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Expected immigration of French Jews boosts demand for apartments

by Globes correspondent

The terrible events in France over the past few days and the expected wave of immigration of tens of thousands of French Jews will create demand in Israel’s property market, real estate developers and agents told Globes.

Eldar Real Estate Marketing expects the demand to focus on homes in the NIS 1.5 TO 2 m. price range.

  “Our forecast is that tens of thousands of Jews will seek to immigrate to Israel and create demand for thousands of new apartments,” Eldar CEO Ronny Cohen said.

France has more than 500,000 Jews, half of whom live in Paris. According to the Jewish Agency for Israel, a record 7,000 French Jews immigrated to Israel in 2014, double the previous year, while tens of thousands more inquired about moving here.

“Thousands of French people are currently looking for homes in Israel, and we saw this in the way they flocked to the last apartment fair that we held in Paris,” real-estate contractor Yossi Avrahami said.

Previously, it was thought that French Jews were only in the market for luxury apartments in Israel, but Cohen said: “Anti-Semitism has changed the demand of foreign residents. If foreign residents, mainly French bought only in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Ashdod, now the trend is extending to other locations because foreign residents are no longer buying an apartment as an investment but as a home to live in.”

According to Shaike, Nafha, a vice president of Effi CApital, which is building West Hadera’s Aqua family project in the Ein Yam neighborhood together with Amram Avraham: “We see more and more foreign residents, mainly french, buying apartments in Hadera. Most are looking to be close to the sea and their families in Israel. In the past, most of these foreign residents bought in Netanya and Tel Aviv . But with real-estate prices rising in these cities, people looking for apartments close to the seafront at more inexpensive prices have found them in Hadera. An apartment in the city is 50 percent of the price of a similar apartment with a sea view in Natanya.”

Shechter Group CEO Dedi Riesel said: “In the past month, seven French Jews bought apartments in the Jof Yam Club proje t in Or Akiva, not as an investment but to live in .”

French buyers are also interested in Afula and Ashkelon. According to Yoram Avisror, vice president of marketing for Avisror Moshe  & Sons Ltd.,which is building the Avisror Agamim project in Ashkelon: “Many foreign residents, mainly French, have recently discovered Ashkelon a new area of demand both because this is a developing sea resort, which is close to the center of the country, and because of attractive new neighborhoods with sane apartment prices.”