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June 16, 1995 - Image 42

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-06-16

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erusalem is not just anoth-
er city. It's the nation's cap-
ital, the country's second
most important business
center after Tel Aviv and a
tourism, academic and spiritual
center. But the city still has a
long way to go. It is among the
country's poorest, with almost 28
percent of its residents living be-
low the poverty line.
During the last few years, de-
mand for housing in Jerusalem
has increased at a faster rate
than in many other cities in the
country, creating serious housing
problems, especially for the ob-
servant and young couples. The
government's recent decision to
freeze expropriation of land
in northern and southern
Jerusalem is expected to make
the situation even worse.
Shmuel Levi, manager of the
Ambassador real estate agency,
says he expects "real estate prices
in Jerusalem to be the highest in
the country in several years since
there are very few neighborhoods
currently in construction and no
massive building."
The municipality expects
about 4,000 people to seek to pur-
chase housing within the city lim-
its in 1996. At the same time,
more and more young couples
and families are leaving the city
and buying cheaper housing in
what has come to be known as
Greater Jerusalem, and even fur-
ther away in places like Beit
Shemesh and Modi'in.
About one-third of the apart-
ments purchased in Modi'in were
sold to Jerusalemites at an aver-
age price per room of $35,000-
$40,000. Real estate agents say
it is very difficult to find a three-
room apartment in Jerusalem for
less than $150,000.
However, Moshe Babani, sales
manager at Anglo-Saxon in
Jerusalem, says the real estate
market has calmed down in the
last eight months following a
surge in prices two years ago. "We
experienced a small rise in de-
mand last month which may be
due to the situation prevailing on
the stock market or even the end
of the winter season."
Last month, Anglo-Saxon's
Jerusalem division experienced
a 50-60 percent growth in sales
compared with April. Mr. Babani
says the price of the apartments
sold ranged from $135,000 -
According to Anglo-Saxon,
apartment prices in Talbieh and
Rehavia, the city's older neigh-

(810) 646-0535



Call The Jewish News


Galit Lipkis Beck writes for the
Jerusalem Post.

borhoods, range from about
$280,000 - $300,000 for a three-
room apartment and $370,000 -
$400,000 for a four-room apart-
Demand for housing in the
haredi (religious) sector, which
represents a large part of the pop-
ulation, is growing more rapidly.
Shmuel says apartment prices in
religious neighborhoods like
Ramot and Geula range from
about $75,000 - $85,000 per room.
There is also high demand
from foreign residents. Last
month, Ambassador experienced
higher demand for housing than
in similar months in previous
years. Shmuel attributes the rise
to the peace process and also an

High cost of housing.

improvement in the world's eco-
nomic situation. Foreign resi-
dents' demand for housing is
expected to continue to rise in the
future as more and more inter-
national companies open offices
and factories in the country.
Developing the tourism and hi-
tech industries are among the
municipality's top priorities. The
Jerusalem 3000 celebrations are
expected to significantly boost
employment opportunities, while
the industrial development plans
are intended to increase the mu-
nicipality's funds and attract
highly-educated residents. The
municipality hopes to prevent the
migration of young and secular
residents from the city.
Several hi-tech parks are cur-
rently under construction, in-
cluding the Technology Park
which will be spread on 60
dunams in Malha, a 100-dunam
park in Pisgat Ze'ev, and anoth-
er area intended for light indus-
try on Har Hotzvim. Other
industries are situated in Talpi-
ot and Givat Shaul.
In the office market, prices are
relatively high even though there
is no real shortage of available of-
fice space, with the exception of
the Givat Shaul district. Accord-
ing to Ambassador, average of-
fice purchase prices range from
$2,000 per square mile in Givat
Shaul to $2,500 per square mile
in the center and up to $3,500 in
high-quality buildings.
The municipality's infrastruc-
ture plans are mainly concen-
trated on tackling the city's
transportation problems. The
city's latest road developments
have helped save a bit of travel
time, but still do not eliminate
Jerusalem's traffic jams. El


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