How expensive are Israel's country homes?

An Israeli house by a river / Photo: Eyal Hatzafon

As Covid-19 makes city life less attractive, "Globes" looks at the cost of homes in Israel's more outlying locations - on rivers, by the sea and in the mountains and desert.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing are causing people to reconsider their lifestyle. City life is looking less attractive than it used to be in 2020 and many in Israel, and worldwide, are considering a move to the country, especially as remote working is becoming acceptable. Besides urban real estate is expensive, so "Globes" took a look at how cheap it is to live in the country.

Waterfront Properties

There aren’t many big rivers in Israel, streams that are fed by large wellsprings flowing year-round. However, the settlements in the vicinity or adjacent to a river that flows throughout the year are kibbutzim: Dafna (on the banks of three tributaries of Dan River), HaGoshrim (on the Dan), Amir (the Jordan River), Sde Nehemia (the Jordan) and Nir David (the Assi River).

As kibbutzim undergo economic restructuring, some are building "extensions" - neighborhoods where non-members can buy or build a house, in accordance with the kibbutz's policy, either as residents or by becoming members, and by doing so, benefit from this scarce resource. According to the Yad2 website, at Sde Nehemia, which has long been privatized, a 70-sq.m. "kibbutz house" situated on 500-sq.m. lot can be purchased for NIS 1.66 million. A larger 320-sq.m. house on an 880 sq.m. lot is for sale at NIS 3.25 million.

The Sea of Galilee

The kibbutzim along the shores of the Sea of Galilee - Ginosar, Maagan, Ha’On and Ein Gev - have long been privatized, but none of their extensions are open to the general public. Some accept new members, subject to approval by an admissions committee. If kibbutz membership isn’t a possibility, one option is Moshav Kinneret, located at a slight distance to the lake. Moshav Kinneret was founded in 1908 and has about 700 residents. Once an agricultural settlement, today it is more of a suburb, with some houses purchased as vacation homes. Prices are not low. The offer on Yad2 is limited: a 270-sq.m. house on a 500-sq.m. lot, "completely renovated", with "stunning views of the Sea of Galilee", is on offer for NIS 5 million. The Anglo-Saxon real estate agency Tiberias website offers lots designated for construction at NIS 900,000 per 600 sq.m.

The Mediterranean Sea

Israel’s Mediterranean coastline is 196 km. long. Significant parts of the coastal strip are taken up by the ports of Haifa, Ashdod, Herzliya, Tel Aviv and Jaffa, and by IDF military bases. It’s not easy to find a private seafront home in this limited area. We’ve chosen to present those real estate properties for sale on the first or second line from the sea.

Ashkelon

A 167-sq.m. house, on a 500-sq.m. lot, in the Afridar neighborhood, with a "stunning view of the sea", is being offered on Yad2 for NIS 4 million. A 400-sq.m. house on a 600-sq.m. lot, "the height of luxury on Asheklon’s northern beach", is for sale at NIS 6.3 million.

Ashdod

A detached home in Ashdod’s Rova 11, "with a limitless sea-view ", 220-sq.m. on 370sq.m. lot, renovated, is being offered on Yad2 for NIS 3.45 million. The price of "commanding house", in the new and prestigious Rova 15, on a 550 sq.m. lot, on the second line to the sea, is NIS 5.29 million.

Arsuf

The village of Arsuf, located between Herzliya and Kibbutz Shefayim, has only 40 families. The neighborhood includes some of Israel’s wealthiest people such as Idan Ofer, Beny Steinmetz and Kobi Richter. In the past, Arsuf gained notoriety for blocking entrance to visitors - a move ruled illegal by the courts in 2013. Yad2 has a 600 sq.m. house with a 700 sq.m. garden, "in well-preserved condition", on offer for NIS 14.5 million. "The most beautiful house in Arsuf", with "spectacular views from every floor" is priced at NIS 15.25 million.

Tzukei Yam

Tzukei Yam is a 90-home community located north of Netanya, adjacent to Moshav Havatzelet Hasharon. Originally constructed in 1968 by Rassco as a neighborhood of 3-room houses, today, a five-room house, on a 500-sq.m. lot, "an excellent location with views to the sea and to the north, on the first line, 70 meters from the water," is for sale on Yad2 for NIS 9.9 million.

Herzliya Pituah

Galei Tchelet is considered Israel’s most expensive street. Located on the west side of Herzliya Pituah, on a cliff overlooking the sea, it is home to wealthy individuals such as Teddy Sagi, Eyal Ofer, as well as ambassadorial residences. A 450-sq.m. house on Galei Tchelet Street, on a 500-sq.m. lot, "modern and high-end", is on offer on Yad2 at NIS 19.8 million.

