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2012 Israel Real Estate Review

 (Photo: CC-BY-SA Gila Brand, Wikipedia)

We believe that the implementation of the Trachtenberg laws and the Bank of Israel’s new lending requirements will help control sale prices in the outlying areas. However, we do not expect these reforms to impact the Jerusalem market. In Jerusalem and other large population centers, there is limited land for development. Therefore the natural laws of supply and demand will overcome government obstructions and dictate market pricing. 

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2012-12-24 23:40:22
Haifa’s Transformation

 View from the Bahai Gardens (Photo: CC-BY-SA David Shankbone, Wikipedia)

Haifa is a beautiful city located in northern Israel which offers its residents a rich quality of life. The third largest city in Israel, Haifa is on the comeback trail after having fallen into a sixty year decline following Israel’s independence in 1948.

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2012-12-12 21:23:33
Baka: A Great Family-Centric Neighborhood

 Pelech Girls School. (Photo: CC-BY-SA Hovev, Wikipedia)

Baka is a lovely upscale community located in southern Jerusalem. Baka is Arabic for “valley,” which alludes to Emek (or Valley of) Refaim, which runs along the western border of the neighborhood. 

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2012-11-27 23:14:18
Combating Escalating Housing Prices

 The Bank of Israel (Photo: CC-BY-SA Ester Inbar, Wikipedia)

With the exception of this past year in which prices have softened somewhat, Israel real estate prices over the past decade have risen significantly. Understandably, the Bank of Israel (Israel’s version of the US Federal Reserve) wants to prevent pricing from escalating to the point of creating a housing bubble with all its attendant risks. 

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2012-11-13 19:48:39
Shabbat Elevators: Coming To A Building Near You

Picture this scenario: You find a great apartment in Jerusalem that fits all of your needs but it is located on the fourth floor and the building’s elevator does not have a Shabbat mode. The real estate agent says, “Don’t worry, the majority of tenants are religious; they will convert it into a Shabbat elevator within a year or two.” Should you rely on your agent’s prediction or are those words just wishful thinking?

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2012-10-28 23:52:05
Groundbreaking Innovations in Hydroelectricity

Hydroelectricity is the term for converting the energy of running water into electricity. A team of researchers at Leviathan Energy are turning the traditional model on its head, proving that you don’t need to build expensive dams to produce hydroelectricity. 

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2012-10-14 01:18:27
Centrally Located Kiryat Shmuel

 British Mandate Tribunal Building. Photo courtesy of Gila Brand.

Kiryat Shmuel is a charming Jerusalem neighborhood that is centrally located between Rechavia to the north, Talbieh to the east, and Katamon and the German Colony to the south. Kiryat Shmuel’s easy access to so many parts of Jerusalem makes it the perfect community for many Israelis and overseas buyers.

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2012-09-27 12:52:39
My Birthright Encounter

 Taglit delegation, Winter 2012. Photo courtesy of Luqux.

A few months ago, while waiting to board my flight home to Israel after an exhilarating week marketing a new project in Arnona Jerusalem, I was spellbound by a fascinating Birthright “ice breaker” session that took place next to me at the boarding gate.

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2012-09-06 00:32:13
Be’er Sheva: The Capital of the Negev

 Nachal Ashan Park. Photo courtesy of Gila Brand.

One of the most often-asked questions that I receive is, “where can I find an apartment in Israel for under $250,000?” One good answer is Be’er Sheva, a/k/a Beersheba, which is the largest city in the south and is nicknamed the capital of the Negev.

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2012-08-18 23:38:45
The Return of the Almighty Dollar

2007 Presidential $1 coin image from the United States Mint

The stronger dollar has allowed many people who had previously been priced out of the Israeli market to fulfill their dream and purchase apartments. Others who were going to settle for lesser units can now afford an upgrade – be it buying a larger or renovated unit or purchasing in a more fashionable location.

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2012-08-07 16:09:32
Arnona: An Established Yet “Up and Coming” Neighborhood

 One of many new residential projects in Arnona. Photo courtesy of Avishai Kay.

Arnona has recently been the focus of my attention as I am working with many clients who are buying apartments in a new residential project being developed in this charming neighborhood. 

