Buy Your New Home in Israel – still strong after 65 Years

IMG_0214Many times when speaking with prospective olim or real estate investors, I am asked… but is the Israel economy okay? Isn’t the real estate market about to crash? Is now really the best time to buy?

The economy is Great! The real estate market is strong! Now is the best time to buy, Today, NOW!

And, northern Israel is one of the best areas in the country for finding affordable homes and real estate investments with a strong return. Check out our Hot Properties pages, and be in touch soon.

Read on….

At 65 Israel Defies Global Economic Meltdown 
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative”
“Israel Hayom”, April 19, 2013

While most of the world is afflicted by an economic meltdown, Israel demonstrates fiscal responsibility, sustained economic growth with no stimulus package and a conservative, well-regulated banking system with no banking or real estate bubble.
At 65, Israel’s credit rating is sustained by the three leading global credit rating companies:Standard and Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s and Fitch Ratings .  Moreover, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) commends Israel’s economic performance and expressed confidence in its long-term viability.
Kasper Villiger, Chairman of the United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) indicated that China, Hong Kong, Brazil, Russia and Israel are the future growth engines for UBS.  Deloitte Touche, one of the top four global CPA firms opined that Israel is the fourth most attractive site for overseas investors. The Swiss-based Institute for Management Development (IMD) ranks the Bank of Israel (Israel’s “Federal Reserve”) among the top five central banks in its 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook for the third year in a row.
At 65, Israel’s economic indicators are among the world’s best.  For example, during the 2009-2012 global economic crisis Israel experienced a 14.7% growth of gross domestic product (GDP), the highest among OECD countries.  Israel’s 2012 GDP growth (3.3%) led the OECD which averaged 1.4%.  Israel’s 2012 GDP of $250BN catapulted120 times since 1948.  A $1,132 GDP per capita in 1962 surged to $32,000 in 2012Israel managed to reduce its debt/GDP ratio from 100% in 2002 to 74% in 2012, while most of the world experiences a soaring ratio. A 450% galloping inflation in 1984 has been held in check in recent years – 1.6% in 2012.  Israel’s 2012 budget deficit andunemployment were 4.2% and 6.9% respectively, much lower than the OECD average of 7% and 8%.  Foreign exchange reserves – which are critical to sustain global confidence in Israel’s economy and Israel’s capabilities during emergencies – expanded from $25BN in 2004 to $75BN in 2012, 26th in the world and one of the top per capita countries.
At 65, Israel’s robust demography – which leads the Free World with three births per Jewish woman – provides a tailwind for Israel’s economy.
At 65, Israel attracts the elite of global high-tech due to its competitive edge. For instance, the prestigious Shanghai Jiaotong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities includes four Israeli universities among the top thirty computer science universities in the world.  Twenty universities are from the US, four from Israel, two each from Canada and the UK and one each from Switzerland and Hong Kong.
At 65, Israel leads the world in its research and development manpower per capita: 140 Israelis (per 10,000) and 85 Americans (per 10,000) are ahead of the rest of the world.  Israel’s qualitative workforce benefits from the annual Aliya (immigration of Jews) of skilled persons from the former USSR, Europe, the USA, Latin America and Australia, who join graduates from Israeli institutions of higher learning.  In addition, Israel’s high-tech absorbs veterans of the elite high-tech units of Israel Defense Forces. Israel dedicates 4.5% of its GDP to research and development, the highest proportion in the world.
Israel’s defiance of unique security and economic challenges has produced unique, innovative and cutting edge solutions, technologies and production lines, which have attracted global giants.  For example, Eric SchmidtGoogle‘s Executive Chairman, considers Israel “the most important high-tech center in the world after the US.”  He has invested in Israel’s high-tech via his own private venture capital fund, Innovation Endeavors.
According to world renowned investor, Warren Buffet, “If you’re looking for brains, [Israel] has a disproportionate amount of brains and energy.”  In 2006, Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett’s investment company, made its first ever acquisition outside the US, in Israel, acquiring 80% of Israel’s Iscar for $4 billion.
Intel operates four research and development centers and two manufacturing plants in Israel, and invested in 64 Israeli start ups. Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer calls Microsoft as much an Israeli company as an American company, because of the importance of its Israeli technologies. Some 300 US high tech giants have research and development presence in Israel. Many, among them, invest in – and acquire – Israeli high tech companies.

