Experienced mortgage consultant Be’eri Gurtler Har-Tuv of Jerusalem has been advising foreign property purchasers for over a decade on how to navigate the mortgage banks so as to maximize their investment.
In the period following Covid, the real estate market has been rocked by a combination of factors, including supply chain issues and skyrocketing inflation that has led to higher interest rates. “Over the last year, the world, and Israel in particular, has seen a significant increase in interest rates, along with a corresponding hike in real estate prices,” noted Gurtler Har-Tuv.
This double whammy has not only discouraged local buyers, but has pushed away foreign investors, leading to a serious market slowdown. “We’re talking about an average of 50% of the transactions compared to just one year ago,” he said.
The market saw a gradual reaction, however. In the last three months, Israel has seen a very surprising decrease in interest rates, due, according to Gurtler Har-Tuv, to the banks becoming extremely competitive, in the hope of attracting customers.
That trend, in combination with strong dollar rates, amount to excellent opportunities for American purchasers. “Banks seeking to woo investors through competitive rates and flexible conditions, coupled with a dollar that has greater buying power, spells opportunity for Americans seeking to invest in Israeli property,” he said, adding that “now is an excellent time to buy.”