That house listed in Mexico for $236k in Mex seems high to me.
These prices have to be inflated for Gringos. I wonder if locals are paying the same price for an equivalent? For some reason... I doubt it. I know that other services are less expensive in these countries. I suspect that the USA expat enclaves are artificially inflated.
It's all supply and demand. Expats come here and they see a condo overlooking the Pacific and say"Geez you know how much this condo would cost in the US?" So even at 300k or 400k they think it is a steal compared to a condo in Miami overlooking the ocean for 1-2 million. The problem is you can't compare these places to the US because they are not.
Locals can't afford these new properties unless they are wealthy by Panamanian standards. Funny thing is you can still buy a condo for about 150k a block or two away from these 400k units. The only difference is they are 10 or 15 years older and not as flashy. For my money I'd buy an older condo and remodel it with newer cabinets, crown molding, etc. and still come out ahead. When the downturn hits IMHO you won't be affected as much because of the lower price point and a larger pool of buyers.
BTW- Because of the lag in upgrading the infastructure to accomodate these condos the gov't recently added a "tax" to pay for the upgrade and of course the builders are passing it along to the future owners. So technically the cost of your condo could increase by about 10k to pay for the upgrade although you have a contract for X dollars.