Tel Aviv Seafront Apartment Sells for NIS 81.5m

Despite a few big sales, the luxury market is in retreat; foreign buyers no longer prepared to pay whatever it takes to snag what they want.

The highest-priced residential real estate sale in Israel for the first half of the year came in June, with the purchase of a 10-room apartment on the 17th floor of developer Henry Taic's David Promenade Residences project on the Tel Aviv waterfront. The 612-square meter apartment sold for NIS 81.5 million. And the buyer's family shouldn't have a problem finding parking, because the apartment in the 26-story project comes with four parking spaces.

In general, the luxury residential deals that have been sealed this year are small potatoes compared to record prices from prior years, in which there were properties sold for more than NIS 100 million. It would appear that the highest-end market - housing selling for more than NIS 10 million - is in retreat, perhaps because demand by foreign buyers has slowed. They are no longer willing to pay whatever it takes to snag a luxury unit.

It was pretty much business as usual in June when it came to sales of apartments in luxury high-rises in Tel Aviv and at new top-end projects being built in Jerusalem.

The second-highest price for the month was at the Waldorf Astoria hotel and apartment complex on Jerusalem's Agron Street, a few blocks from the Old City’s Jaffa Gate. A nine-room, 408-square meter apartment there sold for NIS 26.3 million. In third place for the month pricewise was a third floor, seven-room 295-square meter unit on Jerusalem's Hatayasim Street, west of the city center, which went for NIS 11.1 million.

Fourth spot was back at the David Promenade Residences, for a three-room, 99-square meter 11th floor apartment that was purchased for NIS 9.49 million, followed by a seven-room, 294-square meter unit on Gad Street in Jerusalem that sold for NIS 9.48 million.

On Eliyahu Berlin Street in Tel Aviv, in a new part of Ramat Aviv Gimel, a 206-meter 11th-floor penthouse fetched NIS 7.8 million. And a 240-square meter home on Einstein Street in Herzliya Pituah went for NIS 6.7 million.

The luxury market is not confined to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In Ashdod, for example, although the city itself is not considered a high-end location it has its share of luxury housing that attracted a large number of foreign buyers - particularly in the years between 2005 and 2007 - in the Marina district, where the sea view and proximity to the water were the drawing cards. Home prices in the neighborhood took off. This year, during the month of June, a 160-meter garden apartment was sold on Egoz Street, not far from the water, for NIS 5.55 million.

A six-room penthouse in a new project in the Tel Aviv suburb of Givatayim sold for NIS 5.3 million, and in Maccabim-Reut, which is between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, an eight-room 261-square meter house was purchased for NIS 4.6 million. On Moshav Ein Vered, in the Sharon region east of Netanya, a six-room house of similar size went for NIS 4.5 million.

Like Ashdod, Bat Yam - just south of Tel Aviv - has attracted its share of overseas buyers seeking property near the city's seafront promenade. A five-room unit on the 31st floor of a new 42-story tower near the water sold for NIS 4.33 million. A six-room house in the Neveh Dekalim neighborhood in the western part of Rishon Letzion went for NIS 4.2 million.

Next on the list for June was a 125-square meter garden apartment on Shlomtzion Hamalka Street in Haifa's Carmeliya neighborhood, that sold for NIS 3.05 million. Although this was the most expensive sale in Haifa for the month, there were other residential units there that sold for substantially more in prior months.

Finally, prices in Be'er Sheva have been on the upswing. In contrast to the past, when the top prices for apartments in the Negev capital were for units with their own private patch of land, in June the two most expensive residential sales were for two six-room, 167-square meter apartment units in a new 17-story apartment tower opposite the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, each of which sold for NIS 2.29 million. Such prices were unheard of for high-density housing in Be'er Sheva until recently.

Viewpoint
Emil Salman