George Gilderthe author of The Israel Test and a high-tech guru, stated: “[Israel] is the global master of microchip design, network algorithms and medical instruments…water recycling and desalinization…missile defense, robotic warfare, and UAVs.… We need Israel as much as it needs us.”
At 65, Israel has become an offshore natural gas producer, which has enhanced its economic viability, reducing its dependency on imported energy, and rendering it a net natural gas exporter by 2017.
At 65, the ongoing wars, terrorism and global pressure are realistically assessed as bumps on the road to unprecedented economic and technological growth

Tiberias is the best City for investors

Tiberias, or Tveria as it is known in Hebrew, sits on the shores of the beautiful Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), in northern Israel. Surrounded by beauty from every side, this crown jewel of the Galil is fast becoming a favorite destination for new olim seeking to build their new home in Israel. This, combined with the fact that Tveria is the number one tourist destination makes for a city ripe with tremendous potential for real estate investors. Property prices are constantly on the rise, and property values are sure to grow considerably in the years ahead. The government of Israel is investing significant funds to improve infrastructure and attract business development. Now is the best time to purchase your investment property, while the prices are still very affordable, to capture the greatest return on your investment capital.

IMAG0263For instance, consider this apartment listed at a bargain-basement price, only NIS 250,000!! This is a studio apartment, completely refurbished, remodeled and beautifully furnished, in the heart of the city’s commercial district. A short walk across the street will bring you quickly to the shores of the Kinneret, waterfront restaurants, the marina, and a wide choice of water activities, including fishing and swimming. You cannot beat the location! While there is parking, one can easily throw away the keys and get to all the places in the city, as well as all the major points throughout the entire country of Israel, by public transportation. This apartment can be rented out long-term or for an even higher return, will make an excellent vacation apartment, sure to be booked all through the summer. NIS 250,000 will get you in on an outstanding real estate investment in beautiful northern Israel.

It’s not just us telling you the market is great in Israel!!

Israel world’s third hottest real estate market
CNBC places Israel third behind China and Hong Kong on five year home price rises despite a reported 1.2% fall in 2011.
Einat Paz-Frankel 23 Apr 12 18:17
Despite the affordable housing protests, Israel is holding on to its spot as the third-hottest housing market in the world according to a survey by CNBC, based on data from real estate agents Knight Frank. The survey found that house prices in Israel jumped more than 21% in 2009 and16% in 2010.Israel was placed third with 5 year growth of 54.5% beating Singapore into fourth place with five year growth of 50.5% but well behind China in top spot with five year growth of 110.9% and Hong Kong in second place with growth of 93.7%.

CNBC noted, “High home prices in Israel led to a series of protests in 2011 with demonstrators asking the government to intervene to cool the market. Thousands of protesters made headlines last July to voice concerns over a housing shortage and high rentals. The demonstrations seem to have had an effect on property prices, which fell 1.2% in 2011, according to Knight Frank.”

But CNBC sees home prices rebounding saying, “However, after an interest rate cut from 3.25% to 2.5%in February, there appears to be resurgence in property demand, with new mortgages issued by banks jumping by more than 14% in March compared to the two pervious months.”

Published by Globes, Israel business news – – on April 23, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

Why Invest in Israel?

 “Israel has amazing people. We are investing $4 billion in an amazing group of people…” Warren Buffet, CEO and Chairman, Bershire Hathaway

  • Israel has a highly educated and creative workforce.
  • There are more Israeli traded companies traded on NASDAQ than any other country in the world, other than the US
  • Economic growth averages around 5% per year
  • Israel’s venture capital industry continues to thrive even in the face of global tightening of credit due to the financial crisis
  • Israel has the highest rate of research development investment as a percentage of GDP and is among the world’s leaders in numbers of patents issued
  • Israel has one of the most highly educated workforces in the world

All the markets in Israel are very strong right now, R&D, telecommunications, technologies, financials, and especially real estate. This is a great time to take your money out from those disappointing accounts you have been using, and plant it here in the strongest and most stable economy in the world. You will be very happy with the move!

