Although the majority of foreign buyers of Jerusalem real estate are driven primarily by emotional and Zionistic aspects, there are financial considerations that have caused a slowdown in this area over the past few years.
In 2015, the complex political atmosphere in Israel, and in Jerusalem in particular, led to a sharp decrease in the sales of Jerusalem real estate. In fact, the official survey published by Israel's Chief Economist in 2016 sites a 41 percent decrease in comparison to sales conducted in the same period during the previous year.
The Survey, commissioned annually by the Ministry of Finance to provide the Israel Real Estate market and its participants with a benchmark progress report, attributed the decline in purchases in the Jerusalem real estate market to the rise in terror attacks in the area and possibly to government's decision to allow a double property tax to be placed on "ghost properties". Hence, in 2016, Jerusalem was officially no longer the number one area of investment for nonresident buyers.
But in real estate, as in real estate, a slowdown in sales will often lead to a decrease in prices and an increase in available properties. In a real estate market like Israel's, that continues to defy the laws of finance with an ever-increasing rise, this can only spell out opportunity.
Taking a step into the sidelines while a market stabilizes is common and wise practice. Buyers and investors that have been patient and are still dedicated to the Jerusalem real estate scene, are now confident that despite the temporary slowdown, Jerusalem properties are making a slow but palpable comeback. Although purchases halted, rental prices continued to rise, construction was continuous and the emotional reasoning remained untouched. Buying into the Jerusalem real estate market has remained a solid investment and the savvy investor is now returning to the Jerusalem real estate scene and ready to gather the many new and promising properties that will now become ripe for the picking.
The question is no longer whether to invest in Jerusalem real estate, but rather what to buy and in which neighborhood in line with the buyer's personal and financial goals.