Israel’s long-term rental projects being pushed through a governmental company was supposed to increase the inventory of apartments for rent, and create a regulated alternative for the Israeli rental market, which is dominated by private landlords.
However, it has emerged that one of the first projects being marketed, the Aviv Sheli project in Ramat Hasharon, is struggling. A year after opening, 71 of 281 units remain empty, prompting the company, Apartment for Rent, to market its rentals through membership club Hitech Zone.
Hitech Zone, which targets high-tech employees, is making a special offer to members worth over 14,000 shekels ($3,800). First, they get the first two months free for long-term rentals of four-room apartments with a balcony, which go for 6,200 to 6,900 shekels. They also get a month with no management fee, worth 450 shekels.
The high-rise project includes a 21-story building and three 13-story buildings. Seventy of the 281 units are allocated for people with special eligibility from the Housing and Construction Ministry, who can rent a three-room apartment with a storage room, parking and administrative fees for 3,980 shekels per month. Four-room apartments for eligible renters start at 5,270 shekels per month. Apartments that are not rent-controlled run from 5,000 shekels per month for three-room apartments to 8,900 shekels per month for two-floor, six-room apartments.
Hitech Zone representatives noted it conducted a survey of over 1,500 members before deciding on the partnership. The company found that 25% of respondents prefer to live in one of the cities in the Sharon region, with Petah Tikva coming in second place with 15.3%. According to the survey, 14.7% are interested in living in Rehovot, Nes Ziona, Yavne and the environs, while 11.7% want to live in Pardes Hanna, Zichron Yaakov and those environs.
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Siel Novokovski, VP of business development for Hitech Zone, said the club has 250,000 members from 520 different high-tech companies. “This project is the only one in the area that is tailor made for way high-tech workers are employed and the frequency of their moves between jobs,” he said. He explained that the long-term rental model gives tenants the flexibility they need because it allows them to commit for one year but also to know what the rent will be for the next decade if they decide to continue renting.
Aviv commented: “72 apartments remained for rent and we estimate that we will have 90% capacity by summer’s end.”