Opportunity for US$ Property Buyers in Israel

The tremors of the Euro and in the US stock market have helped shore up the dollar here against the shekel.  At a current rep rate of 3.82 NIS those who were in the property market last year with assets in US currency who forestalled buying now find themselves in the best of positions.  Many sellers who bought new apartments from builders in the last year or two that put their selling on hold not wanting to move temporarily to rent while awaiting their new apartment now find their present apartments worth 10-15% less value due to a slight glut in the existing second-hand market.

Haaretz published an extensive article on the current conflict in the Israeli property market; that sellers are reluctant to lower their prices but the reality for those who must sell is “accept a lower price gratefully”.

This is seen by many property agents as a market correction, with government assistance after the stellar rise in values over 2005-2010 that brought prices too high.

This agent has worked significantly in the Maale Adumim market where many young families took the periphery location as a compromise to get more apartment for their money in hopes of mobility in the next few years. This agent’s experience has proved that many units that have been priced at a current popular asking value are sitting unsold months later.  I recently noted a very improved newer apartment in an excellent building in that locale with an attractive asking price compared to the competition.  I called the seller who already had an offer in a few weeks. They priced themselves about 11% lower than competing properties and sold in weeks.

The number of those under the pressure in the periphery who bought new units on paper are now facing the crunch; ask a realistic and modified price based on current values or sit until forced to move.

If I had a pulpit in the United States I would push the message “Buy now while your dollars are still high!”  With current US fiscal policy the strength of US dollar is most likely a very temporary situation.  For those who dream of a pied-a-terre in ISrael, now is the time to take the plunge!

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