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April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate’

The Development Trend and Demand for Apartments in the Revived Center of Jerusalem

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

New York, Madrid, Prague, and many of the world’s greatest cities have recently made the decision to restore their historic centers to their former glory and attract residents back to the vibrant heart of the city. They have instigated a revolution of renewal, together with the immensely successful development of residential projects. The construction boom in Jerusalem’s city center shows that Israel’s capital will not be left behind, as it has now become home to a wealth of residential real estate being offered by major developers.

Even today, anyone who visits the Nahalat Shiva or Downtown Triangle areas of Jerusalem can sense their reawakening: a construction frenzy has gripped the heart of Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem municipality is promoting the fact that much of the area will undergo a ‘pinui binui’ urban renewal process that will present a more appealing appearance while taking care to retain the city’s unique ambiance. The municipality is not only investing in the renewal of Jaffa St. but also the alleys leading to it, such as Havazelet St., which will be transformed one by one into clean, quiet, and shaded pedestrian zones. Soon, according to the municipal plans, the light rail will complete the picture, and the heart of the capital will be restored to its time-honored splendor.

Africa Israel Residence Outside

 

These significant steps are being accompanied by the cleaning and improving of building facades and shop windows, while the municipality is also encouraging cultural and educational institutions to return to the city center.

Efforts to revive Jerusalem’s city center are reflected in the number of new immigrants who choose to make Jerusalem their home. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, many of them are choosing to make Jerusalem their primary residence, compared to other major cities in Israel. During 2014 there was a rise in immigration to Israel as the rate of new immigrants increased by 32% compared to 2013. Jerusalem is among the leading cities in terms of immigrant absorption, and the percentage of immigrants opting to live there is approximately 11%, or around 2,878 new immigrants.

Liat Danino-Israeli, VP Sales & Marketing, Africa Israel Residences:

Africa Israel Residences, Israel’s leading real estate company and part of AFI Group, specializes in the development and construction of residential complexes of an exceptionally high standard, and is currently marketing three exclusive residential projects in Jerusalem’s bustling city center. Each of the company’s Jerusalem projects offers a dynamic, multifaceted daily routine, as well as comfort and quality of life. All of these Africa Israel Residences projects are within walking distance of the holy sites and entertainment areas, and residents enjoy all the added value of Jerusalem, just outside their front door.”

“Jerusalem’s inner city forms a religious, spiritual, and cultural melting pot that addresses the needs of the target audience – foreign residents, who usually prefer to purchase apartments in the holy city. In fact, according to our sales offices, approximately 55% of apartment buyers in these projects are Jewish overseas residents and we recognize a continuing upward trend in terms of demand within this market segment.”

“In the past, overseas residents were looking for small apartments solely for investment or vacation purposes. However, this trend has now changed, and the demand is for large 4-bedroom apartments suitable for families. Most of the apartments within Africa Israel Residences’ Jerusalem projects – 7 Kook St., Savyon View and HaNeviim Court – have been purchased by traditional, affluent overseas residents from various countries: France, USA, Russia, and Canada. Those buyers attach sentimental value to residences in Israel, so they intend to live here themselves.”

Jerusalem: 7 Kook St.:

A gated apartment complex of particularly high construction standards, located in the renewed heart of the city. The project is located adjacent to Rabbi Kook House, home to Israel’s first Chief Rabbi during the early 1900s, and the Ticho House museum, named after the famous ophthalmologist and his artist wife who once lived there. The complex includes 131 luxury apartments with a range of layouts, including 1, 2, 3.5 and 4-bedroom apartments, as well as penthouses featuring stunning modern designs.   Sample apartment prices in the 7 Kook St. project:

 3-bedroom penthouse (provided in shell condition) on the 8th floor of 8, with an area of 156m2 + 35m2 balcony in the 7 Kook St. project: approx. NIS 7.75 million.

