The perfect time for your Israeli investment.
“Never a dull moment” certainly applies to Israel at any point in time, now ever more so. And while the press has been working overtime to cast the county as is in the throes of a constant social coup, with chaos reigning in the streets, the vast majority of Israeli individuals and institutions are continuing with their lives, much as they always have been. The throngs of visitors, tourists and businesspeople who continue to occupy the hotels and landmark sites throughout Israel’s cities and towns are proof of Israel’s solid position as a destination of choice for as many reasons as there are people.
Take a drive through the capital and you won’t fail to notice the changes. Previously low-income neighborhoods are undergoing gentrification, as the city’s once-trademark four-story walk ups are steadily being replaced with glitzy high-rises. Fine restaurants, coffee shops and eateries with mehudar kosher certification dot the cityscape, and newly opened stores and malls likewise reflect a clientele that demands higher standards. Signs of intensive construction on transportation infrastructures are everywhere. Similar changes, on varying scales, can be observed in other cities, from north to south. Without a doubt, the consistent demand for real estate, evident since the start of Jewish settlement in the Holy Land, has gained tremendous momentum.
According to Gidon Katz, CEO of IMP and an expert in real estate marketing, the demand is only growing, and the high prices that are fueled by that demand will not go down. That said, the slowdown in the local market due to rising interest rates have created a special opportunity for foreign investors. “Developers are currently offering special deals and more flexible terms, making this the perfect time to seize the opportunity to invest in real estate in Israel.”
So many people are interested in purchasing a home in Israel but never actually move past the “thinking” stage. Without doubt, purchasing real estate outside of your area can be daunting – but the rewards of having a home in the Holy Land are immeasurable!
The following is a brief review of some of the most popular, in-demand projects and communities that are currently being marketed at the Great Israeli Real Estate Event, held in various venues across the New York and New Jersey area.
Sunny Forecast for Beit Shemesh
From its humble beginnings in the 40s as a transit camp, to the modern suburb that it is today, Beit Shemesh has come a very long way. The city is growing exponentially, with tens of thousands of new units in various stages of construction. In fact, Beit Shemesh is Israel’s fastest-growing city, with a population of over 140,000 (including a strong percentage of Olim) and is projected to nearly double in size by 2027.
Beit Shemesh, and particularly Ramat Beit Shemesh, aka RBS, is one of the most popular destinations for Anglo olim seeking a soft landing. Where else in Israel can you find medical clinics where the medical professionals speak your language, and even the signs are in English? Much ink has been spilled on the pros and cons of living in an Anglo “bubble” where one could potentially live their whole life without speaking Hebrew, but the fact remains that RBS continues to attract a steady stream of American and Anglo olim.
As the largest, oldest and most reputable real estate agency, Yigal Realty was there when RBS was first built and was instrumental in the neighborhood’s “takeover” by English-speaking Olim. “It didn’t take much to convince families to move to a place with such beauty, tranquility and sense of community,” says Meir Dombey, who today serves as Yigal Realty’s managing director and leads the firm’s overseas clients division. “We helped them through every stage, from signing their contract to helping them collect their keys, and everything in between to help them overcome the challenges of buying and investing in a foreign country.”
What was true almost two decades ago is all the more relevant today, says Dombey, whose vast knowledge of RBS real estate and rich experience has made him one of the leading agents in this exciting, growing market.
Dombey is proud of his city and foresees continued growth. “Alongside the accelerated construction of housing, there are corresponding plans to expand the infrastructures with new malls, office buildings, hotels, swimming pools and more. Employment opportunities are planned, with large international companies like Deloitte opening local offices where they will hire local employees.
The diversity of the population is another positive facet, according to Dombey. “The beauty of Beit Shemesh is that you can find a school for every kind of Jew. With so much expansion, every group and stream finds their place. There is room for everyone.”
Yigal Realty has earned a reputation as the agency that helps clients find exactly what they need, as opposed to pushing properties that they have an interest in selling. “There are so many options, clients can surely find the perfect fit for them.” After finding the right property, the agency will hold the client’s hand through all the subsequent stages, such as obtaining a mortgage, interior designing services and, for those who buy as an investment, even finding suitable tenants to rent the property.
