Bat Yam: A Gentrification Case Study

 One of Bat Yam's Many Beautiful Beaches. Photo:

A little over ten years ago, while attending a real estate event in Manhattan, a significant developer pulled me aside and handed me a paper written by an Ivy League professor. The professor and his students in the urban planning class went on a field trip to Israel to study Bat Yam, a rundown suburb of Tel Aviv and Yaffo situated along the Mediterranean Sea, and created a comprehensive plan to overhaul this tired city into a thriving metropolis.

2016-06-26 14:52:13
Baka: Evolution and Revolution

 Charming Baka. Photo: Courtesy of Bustan Baka.

Baka is an upscale, family-oriented community located in southern Jerusalem, which has come a long way since its humble beginnings. 

2016-05-01 21:09:34
Distinctive Properties: Unique Challenges and Opportunities

 The Hasten House. Photo: Jordan Polevoy

Sometimes a unique property becomes available for sale, which requires much thought and creativity to craft the most appropriate marketing program. Such a situation recently arose when we were approached to sell the magnificent Hasten House on Uziel Street in Bayit Vegan, the only mansion in the entire neighborhood.

2016-04-17 10:37:55
TAMA 38: Protecting Against Earthquakes

 TAMA 38: Before and After. (Photo: Yishai Breslauer)

In 2005 the Ministry of the Interior approved TAMA 38, a plan which created financial incentives to encourage the private sector to bankroll the cost of strengthening older buildings to withstand earthquakes. 

2016-03-30 14:00:55
A Purchase Tax Loophole

 Efrat, located in Gush Etzion. (Photo:

Imagine my interest when my colleague Joe Offenbacher, the maven of the Hashmonaim market, shared with me snippets from an enlightening conversation with Yariv Aharon, a highly regarded real estate and zoning lawyer. The gist of that discussion was that there is an acquisition tax loophole that benefits overseas buyers.

2016-03-02 12:40:56
Netanya’s Charm

 Concert in the Square. (Photo: Netanya Municipality)

Netanya is an enchanting city that boasts spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea and offers the slower pace and charm of a coastal town. Established almost ninety years ago, Netanya is currently undergoing a major expansion and renaissance.

2016-02-16 18:46:03
Double Taxation on Ghost Apartments

 "Ghost Apartments" in Mamilla, Jerusalem. Courtesy: Wiki Commons

Over the past half decade, there has been talk to double the property taxes (called “arnona”) on the estimated 10,000 “ghost apartments” or secondary residences in Jerusalem. A ghost apartment is defined as a property that sits vacant for at least nine months a year. These ghost apartments have understandably generated resentment from local residents who claim that these empty units reduce the city’s already limited housing supply. Two years ago, the Knesset Finance Committee approved this law and in January 2016, the Jerusalem Municipality began to implement this law.

2016-01-17 16:32:25
The Evolution of Machaneh Yehudah

How does a sleepy community become a hot residential destination? Sometimes the addition of a new train station can turn a town into an “up and coming” bedroom community of a thriving metropolis. Frequently the creation of a new business hub or a new mall lures residents to the city. Interestingly, sometimes the rejuvenation of an iconic landmark can help energize a community – as we have witnessed in Nachlaot, which houses the historic Shuk Machaneh Yehudah.

2016-01-11 22:14:36

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