I usually keep track of market trends all over Israel as well as population growths and shifts in my constant quest for real estate info and to stay ahead of the curve professionally.
Recently I was in the rare position of searching feverishly for a rental for myself, something I rarely have had to do. My choice was Raanana as first choice and still is even though I settled temporarily for another community. Raanana has a fantastic central to the country location, many city amenities, like parks and an A+ educational reputation as well as relatively low property taxes. It is also a magnet for English speakers who LOVE their city!
Its city center is experiencing a regeneration of Ahuza St. with new malls and shops and steady foot traffic. It is also well foliated, being an older city but now the home of a growing high-tech park.
I found that rentals were shekel for shekel higher than nearbly Cfar Saba and Hod Hasharon, 1000-1500 NIS per room higher and purchase prices on a simple older half duplex unimproved now starting at $700,000. I concluded that unlike newly and quickly developing communities like Modiin and Rishon Letsion which seem to have availabilities for land to open up around the periphery, Raanana is just so big and can’t get much bigger within the city limits, thus driving prices of sales and rentals up because of limited housing availability.
One renter who wanted the Raanana school district told me she rented a single-family home 3 months in advance of her needing it paying over $3000 a month because after Pesach it would be “impossible” to find anything large enough for her family!
My estimations about Raanana were confirmed not only through my own searches but today’s Haaretz contained info in an article confirming the limited potential for new land development in Raanana.
Bottom line even a simple apartment that needs renovation in an old building without the “necessary balcony” is a safe real estate investment.