Within walking distance of RBS Aleph is a brand-new, well-planned neighborhood of luxury towers called Rothstein Heights. This upscale project boasts beautiful, thoughtfully designed, spacious apartments, ranging from 2- to 4-bedroom units. With over 1000 units in total, Rothstein Heights will follow an Anglo model of rabbinic leadership, with the beloved Rabbi Larry and Chaviva Rothwachs, who will be making Aliyah. Under their leadership, the shuls will serve as hubs for communal life and spiritual growth, with meaningful learning initiatives, social activities, and chesed opportunities.
Neve Shamir is the newest neighborhood in RBS. The high-end Neve Amim project is located in the southeast corner of the neighborhood, adjacent to the country club and just a few minutes’ walk from the main shopping center. The project consists of 350 apartments spread out over 15 buildings, all finished to a high standard of technical specifications.
For families seeking exquisite private homes as well as multi-family residences with large, airy rooms, modern interior design, and elegant gardens there is the upscale Eucalyptus project — alongside the soon-to-be expanded Eucalyptus Park. This very luxurious project is in the Nofei Hashemesh community, led by the inspiring Rav Shalom and Dr. Tamar Rosner.
The new community of Eden Hills is nestled in the Judean Hills, surrounded by nature reserves, and yet just a 10-minute drive from RBS. The sold-out first phase of this neighborhood under construction consists of 270 two-story homes ranging from 145 to 210 sqm. This new second phase comprises approximately 50 single family homes, built to an extremely high level of technical specifications.
Yigal Realty also has fabulous luxury projects in Israel’s capital, including Consulate Towers. Situated in the very popular Arnona neighborhood, these are four luxury residential towers near the American Embassy and facing the open spaces of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel. This prime location provides quick and convenient access to everything Jerusalem has to offer via the nearby light rail’s “Green Line,” currently under construction.
All the projects are starting construction at this time, making today the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the competitive presale prices, convenient payment plans and special deals.
Tivuch Shelly – Welcome to the Family
A trusted realtor is a must when seeking to purchase a property close to home, all the more so when you’re dealing with a different language, laws and culture. And what could be better than a trusted realtor who helps her clients with her whole heart?
Shelly Levine, originally from New York, established Tivuch Shelly in 1988. In the ensuing years, Tivuch Shelly has grown to become one of Israel’s most established real estate agencies, with offices in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Modiin, Ma’aleh Adumim, and now Netanya, where there are many exciting, new opportunities. Notwithstanding the company’s size, Shelly treats each client like a part of the family. Not surprisingly, many of Shelly’s customers come back 10, and even 20 years down the line — some, to move into a bigger place and others, to buy a home for their children or to downsize as they get older.
Tivuch Shelly employs a full-service marketing approach, complete with technical designers that take you through the two-year process at the same fee. Together with an American colleague who works full time, Levine takes clients through all stages, from finding the best location and community for them, to mortgage consulting and connecting with experienced real estate lawyers, to assisting with drafting floor plan modifications. For the entire duration of construction, Tivuch Shelly provides all the necessary services, acting as the conduit for clients who are in the US. Those who are in Israel also benefit from Tivuch Shelly’s assistance, such as with finding a rental property (free of charge), while their home is under construction.
An additional perk that is almost exclusive to Tivuch Shelly: at completion of construction, if the buyer will not be moving into the apartment, Tivuch Shelly will either rent it or sell it, without an additional fee. What’s more, says Levine, “if someone decides at any time in the future to sell an apartment that we sold them, we do it without a fee. You pay a lifetime real estate fee when you buy from Tivuch Shelly!”
Tivuch Shelly works exclusively with a select number of top-quality builders, serving as their exclusive representatives. They are currently marketing a huge selection of projects and properties throughout the length and breadth of the country. “From the north, in Afula, and down to Carmei Gat, there is no English-speaking community where we aren’t represented,” says Levine.
In Netanya, Tivuch Shelly has projects with various sized apartments in all price ranges – from upscale Ir Yamim, to projects in the north and south ends of this stunning coastal city.
A brand-new project has been launched in the Moreshet neighborhood of Modiim, with stunning garden apartments, lavish penthouses, and spacious single- and two-family houses.
In Ramat Beit Shemesh, in Neve Shamir facing the park, there is a wonderful project with hundreds of 2-, 3-, and 4- bedroom apartments, half of which have already been sold to frum American families. The apartments are in various stages of completion, with some slated to be ready in just over a year, while others will be ready in 2 or 2.5 years.
In Jerusalem, as well, Tivuch Shelly has projects in Arnona and in Old Katamon, within walking distance of the Kotel.
