Invest in Israel, how common is the insight ? Israel’s religious significance is well known, but many property investors’ knowledge barely goes beyond knowing that there can be shortage of hotel rooms around Christmas time. In this country of 8.5 million people, however, an abundance of ancient biblical cities and holy sites is complimented by a plentiful supply of stunning natural beauty and affordable homes.
From the Dead Sea to the east and the shores of the Mediterranean to the west, to the Makhtesh Ramon – a 40 kilometre long geological phenomenon – located in its heart, there is more than enough to fascinate even the most seasoned of travellers. So it’s no surprise that more and more overseas property buyers are heading to the Holy Land to snap up property there. But where in this fascinating country should you begin your search? Let’s take a look at the three biggest cities to invest in Israel.
Unlike most capital cities around the world, being the seat of government isn’t Jerusalem’s biggest claim to fame. Revered as a holy city by half the human race, people travel from all four corners of the earth to visit sacred buildings and relics in the city’s historic old town.
Comfortably the largest city in Israel, Jerusalem’s property market is popular with overseas buyers. Traditionally their attention has focused on salubrious areas near the centre such as Rehavia and Talbieh, where both old-style family homes and more contemporary developments can be found. Recently, however, there has been a growing demand for more affordable apartments, after property prices in Israel soared by 82% between 2006 and 2016 – good news when it comes to long-term investment potential. One of the first destinations to invest in Israel.
It’s a tale of two cities where Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are concerned. While the capital is famed for being at the centre of all things spiritual and filled with history around every corner, Tel Aviv is modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan. The energy it exudes from its thriving and diverse nightlife has been compared to that of New York, earning it two impressive nicknames: the “Big Orange” and the “Mediterranean Manhattan”. When the dust settles on the evening’s revelry, light is shed on Tel Aviv’s modern high-rise towers and UNESCO-designated White City area. Its pièce de résistance is the strip of fine beaches – 13 in total – full of young, cool, laid-back locals.
Acquisition of property by overseas buyers has tended to focus on the city’s coastal areas, leading to the construction of numerous projects — mainly luxury high-rises — designed especially for foreigners, such as the Bat Yam beachfront, Hayarkon Street and Netanya beachfront on the outskirts of the city.
Our fascination with comparing one city to another elsewhere in the world has not escaped Haifa, and it probably doesn’t mind. Often referred to as “Israel’s San Francisco” the country’s third largest city is set on the beautiful slopes of Mount Carmel, facing the Mediterranean Sea. A port town first and foremost, complete with its own beaches, Haifa also contains a stylish German Colony, bustling Arab-Christian quarter and the bohemian Masada Street. Escape the hectic pace of city life by taking a stroll around the Baha’i shrine and tropical gardens – a UNESCO world Heritage site that tumbles down the mountainside.
Unlike most coastal resorts, house prices begin to rise the further you are from the sea in Haifa, with property at the summit of Mount Carmel fetching the highest prices. A good example of a neighbourhood containing affordable property with price rise potential is Hadar Hacarmel – or Lower Hadar as it’s also called – which is located on the slopes of Mount Carmel between the upper and lower city, overlooking the Port of Haifa and Haifa Bay. Anyone looking to enter the rental market will be well placed to cash in on a large student population, with two universities in the city.
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