4-bedroom penthouse (decorated – includes everything!) on the 8th floor of 8, with an area of 243m2 + 47m2 balcony in the 7 Kook St. project: approx. NIS 17 million.  Jerusalem: HaNeviim Court

Located in the historic center of the city, at the corner of Heleni Hamalka and Monbaz Streets, this exclusive project is close to HaNeviim Street (the Street of the Prophets), one of Jerusalem’s most impressive thoroughfares.The project includes more than 140 apartments of 1-3 bedrooms as well as prestigious penthouses with views of Jerusalem’s Old City and the Western Wall, above a 70-room boutique hotel and commercial center.

 Marketing of the project has begun, and residents will begin to move in once the marketing period has ended.  Sample apartment prices in the HaNeviim Court project:

 1-bedroom apartment on the 7th floor of 8, with an area of 60m2 + 7m2 balcony in the HaNeviim Court project: was sold for approx. NIS 1.9 million.

2-bedroom apartment on the 6th floor of 8, with an area of 86m2 + 13m2 balcony in the HaNeviim Court project: was sold for approx. NIS 2.94 million.

3-bedroom apartment on the 6th floor of 8, with an area of 111m2 + 12m2 balcony in the HaNeviim Court project: was sold for approx. NIS 4.15 million.  

 Jerusalem: Beit Mapai (Savyon View):

 A unique complex of great historical significance, located at the intersection of King George and Jaffa Streets.

The residential tower will comprise a total of 170 apartments, in a variety of layouts including 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms.

 Marketing of this project is expected to begin during 2015.  

 Sample apartment prices in the Savyon View project:

 1-bedroom apartment with an area of 52m2 + 4m2 balcony in the Savyon View project: approx. NIS 1.731 million.

2-bedroom apartment with an area of 85m2 + 12m2 balcony in the Savyon View project: approx. NIS 2.8 million.

3-bedroom apartment with an area of 103m2 + 8m2 balcony in the Savyon View project: approx. NIS 3.8 million.  

Additional details:

 Dalia Azar-Malimovka | Spokesperson

AFI Group

Tel:    03-5393686

Fax:   03-5393655

Cell:  052-6678360

daliaa@africa-israel.com

Proposed Bill: 90% Mortgages for Young Couples

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beteinu party has proposed a bill that will actually have a positive effect on the Real Estate market in Israel, targeting young couples who are potential first-time home buyers.

The proposal would permit young couples purchasing their first apartment, whether from a contractor or on the second hand market, to be able to get a 90% mortgage from the bank.

Currently, new buyers need to put up at least 25%-30% of the capital, which puts buying a home out of reach of many people, especially those from lower socio-economic levels, who don’t have parents who can put up that money for them.

This bill, initiated by MK Orly Levy-Abekasis, the daughter of former Israeli minister David Levy, would make buying a first home within reach of the younger, working class market.

MK Orly Levy-Abekasis told JewishPress.com,

“Until now young couples couldn’t get mortgages without having family members help them, or taking out expensive loans elsewhere if the family couldn’t help. We’re talking about people with respectable salaries, but who couldn’t save up the 30% capital required.

These people will never be able to buy an apartment in Israel.

With this bill, the state will provide guarantees to the banks for the amount above 70%. This bill will help young people in both the center and periphery of the county.”

The bill is a responsible one, requiring both partners to have jobs and can show they can afford the mortgage they’re applying for.

The bill is being sent to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday.

The law would be a major step forward in promoting home ownership in Israel.

Rents in Israel can be just as high as mortgage payments, and most renters in Israel have substandard protection under the law.

It is not uncommon for renters to be told to move out after a few years of renting, so the owner’s children can move in instead.

Of course, if the government wanted to really lower apartment prices there are other steps it can take.

The most obvious is building more homes in the settlements, as there is a lot of room for growth in existing settlements and new settlements, where housing prices are already cheaper. Many settlement are well within commuting range of Israel’s major business centers.

Numerous Associates Sentenced to Prison with Former PM Ehud Olmert

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Several other associates of former prime minister Ehud Olmert were sentenced to prison Tuesday and fined millions of shekels, along with the ex-politician.

Of 13 top public officials and business leaders who were charged in the affair, 10 were convicted on March 31 of charges of bribery, moral turpitude, money laundering and more.

