The latest figures for Israel’s housing market continue to show a slowdown at the headline level. Prices officially fell back by 0.2% in May to June, marking three months of falling numbers and taking annual house price inflation to 5.1%, according to the latest data from the Central Bureau of Statistics.
But the story behind these figures is less reassuring for those looking to take their first step on the housing ladder. The increase in housing prices is still close to double general inflation, with the Consumer Price Index calculated at 3.3% for the year up to July.
CBS’s detailed analysis of the market also suggests that while prices have fallen in Tel Aviv — down 1.3% from May to June — they have either stayed flat or risen in all other areas of the country. New properties have seen slight price cuts — down 0.6% — as developers work to maintain income from sales, and sacrifice some potential profits in favor of a steady cash flow. But while the “average property” may be cheaper than it was a few months ago, it remains significantly more expensive than a year ago, at NIS 1,968,900 ($520,485) compared to NIS 1,895,600 ($501,108, in Q2 2022).
Meanwhile, despite several months of modest price falls, the average Tel Aviv property sold over the last quarter stood at NIS 2,972,000 ($785,657).
Better value can often be found away from Israel’s key property hotspots (Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa), particularly when they enjoy good public transportation connections. With the opening this month of the Tel Aviv Red Line, the first part of the much-anticipated light rail, locations that are or will be part of the network should be of particular interest, as they will benefit from quick and easy commuting across Israel’s central region.
This month’s property round-up focuses on these secondary markets, tracking the real sales over the last month, as registered in Israel’s property tax database, to provide insights into what is available at or around average prices across the country.
1ָ. At the end of July, a three-and-a-half-room apartment (two small bedrooms and an additional separate space) sold in Bat Yam for NIS 1,950,000 ($515,489). The apartment is on HaSar Pinkas Street in the center of the city, on the second of seven floors. Built in 1970, it measures a compact 54 square meters (581 square feet), reflecting the increasing pressure for housing in this area, which remains substantially cheaper than Tel Aviv and now has the benefit of several light rail stations.
2. At the other end of the new line, in Petah Tikva on Peretz Naftali Street, a three-room (two-bedroom) apartment sold at the beginning of August for NIS 1,990,000 ($526,063). It was built in 2015 on the seventh of eight floors, and measures 75 square meters (807 square feet). The sale included a parking space.
3. The next light rail opening is likely to be an extension of the existing line to connect to Rishon Lezion. In late July, a four-room apartment (three bedrooms) on the top floor of five in a building of 56 apartments sold for NIS 2 million ($528,706). The apartment is on Yehuda Leib Pinsker Street, and measures 87 square meters (936 square feet). It was completed in 2021.
4. Staying with smaller cities, and heading north to Hadera, a four-room (three-bedroom) apartment on Ahad Ha’Am Street, with access to an Israel Railways station on the North-South line, sold for NIS 1,920,000 ($507,558) at the end of July. Covering a spacious 156 square meters (1,679 square feet), the apartment is on the 14th floor of 18 in a building built in 2020 and includes a parking space.
5. In Acre, also with a train station on the main line to Haifa and Tel Aviv, one of the most expensive properties to change hands over the last month cost just NIS 1,340,000 ($354,233). The location, on Shvil Hamarganit, is close to Route 4 and its intercity bus connections. The apartment, which sold in mid-August, has four rooms (three bedrooms), measures 90 square meters (969 square feet) and dates from 2005. It is on the second of five floors, and the sale includes a parking space.
6. In Nahariya, within a short distance of both the city train station and the beach, a first-floor four-room (three-bedroom) apartment on Keren Hayesod Street sold in the first week of August for NIS 1,850,000 ($496,777). The apartment measures 115 square meters (1,238 square feet) and was completed in 2021.
7. Closer to Jerusalem but away from its overheated property market in which prices are continuing to rise, a three-room (two-bedroom) apartment measuring 96 square meters (1,033 square feet) on Ido Hanavi Street in Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel sold for NIS 1,720,000 ($454,687). The apartment, which changed hands at the end of July, is on the fifth of seven floors and was built in 2015. The city is just one train stop away from Jerusalem and also has connections to Tel Aviv.
8. In Modiin, on the train lines to both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, a three-room (two-bedroom) apartment on the fourth of six floors on Migdal Halevanim Street sold for NIS 1,800,000 ($478,341) in mid-August. The unit dates from 1997 and measures 76 square meters (818 square feet). The sale included a reserved parking space.
9. On Sivan Street in Ashkelon, on the railway station side of the city, a four-room (three-bedroom) property was sold for well below the national average at the end of July, at NIS 1,600,000 ($422,965). The apartment measures 113 square meters (1,216 square feet) on the fourth of seven floors and was built in 2015. It included two parking spaces.
10. Also on the train line between central Israel and Beersheba, on Yishai Street in Ofakim, a five-room (four-bedroom) villa measuring 122 square meters (1,313 square feet) sold at the end of July for NIS 1,850,000 ($489,053). The sale included another 130 square meters (1,399 square feet) of private outside space.
Rental prices are continuing to rise as the number of people locked out of buying due to high prices grows and puts pressure on available apartments.
The situation is particularly intense in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel’s most popular rental locations. But even taking account of daily commuting costs, by looking at the areas immediately adjacent to these hotspots, larger and better-quality dwellings are available at lower costs.
This assessment is based on the properties to rent published on Yad2, Israel’s leading rental forum.
A three-room (two-bedroom) unfurnished apartment with a balcony on Tel Aviv‘s Weizman Street measuring 90 square meters (969 square feet) is currently advertised for rent at NIS 9,020 ($2,384) per month.
Shifting the search to Bat Yam delivers a four-room (three-bedroom) apartment of the same size (90 square meters) on Mem Gimmel Street in the center of the city for NIS 6,700 ($1,771) a month.
In Jerusalem on Be’eri Street in the center of the city, a three-room (two-bedroom) apartment measuring 65 square meters (700 square feet) on the second floor of a building without an elevator is available for NIS 6,600 ($1,745), unfurnished.
On Hanarkis Street in nearby Beit Shemesh, NIS 3,400 ($899) pays for an apartment with the same number of rooms, very slightly smaller (60 square meters, 646 square feet), also unfurnished.
On Hashayetet Street in Ashkelon, not far from the marina, a large 150-square-meter apartment (1,615 square feet) divided into four rooms (three bedrooms) is available for rent at NIS 4,800 ($1,269) per month (including property taxes).
Alternatively, on Rabbi Akiva Street a three-room (two-bedroom) apartment measuring 70 square meters (753 square feet) on the fourth floor of a six-story building can be rented for NIS 3,400 ($899).
In Nahariya, relatively close to the train station on Ephraim Sharir Street, an unfurnished apartment of 50 square meters (538 square feet) with three rooms (two bedrooms) can be rented for NIS 2,900 ($767). In Acre on Avraham Danino Street, a 90-square-meter (969-square-feet) three-room apartment on the fourth floor is available for NIS 3,500 ($925) per month.
Closer to Israel’s central region, on Shivtei Yisrael Street in Hadera, a four-room (three-bedroom) garden apartment can be rented for NIS 3,800 ($1,005). The apartment covers 85 square meters (915 square feet), with private outside space, and a storage room.
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