Tel Aviv housing market heats up

Tel Aviv property prices are up 84% since 2008.
Tel Aviv property prices are up 84% since 2008.

The strength of the housing market in Tel Aviv, Israel, rivals better-known hot spots such as London or the Hampton.

Property prices in Tel Aviv have gone up 84 percent since 2008 and rose 10.19 percent last year alone, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics reported.

Sale prices per square foot range from about 7,500 to 9,300 shekels, or $1,850 to $2,300.

Young Israeli business owners who got rich from technology company startups are buying many of the highest-priced residences in Tel Aviv, which also attracts older affluent Israelis and foreign buyers.

Developers are responding by putting up larger residential buildings in Tel Aviv with luxurious features.

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For example, when residents start moving into the Meier-on-Rothschild Tower in December, the 590-foot condo will be the tallest building in Tel Aviv. The developer, Berggruen Residential, has sold more than 80 percent of the 141 apartments, about a third of them to buyers who are not residents of Israel.

Prices for the unsold units at the $776 million condo development on trendy Rothschild Boulevard, designed by American architect Richard Meier, start at $3 million for a three-bedroom apartment.

Noam Dizaldow, one of the founders of a realty firm called Neot Shiran, said foreign nationals and Israelis who reside outside Israel own up to 80 percent of the apartment buildings along Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean coastline.

Many second-home buyers who plan extended stays in Tel Aviv choose residences in the city’s downtown area near shopping and night life, said Nuri Rachamim, office manager at Rozio, a real estate firm. [Wall Street Journal] — Mike Seemuth