A Primer to Israel’s Real Estate Scene

The Israeli real estate market has proven its uniqueness. While not immune to outside influences, it is driven mainly by internal factors.

Liz Steinberg
Liz Steinberg
Housing plans.
Liz Steinberg
Liz Steinberg

It’s been a dramatic few years for Israel’s property market. It all started seven years ago, when the world was in the throes of a financial crisis the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Great Depression. Home prices in the United States and Europe came crashing down, and many a mortgage bank went belly-up.

But lo, what was happening in Israel? Prices rose. Slowly at first, and then picking up speed as the crisis dragged on in many leading Western economies. Didn’t Israel’s real estate scene know that a crisis of global scale was under way, triggered by mortgage lending no less? It was as if Israel were a world onto itself.

And indeed, the Israeli real estate market has proved that it is a unique creature; while not immune to outside influences, it is driven by highly local internal factors. What exactly are these factors, and what has been happening in Israel to push home prices to an all-time high while major Western economies stagnate? Nimrod Bousso provides an in-depth analysis (“The seven-year glitch”), while Arik Mirovsky predicts where things will go from here (“Bringing down the house prices”).

Once you’ve acquainted yourself with the basics of Israeli real estate, you can get specific. Raz Smolsky and Nathan Sheva look into quirky niches in the local property scene: Smolsky surveys the new-to-Israel phenomenon of residential hotels (“A suite deal”), while Sheva takes a look at unusual homes in offbeat locations and lets you decide — are they worth the price? (“Steal or sucker deal?”). Meanwhile, Smolsky and David Rosenberg look into the niche of foreign buyers, offering you a peak into their homes overlooking the sea or Jerusalem’s Old City.

So here’s wishing you a festive and kosher Passover holiday. Next year in Jerusalem — with Mirovsky’s survey of what makes the capital’s real estate scene so unique, of course.

Happy holidays,

Liz Steinberg

Editor, TheMarker Magazine, English Edition

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