“We don’t just sell a property and walk away,” says Shelly Levine. “We do everything we possibly can for our clients.”
Jerusalem of Gold … and Platinum
Help! Navigating the Israeli real estate market is not for the faint-hearted.
Making sense of the numerous neighborhoods, complex zoning laws and seemingly incomprehensible prices of Jerusalem property is a challenge for seasoned Israelis, all the more so for Americans who want to purchase a home or an investment in the Holy City. And that’s where Abie Dayan, dynamic founder and CEO of Platinum Realtors, comes in.
Starting 15 years ago, Dayan and his team of go-getters have made Platinum a major player in what can be an aggressive market, by safely and reliably assisting private individuals and investors in the purchase and sale of real estate in Israel. Clients also immeasurably benefit from their vast network of trusted legal, banking and mortgage professionals, as well as architects, appraisers and more. Yet what sets Platinum apart is an uncompromising adherence to the highest ethical standards. Said Dayan: “Integrity and transparency are our practical business guidelines for dealing with our clientele on a daily basis.”
One of the paths to a successful real estate deal in Jerusalem is to be aware of the various nuances of each Jerusalem neighborhood, the character of which can change dramatically over a distance of just a few hundred feet! Dayan and his team have projects all over the city, and are closely familiar with each.
One of the hottest neighborhoods in Jerusalem for the Charedi market is Ramat Eshkol. Thanks to its central location and access to main traffic arteries combined with privacy, tranquility and verdant tree-lined streets, the neighborhood has evolved into a warm, vibrant community with excellent schools, shuls, shopping, eateries and more.
“The area has become so popular that people are literally waiting in line for a rental apartment, notwithstanding ridiculously high rents,” said Dayan. “So why rent when you can purchase a magnificent home of your own built to the highest standards?”
Dayan highly recommends Capital Gold, which he says truly goes above and beyond to ensure that they are consistently at the top end of construction standards in the area. Capital Gold has several projects throughout Ramat Eshkol, which feature huge, luxurious penthouses, garden apartments, and units of all sizes with spectacular views.
“What they all have in common is a level of excellence, down to the most minute detail, that Capital Gold prides itself on,” said Dayan.
At the other end of the city, Amim Towers in Arnona offers 2, 3 and 4 bedroom units, as well as spectacular penthouses in two magnificent high-rises that include a fitness room, a huge lobby, undergrounding parking, a storage room and more. The apartments have spectacular views, some overlooking Har Habayit. The project is planned as a self-contained campus with its own shul and park. The highly respected Amim Group consists of four partners, including Netanel Stern, whose impressive portfolio includes the Waldorf Astoria hotel.
Also in Arnona is the brand-new Arnona Hills, located near the US Embassy and overlooking the green vistas of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel. More of a neighborhood than just a project, Arnona Hills will be built around an expansive combined park and archeological park. It offers gorgeous penthouses, garden apartments and apartments with balconies and panoramic views. The central location will become even more accessible with the completion of the light rail’s new Blue Line.
King David Views, on Mapu Street across from the King David Hotel, is a small boutique project in Talbieh, one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Jerusalem. This six-story building has only a few last units available, including a spacious 1-bedroom garden apartment.
Rechavia is the neighborhood coveted by many. Alfasi 37 is a boutique project brought to you by Wolfson developers, one of the best in the field. The project is situated on a quiet, tree-lined street, and apartments include parking and storage. The project is mostly sold out; there are only a few apartments left waiting for you.
For those who love to be in the very heart of it all, City Park on Jaffa Street is a boutique project within walking distance of everything: the Kotel, Machaneh Yehuda Market, Geulah and Meah She’arim. Public transportation couldn’t be easier, with the project right on the light rail. City Park’s 1-bedroom apartments are perfect as an investment, Air BNB, and for those who come to visit.
Mekor Chaim, near Baka and next to Talpiot, is a boutique project uniquely located in a quiet corner of a bustling neighborhood. Under the very capable auspices of the well-respected Lifshitz developer, the project is slated to be ready within the year. The 1-bedroom units are great for investment; and the 5-bedroom units, for comfortable living.
Bayit Vegan, the veteran neighborhood that Anglos know and love, now has a boutique project with 1- and 2-bedroom units as well as a penthouse. Built by Jerusalem Up, the project’s location is rendered even more desirable by the fact that the building is located right at the entrance, giving easy access for coming and going. In addition to the stunning views, all units have underground parking and storage rooms.
By Ben Horodenker