The Desert

Sde Boker

On the edge of the cliff overlooking Nahal Zin, Israel’s longest wadi, adjacent to the Midreshet Ben Gurion educational center , is a "Build Your Own Home" neighborhood with about 400 units. Most lots are 500-sq.m., with a few 1,000-sq.m. lots. An unfinished 560 sq.m. shell on a 923 sq.m. lot, is being offered by Yad2 for NIS 2.1 million. The house has 10 rooms, a swimming pool and breathtaking views. Of course, it takes quite a bit of investment to make this house habitable. In 2018, a 241 sq.m. house in this locality sold for NIS 2.2 million.

Arad

This small city is dealing with both economic hardship and has a growing haredi population . Arad has developed a B&B industry, especially in the eastern neighborhoods, which offer quite a few real estate properties adjacent to the Judean Desert wadis some of which boast spectacular views of the Dead Sea. A 200 sq.m. house on an 808 sq.m. lot on Nof Street is for sale on Yad2 for NIS 1.59 million. A new 214-sq.m. house in the Renanim neighborhood, 214 on a 500-sq.m. lot, including a "balcony with an amazing view", is offered for NIS 2.5 million.

Mitzpe Ramon

For many years, the town maintained a population of 5,500, with constant migration. Over the last decade, Mitzpe Ramon has become a haven for people who want to get away from the city, attracted by the spectacular Makhtesh Ramon landscape, and reasonable prices. A 500 sq.m. lot in the Har Gamal neighborhood, "in the row closest to the Ramon Crater," is offered on the WinWin website for NIS 750,000. A 150 sq.m. corner house on Ein Shaviv Street, on a 330 sq.m. lot, is for sale at NIS 1.7 million.

The Judean Hills

Nataf

Residents of Nataf, the most prestigious location in the Jerusalem area, enjoy a spectacular view of the Judean Hill slopes, the Judean Foothills and Israel’s coastal plain. The village, established in 1981 on land purchased from residents of the village of Abu Ghosh, has 71 lots where about 90 families live, including former MK Avraham Burg and scientist Prof. Ehud Shapira. Those interested in moving to Nataf should know there is an admissions committee. There is almost no movement in Nataf real estate and no sign of any sale in the last three years on the Tax Authority's website.

The Galilee

Klil

The settlement was established in 1979 as part of the "Judaizing the Galilee" program, and located partly on state-owned land, partly on private properties. Construction in Klil is characterized by isolated houses, located at a distance from one other, scattered among vast olive groves and woodlands. In total, about 45 families live here. Yad2 advertises for sale "a wooden house on 3,000-sq.m. lot with fruit trees and ancient olive trees, artisanal stone terraces, solar energy systems and a rainwater cistern and includes a yurt and an amazing view," at a price of NIS 3.5 million. A 1,000-sq.m. lot "in the prime location", is offered for NIS 1.17 million.

Neve Ativ

Moshav Neve Ativ is located on the slopes of Mount Hermon, at an altitude of about 1,000 meters above sea level. The moshav has operated the Mount Hermon ski resort since its establishment. 32 families live on the moshav. An estate in Neve Ativ, including a 300 sq.m. house on a 1,000-sq.m. lot, 13.75 acres of orchards, including 1.5 acres of orchards for harvesting, is for sale on Yad2 for NIS 14 million.

The Dead Sea

There are quite a few locations along the Dead Sea. Although all have access to a spectacular view, the distance from any major city is relatively long, there are few local job opportunities, and weather conditions are extreme.

Neve Zohar

Neve Zohar, south of the Dead Sea, near the Sodom junction and Ein Bokek hotels, is considered the lowest point in the world and, as of 2016, also Israel’s smallest residential community. According to the Tamar Regional Council website, Neve Zohar has about 17 families, and about 60 people in total. In 2014, the Israel Land Authority began marketing 110 lots, an average 500-sq.m. each, on which a house and two adjoining B&Bs could be built. Yad2 has "high-quality construction" house with three separate holiday units and a view of the Dead Sea for sale at NIS 4.6 million. A 300 sq.m. lot with "a direct sea view" is on offer for NIS 875,000.

Kalya

A few years ago, Kibbutz Kalya in the northern Dead Sea initiated a "Build Your Own Home" expansion project, overlooking the sea and the Judean Desert cliffs called "Nofei Kalya". According to the kibbutz's website, a 500-sq.m. lot will cost about NIS 160,000, to be paid to the Megilot Regional Council economic company. No properties were found for sale on Yad2, or on "Atar HaBayit - country living website". Interested parties should know there is an admissions committee and that the settlement is located beyond Israel's internationally recognized borders. Kalya currently has about 400 residents.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 30, 2020 © Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

An Israeli house by a river / Photo: Eyal Hatzafon
An Israeli house by a river / Photo: Eyal Hatzafon
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