The guilty sentenced today (Tuesday) were:

Dan Dankner,  former chairman of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s second largest bank. He is currently joint chairman of Israel Salt Industries. Dankner was convicted on charges of offering hundreds of thousands in bribes to rezone the land on which the Holyland complex is built. Dankner was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 1.5 million.

Hillel Cherney, developer of Holyland, the residential complex project that started the nightmare in the first place. He was convicted on 19 charges of corruption and additional charges of breach of trust.  Cherney was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 2 million.

Avigdor Kelner, another developer of Holyland. He was convicted of two charges of corruption. Kelner was sentenced to three years in prison and fined NIS 1 million.

Meir Rabin, a real estate developer. He was charged with mediating the bribery between developers and government officials for Holyland. Rabin was sentenced to five years in prison.

Uri Sheetrit, a former Jerusalem municipal engineer. He was charged with taking bribes. Sheetrit was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Eliezer Simchayoff, a Jerusalem city council member. He was convicted on two counts of bribery and immediately suspended himself following sentencing, pending the outcome of his appeal.  Simchayoff was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 300,000.

All are expected to appeal to the Supreme Court within a few days.

Others convicted but not sentenced today are:

Shmuel Dachner (deceased), before his death in March 2013 represented Holyland real estate developer Hillel Cherney. Dachner turned state’s witness and gave testimony that formed the core of the case against most of those convicted in March.

Shula Zaken, former top aide to Olmert. Zaken was convicted on charges of corruption and was closely associated with nearly everything the former mayor, minister and prime minister did. She made a plea bargain arrangement with the state that has reportedly led to a prison term of 11 months. She will be formally sentenced this coming Thursday, May 15.

Uri Lupolianski, was assistant mayor to then-Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert and then succeeded him in the post. He was convicted on charges of offering  bribes to rezone the land on which the Holyland complex is built. Lupolianski, in poor health, will be sentenced on June 9.

Fines are to be paid in 10 installments, according to the court decision.

Jerusalem of (Real Estate) Gold

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Today, Jerusalem is on the cutting edge of urban development that not even Tel Aviv can approach. The light rail that is already operational has given the center of the city an almost European feel, and the work underway to build a train station in the International Convention Center will make the center of the capital even more accessible.

Visitors to Jerusalem are welcomed by the boldly designed Calatrava Bridge. Planners and developers are also in the process of constructing the new Cinema City complex, which will become a major leisure and entertainment center. These are just the initial indicators of the profound aesthetic transformation which Jerusalem is undergoing, and it compliments the spate of high-rise construction which the city is hard at work in advancing.

There are currently dozens of high-rise construction projects that are progressing toward the final stages. Soon, the entrance to Jerusalem will be dotted with buildings that reach as much as 32 stories high. Most of them will be office buildings that serve commercial ends. There has also been a renewed momentum when it comes to the building of residential complexes. In the last five years, changes to the city’s master plan have accommodated the planing and construction of high-rise residences.

Bridge and City Model

“The master plan dramatically changed the moment it was decided to cancel the Safdie plan in west Jerusalem (which included the construction of 20,000 apartments in undeveloped areas),” said Dalit Zilber, the Interior Ministry’s Jerusalem District Commissioner. “Instead of expanding westward, today we are talking about moving inward and thickening the interior of the city through renewal and renovation. We are carefully examining and scrutinizing every project, and we are taking great pains not to exceed the guidelines of our policy.”

Altering the skyline

In recent years, the Jerusalem skyline has been altered by a number of high-rise towers that were built without a clear policy in mind. The most glaring example of this is the Holyland project, which was built in the southern part of the city atop a ridge that hovers 700 meters above sea level. The sprawling complex stretches across 162 dunams, and it can be seen from almost any point in the city.

Initially, a scaled-down version of the plan, which was intended to serve tourists, was approved. As time went on, however, more additions were incorporated into the project, and the construction expanded to include more apartments and hotels. In total, Holyland encompasses 17 towers that stretch between 18 and 20 stories high, with the exception of two towers that reach 31 floors. Overall, there are 1,000 apartments in addition to a hotel.

