In the face of pandemic, global financial meltdown, security threats and domestic political uncertainty, Israel’s housing market has kept right on growing. Nor will it cool down anytime soon, according Eric Gluch of the Israel Property Group, which is very much at the market center. “Even though property prices are high and rising, supply and demand imbalances will keep Israel as one of the world’s top real estate locations,” he says.
The 15-year-old Israel Property Group has matched thousands of local and international buyers and renters with houses, apartments and holiday homes in Israel. Most active in the center of the country —Tel Aviv, Herzlia, Raanana, Netanya — it provides “efficient, hands-on service, tailored to the individual client,” says Eric’s wife and business partner Nicole Gluch. “We go the full mile for every client, from mid-range properties to the highest-end undertakings — such as the luxurious 50-story residential tower now rising in north Tel Aviv, for which we’re currently sole agent for foreign markets.”
As veteran immigrants in Israel, Eric and Nicole have feet in both worlds. They come from Cape Town, where Eric qualified as a lawyer and Nicole obtained a masters degree in Fine Arts. After making Aliyah in 2001, real estate was not part of the plan. “I had a job with a Tel Aviv law firm. Increasingly, however, friends abroad were asking us to help them find homes in Israel”. In December 2007 and Eric quit law practice to open, with Nicole, the Israel Property Group as a boutique residential real estate agency, brokering sales, rentals and property management for absentee owners. They rapidly built up a reputation such that, during the past couple of COVID-restricted years, they have negotiated real estate deals worth millions of shekels via Zoom for clients in South Africa, Australia, North America and Britain, sight unseen.
The Israel Property Group is quick to identify opportunities and direct its clients, local and foreign, to neighborhoods and investments that best suit them. “There’s no ‘one size fits all’ in real estate,” says Eric. “Young couples, families, retirees, religious and secular, veterans and newcomers all live different lifestyles which are met by different locations.
Despite constantly rising property prices (a 39 percent increase in the first three quarters of 2021 alone, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics), the Gluchs believe the buyers will keep coming. “Prices will stay high because Israel is a small country, with 93 percent of its land directly controlled by the government,” says Eric. “Releasing land for new building often involves rezoning agricultural land, and is always a long, slow process. Add to all of this ‘everyone’ wanting to live in the center, the same way that ‘everyone’ wants to live in Paris or New York — and the continually rising price of property in Israel is easy to understand.”
In addition, due to cultural and historical reasons, the country’s birthrate remains high, which means more and more young couples are coming onto the market every year, he explains. “Not only that, Israel has a built-in international market of Jews overseas investing in second homes in Israel — a trend spurred by both COVID and mounting antisemitism. Some 5 percent of Israeli real estate is owned by foreign residents, which translates into billions of dollars of property.”
The future, for the Gluchs, looks as busy as the past, continuing to bring together their two passionate life-values: Zionism and sound investment in Israel.
They are currently heavily involved in sales of a one a kind project taking place in the heart of Tel Aviv's most desired location. This state of the art project will incorporate two high rise residential buildings above a commercial and transport hub. A city within a city, it will reflect the best of international standards and amenities.