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2012-07-20 01:04:33
Yitzchak Shamir’s Legacy: Integrity, Modesty and Courage

 Yitzchak Shamir visiting Andrews Air Force Base in 1988

On June 30, 2012, Yitzchak Shamir passed away at the age of 96. Israel lost more than a former prime minister and foreign minister; the country lost a devoted leader who had, in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s words, “a deep awareness of service and sense of mission.” This deep-seated sense of purpose was borne of his family’s tragic destruction in the Holocaust, and it motivated him to devote his life to the continuity of the Jewish people.

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2012-07-10 15:43:28
Lod: More Than Just Ben Gurion Airport

 Office Building in Airport City

I recently read an interesting article about the revitalization of Lod and was fascinated by the narrative of the ongoing gentrification process which is transforming many of Israel’s former development towns. 

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2012-06-19 22:15:26
How the New Real Estate Laws Affect You

 One of the many tent cities in August 2011. Photo: Gedaliah Borvick

In August 2011, thousands of Israelis participated in “tent city” demonstrations against the high cost of living, and particularly the lack of affordable housing. In response to these social protests, Prime Minister Netanyahu appointed the Trajtenberg Committee to address the complaints and to come up with recommendations to rectify the situation.

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2012-06-05 23:38:34
Living in the Rova: Pros and Cons

 The Kotel. Photo courtesy of Gedaliah Borvick.

Many, many people have fallen in love with the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, the “Rova.” Is it any wonder? Spirituality emanates from Har Habayit (the Temple Mount), the surrounding Judean hills and the remnants of thousands of years of Jewish history uncovered in practically every nook and cranny of the neighborhood. 

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2012-05-15 12:41:00
Anybody Home?

 Wolfson Towers, Jerusalem. Photo courtesy of Gedaliah Borvick.

Owning a home in Israel and using it during the holidays and vacations is a source of great joy for my clients. Having an honest, experienced property manager oversee the apartment when they return to the States allows them to have peace of mind that their apartment is being properly looked after. 

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2012-04-03 12:40:20
Hanevi’im Street: A Rich Past and Bright Future

 Rechov Hanevi'im sign from the time of the British Mandate period.

Rechov Hanevi’im in Jerusalem is a long block with a rich past, presently undergoing enormous transition, and anticipating a very bright future.

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2012-03-19 20:24:19
Nachlaot: A Cultural Mosaic of the Jewish Diaspora

 View of Nachlaot from Gan Sacher. Photo courtesy of Adiel Lo

Nachlaot is a cluster of over two dozen Jerusalem neighborhoods centrally located between Sha’are Chessed and the famous Machane Yehuda shuk. Nachlaot, which means lands of inheritance, became home to communities of Jews who emigrated from many different lands throughout the Diaspora.

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2012-03-06 13:22:01
Israel: Water Exporter?!

 Hadera Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant

With Purim around the corner, I would like to focus on an issue that is truly reminiscent of the holiday’s “v’nahafoch” theme, where things appear to be going in one direction, and then G-d in his mysterious wisdom and power, turns events on their head and causes the exact opposite to occur.

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2012-02-22 02:27:58
Jerusalem Architecture: The Past 60 Years

 

Post-Modern architecture has developed as the style of choice in Jerusalem. This trend was a reaction to Modernism, and it has served as a stabilizing connection between the minimalism of Modernism during the British Mandate period and the ornate designs which were in vogue during the Ottoman Empire.

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2012-02-03 13:56:14
The Charming Community of Talbiyeh

 View of Talbliyeh from the Old City (photo courtesy of Pinybal)

Talbiyeh is one of the most popular destinations for vacationers and retired olim, as it is easy to live there speaking only English. There are many synagogues that boast a large English-speaking constituency. . . . Between the many classes available in these shuls and the constant quality programming offered at the OU Center on Keren Hayesod, Talbiyeh’s residents enjoy a veritable smorgasbord of Torah and Jewish cultural activities.

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2012-01-24 11:19:37
Real Estate Tax Reform – A Frank Conversation

A recent email dialogue with my partner Eliezer Goldberg: 

Gedaliah: Any ideas for an interesting article?

Eliezer: How about: “The new reform in Israeli real estate taxes – how does it affect you?” I went to a great seminar about the newly enacted reforms which apply retroactively from January 2011 until December 31, 2012.

G:  So far half my readers have already fallen asleep. :)

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2012-01-11 01:59:11

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