Thus far, just eight of the 17 buildings have been completed. A few years ago, a police investigation revealed that some of the plans at the site were approved in exchange for bribes offered by the project’s contractors. This led to changes in the original plan. Last year, the Interior Ministry decided to reduce the scale of the plan, erasing a few of the towers that were scheduled to be built.

Another residential complex that has become very difficult to ignore is the Jerusalem of Gold project, which lies at the corner of Rabbi Akiva and Hillel Streets. This large, upscale apartment complex, which was initiated in the 1990s, includes two residential towers that reach 25 floors and include 209 apartments. The plan was built despite opposition from local residents.

Another tower that takes up prominent place on the city’s skyline is the Seidof Tower, which is located on the corner of Jaffa and Eliezer Streets, not far from the Mahane Yehuda open-air market. The project was initiated and developed by a number of private individuals and businessmen who initially proposed that the building include no more than seven floors of apartments. Shortly afterward, their appetite was whetted, and plans changed, rendering the project a high-rise tower.

Canadian Jews Buys Tel Aviv Penthouse for $31 Million

Monday, February 24th, 2014

You missed the boat if you wanted to pick up a nice little penthouse in Tel Aviv.

An unidentified Canadian real estate tycoon picked up a seafront penthouse, stull under construction, for a paltry $31 million, Globes reported.

The apartment is on the 20th and 21st floors and the balconies cover an area of 3,000 square feet, and that is not a typo – three thousand and not three hundred.

The “Herbert Samuel” project of 40 apartments is being built by Ofer Investments.

The project includes a swimming pool, spa and fitness room. If you want to buy in before it’s too late, there are four apartments left.

NIS 1 Billion in Mortgages Granted in First Half of October.

Monday, October 15th, 2012

In the first half of October, NIS 1 billion have been granted in new mortgages.  Considering that seven days were taken up by Jewish holidays, this is a robust number, according to a report by Israel’s Globes business magazine online.

The report states that Israel’s housing market has been heating up all summer, with many of the properties being purchased for investment.  NIS 3.2 billion in new mortgages were granted in September, a drop from the record NIS 5.8 billion granted for mortgages in August, but a 7% increase above the same month last year.

The #1 Thing You Should Know About Real Estate Investing in Israel

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

If you buy a property as an investment, there are two ways you can profit – either you sell it for more than you paid, and/or you collect rent. Let’s look at each of these and see why they often don’t work out:

Selling for a profit

If you buy a property for an investment, hoping to sell years down the line at a profit, remember, that it’s not always easy to sell an apartment. Though people talk about the dearth of housing in Israel, there are “For Sale” signs all over, even in Jerusalem. The best way to ensure a quick sale of property is to sell it at a low price, often at a loss. But even if you don’t need the money and can afford to hold onto the property, remember you have the “friction” of buying and selling in the form of taxes, lawyers’ fees, real estate agents, assessors, mortgage costs, and more.

Collecting rent

In some parts of Israel, rental income represents 2% of the value of the property. So if you’re looking at a rental apartment to provide cash flow, you haven’t found the best return. Moreover, there’s no guarantee that you’ll have renters for 12 months a year. If you presume that, on average, you’ll only be full 10 or 11 months a year, account for the fact that your income would be around 8% lower than if you were full all year round. And if you can’t rent the property out at all, then your money is tied up in a non-performing asset.

So if you are considering investing in real estate in Israel, the #1 thing that you need to know is that buying physical real estate could be a bad investment. That’s why for real estate investing, I prefer using REITs (real estate investment trusts), which trade on a stock exchange, pay dividends, are easy to buy and sell with low cost, and can be bought in the form of a mutual fund.

There are many reasons to buy property in Israel, not only financial. Some Zionists want to solidify their connection to Israel, or hope to one day retire there. Before you buy real estate (or any investment vehicle), make sure you understand your motivation and the pros and cons.

If you want to know about practical investing in Israel, sign up for my company’s investment newsletter and get a free investment ebook as a gift.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/goldstein-on-gelt/the-1-thing-you-should-know-about-real-estate-investing-in-israel/2012/06/17/

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