Northern Israel offers lots of opportunities for investment growth. Real estate prices are still very low compared to the center and coastal areas of the country. Yet, as this area of Israel begins to grow with new industries, immigrants and government initiatives, those low prices are going to climb. As with all investments, timing is everything. The best time is now.

20 dunam of currently zoned agricultural land in the beautiful area of Givat-Ada, only 7 minutes from the Mediterranean. Buy the entire parcel for NIS 5.2 million or NIS 260,000 per dunam. Also, you can purchase half a dunam for NIS 130,000. For more

Gorgeous townhouse in the peaceful moshav of Migdal, just minutes from the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). One of a group of eight townhouses, constructed of wood and Jerusalem stone, this house will give you endless enjoyment of the Kinneret and mountains of the Galil. The house is spread out over two floors, with a garden/terrace and wooden deck. It is being sold furnished… you just have to pick up the key and move in! NIS 1,150,000 For more

A little bit of renovation and this apartment will be a great new home or investment property. It is located in a prime area of the city of Tiberias, 120 sq meters, 4 rooms, and gorgeous views of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). All of the downtown and waterfront amenities of the city of Tiberias are just a few minutes walk away. NIS 525,000

Earn more money here and save taxes too!

From Globes Real Estate

Accounting firm Baker Tilly reports that Israelis pay lower taxes on real estate deals compared with other countries.

The taxes examined are purchase tax paid on purchase of a property, tax on rental (by maximum tax bracket), and capital gains tax on the sale of a property. Israel was compared with Canada, Australia, Spain, Russia, the US, France and Japan.

Landlords can draw encouragement from the fact that Israel has the lowest tax of any country examined. Israel is somewhere in the middle on capital gains tax; tax rates (on second hand apartments) are higher than in Spain, the US and France but lower than the tax paid on the same apartment in Canada, Australia, Russia and Japan.

Baker Tilly Israel partner and tax manager Guy Reshtick said, “Tax in Israel is not as high as people think. Taxes are high in Israel but in matters relating to real estate tax, our situation is improving. There have been changes over the years that have lowered the sums required from apartment sellers and buyers. For example, betterment tax that in the past amounted to 50% of capital gains fell to 20% a decade ago – and that is a direct profit for apartment sellers.”

He added, “And here too apartment sellers are given a complete exemption from betterment tax on the sale of an apartment once in every four years.

Here is one great example of an outstanding real estate investment. But, don’t hestitate for another second!

Make a BIG Investment with a little money!

We’ve been away from blogging for a little while, but not because there hasn’t been anything to write about. It has been very busy around here lately. Lots of investors have been seizing the great opportunities for outstanding investment returns. Eight studio apartments in the heart of downtown Tiberias were snapped up in just a couple of weeks. Many overseas buyers are looking for new homes or great investments in this northern area of Israel, where the prices are very affordable. And, we had lots of visitors throughout the summer and holidays, enjoying our beautiful vacation homes. Now, the weather has cooled a little bit, but the real estate market is still very hot. It is the best time to find your new home in Israel or to snap up that investment property, sure to bring you at least an 8 percent return.

Israel Mortgage rate update from First Israel Mortgage

Israel Mortgage Rate Update 08/16/2011 By: First Israel Mortgage

For those borrowers looking for US Dollar based loans, LIBOR loans are now available for foreigners as low as LIBOR+1.8% on the ENTIRE loan amount. Being able to take the entirety of the loan in a variable rate represents a tremendous benefit, as most lenders are unable to provide more than 1/3 of the loan in a variable rate. This option is available up to 70% of the value of the property, albeit with a slightly higher rate. The 5-year USD fixed rate (up to a 25 year term) is available at 3.6%. This option provides a great deal of security as it allows borrowers to fix this rate for 5 years. During the last few weeks, rates on shekel loans have been dropping quickly. The most attractive rates on the market in NIS are currently in the range of 5.4-5.8% fixed for 20 years. 30 year fixed rates are in the 6.2%-6.7% range. For clients interested in Prime loans, Prime-1.0% remains the sharpest rate on the market. For more information, call 972-2-567-1349 to speak with one of First Israel’s qualified mortgage consultants.