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How to navigate the Israeli real estate market in 2024

For many people abroad, buying real estate in Israel is challenging. Prosperity Real Estate’s mission is to simplify this process for those looking to invest or build their home in the Holy Land

The One Dubnov Penthouse (Credit: Prosperity Real Estate)
The One Dubnov Penthouse (Credit: Prosperity Real Estate)

Buying or investing in a property can be challenging, especially from halfway around the world. But it doesn’t have to be, according to Tomer Dowek of Prosperity Real Estate.

Prosperity Real Estate specializes in helping people overcome some of the greatest challenges when buying real estate whether from within Israel or abroad.

“We’re a one-stop-shop,” Dowek, the senior vice president of Business Development, says. “It is essential for us to ask the right questions to deeply understand each client’s unique needs and then bring our value and guide them throughout the process until the result is achieved to their satisfaction. Therefore, each client should be matched with the right team of advisors. This understanding can significantly affect the client, both in the process and the result.”

Tomer Dowek & Ronit Hayon Dowek of Prosperity Real Estate (Courtesy)

This has become one of the things that has set Prosperity Real Estate apart in the saturated market of luxury real estate in Israel. Rather than simply marketing luxury apartments, houses or projects, Prosperity has become known for its relationship-building with customers. In fact, many of Prosperity’s customers later become partners, colleagues, and a part of Prosperity’s wide network of people involved in every stage of the real estate industry.

This was the vision of Prosperity’s founder Ronit Hayon Dowek, daughter of the late developer and contractor Uri Hayon. Mr. Hayon was known for being a stone artist and developer of numerous projects around Jerusalem.

“As a child, I was fed real estate,” Ronit Dowek says. “It felt very natural for me to go into this business.”

After working in the leading companies in the business throughout her career, Ronit Dowek decided to open her firm in 2000. She was determined to make the buying/selling process accessible for nonresidents in Israel as well as develop a high level of service that accompanies the client in all aspects of the deal.

Ronit focused on real estate marketing in the luxury neighborhoods of Jerusalem. Over the years, operations expanded to include new projects in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and large-scale deals nationwide. Still, the essence remains to help nonresidents navigate the world of Israeli real estate.

Five years ago, Ronit Dowek’s son, Tomer Dowek, joined the business. While real estate runs in Tomer Dowek’s blood, he trained as a lawyer and worked at one of Jerusalem’s top law firms specializing in real estate. After gaining invaluable knowledge and experience, he decided to join Prosperity and seek out new opportunities for growth.

Currently, Prosperity focuses on marketing private homes and luxury apartments in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, commercial real estate, hotel properties, large plots of land, and urban renewal (called TAMA 38 or pinui binui in Hebrew). Additionally, with their vast experience, Ronit and Tomer Dowek have created a large network of people involved in real estate and they often use their connections to help connect developers with investors or any other experts they might need.

Villa Sherover, Talbiya, Jerusalem
(Credit: Deror Avi

Many of Prosperity’s customers are people from abroad, mostly from the US, who are interested in buying property in Israel. In previous years, most customers were purchasing with the idealistic aim of investing in the Holy Land. In fact, Ronit Dowek notes that many buyers sought out authentic or historical features in their purchases. One of Ms. Dowek’s most memorable sales was a house that once belonged to Golda Meir. This was very special for the buyers, she notes.

A current example is in the upscale Talbiya neighborhood in Jerusalem. The project is part of the Shruver Villa area that stands for sale with 1,300 sqm of interior space built on a plot of 2.4 dunams (0.6 acre), a complex where many heads of state and high society were hosted by the villa’s owners, Miles and Gita Shruver.

Prosperity’s project is in the garden area of the Shruver Villa called ONE DUBNOV, consisting of two buildings with 26 apartments total, including a one-of-a-kind 437 sqm penthouse with 408 sqm of outdoor space, a huge roof terrace, and a private pool overlooking the panoramic view of Jerusalem. It also includes beautiful garden apartments with very high-end technical specifications.

Shruver Villa Illustration (Credit: Prosperity Real Estate)

Starting with the COVID-19 pandemic and through the ongoing war in Israel that began in October, however, there has been a shift in what people want.

“Since the pandemic, a lot of Jews are moving their businesses and operations to Israel,” Tomer Dowek notes. “We worked hard to help people buy remotely, from creating detailed presentations, giving virtual tours, and providing customers with all the support they needed to be confident in their purchase.”

Mr. Dowek says there has been a second shift in their business since the October 7 Hamas attack. “Today there are more people interested in finding their home here,” he says. “Many people are looking for homes similar to what they have in America. Some want to purchase brand new properties where they can still tailor the layout for their personal needs.” While families used to look at investment properties in Israel, they are now looking for larger homes where they can live permanently.

This is where Prosperity Real Estate stands out, being there at each step of the process and ensuring that their clients are able to purchase their dream home with the level of standards that they are used to from home.

Some customers who were not necessarily thinking of purchasing a property in Israel now, have found themselves searching for property following the consequences of the war in Israel on the global Jewish world.

Those customers, he says, are interested in new projects because these allow them to pay a little at the signing of the agreement and spread the remaining payments over the years of construction. This flexibility is helpful for those who did not prepare financially to purchase but today understand that property in Israel is their “insurance.” Also, buying new projects allows customers to impact the design of the apartment and thereby adapt the property to their individual needs.

Prosperity’s urban renewal projects seem to be popular with this segment. Prosperity is currently working on several urban renewal projects under the TAMA 38 program including HaPalmach 40, with 17 new apartments, in the heart of the Old Katamon neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Nili 11 is another urban renewal project in Prosperity’s pipeline. Also under TAMA 38, this project is entering the licensing stage for demolishing 13 apartments and building 13 new ones. It’s also in the old Katamon neighborhood and is being designed as a boutique project by architect Michal Della-Pergola.

The Nili 11 Project illustration (Credit: Prosperity Real Estate)

Since October 7, Dowek noticed, there have been more requests from communities or multiple families who all want to move together to the same place to re-establish their community in Israel.

For families interested in purchasing multiple units in one project, Mr. Dowek recommends the Nachalat Achim project. Still in the planning stages, this project is close to the prestigious Sha’arei Hesed neighborhood and overlooks Sacher Park and the Supreme Court.

Prosperity Real Estate has developed over the years a network of expert consultants including leading attorneys, mortgage brokers, architects, interior designers, and more to create the right team for each client. Clients can also have all their requests carried out remotely, taking a minimal amount of effort on their part.

Jerusalem markets are characterized by very high demand from foreign residents today. At the same time, the inventory of apartments and projects is lower than the demand. More than that, the fact that prices will rise due to the rise in construction costs and the expected increase in the construction index also makes many people realize that this is the right time to make deals.

For anyone who wishes to learn about the real estate market and the various possibilities that lie within it, Tomer Dowek recommends getting in touch with Prosperity Real Estate — they will happily assist you in navigating the Israeli real estate world.

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