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Want to live near the beach? Ashkelon can make your dream come true

30,000 homes will be built with  an agreement that  included the building of three new highway junctions and an advanced public transportation system.Besides this construction the Tourism Ministry has just approved construction of a new hotel for the coastal city of Ashkelon. This is part of a project to invest in the re-establishment of tourism to the south .

The Ashkelon Municipality has signed the largest-ever umbrella agreement with the government that will ensure the city’s rapid growth in the coming years. The agreement calls for the construction of 30,000 housing units in seven new neighborhoods, which will make Ashkelon the country’s sixth-largest city by 2025.

Ashkelon is currently Israel’s 13th-largest city, with a population of 135,000, according to the Globes-Duns 100 rankings……….




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MK Orly Levi-Abekasis has proposed a bill lowering the mortgage equity requirement from 25% to 10%.

The Ministry of Finance is promoting a solution that will enable young couples to get a mortgage amounting to a higher percentage of the price, Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon said at a meeting of the Knesset State Control Committee devoted to the housing crisis. Answering a question whether he would remove equity requirements on mortgages for young couples, Kahlon said, “We must deal with this, it’s on the agenda now, and we’ll provide a differential solution for disadvantaged people.”

Kahlon’s remarks following the proposal of a bill by MK Orly Levi-Abekasis (Yisrael Beitenu) for reducing the equity required in mortgages for young couples from 25% of the property price to 10%. Levi-Abekasis asserts that the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Israel are ignoring young couples who currently must raise the required equity through high-risk loans at high interest, without their repayment capabilities being examined. Sources close to Levi-Abekasis said that Kahlon himself had said that he took a mortgage amounting to 95% of the apartment price in order to buy his first apartment. Until new Bank of Israel restrictions were imposed three years ago, mortgages of up to 95% of the purchase price could be obtained.

Following criticism by economists, who argued that increasing the financing element would cause higher apartment prices, Levi-Abekasis agreed to restrict the larger mortgages to projects in which the price of apartments was independent of demand, and was not set on the free market, such as the buyer fixed price plan. This proposal, however, is also arousing great opposition from the professional echelon in the Ministry of Finance, who are claiming that it would set a dangerous precedent. In today’s discussion, Levi-Abekasis said that the current situation was impossible for many young couples.

Sophie’s Choice

“The Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Israel, and the Ministry of Construction and Housing are ignoring the entire issue of young couples unable to buy an apartment. Many of them can’t raise the equity. Even well-off families are unable to help all their children. It’s like Sophie having to choose which child she should help. What does the state tell them? ‘If there’s no apartment, or you can’t get the equity, then rent.’

“The problem is that one day, there will be thousands of pensioners whose pensions aren’t enough to sustain them. The state is now telling those people to go on renting. We’ll have homeless pensioners here, and what will they tell them then? That they’ll have public housing?” Levi-Abekasis added, “We used to have 95% financing for mortgages. Why shouldn’t we have it now? People who don’t have money borrow from their parents and friends, or from the gray market. The interest on those loans is murderous, and we’re putting them into a trap.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on October 27, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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Israelis switch to online food shopping during wave of attacks

By Ilanit Hayut


The current wave of terrorist attacks has officially hit supermarket sales. Nielsen figures show that consumers bought 7 percent less food and groceries during the first two weeks of October as more Israelis choose to stay home because of the security situation.

Online sales,however, rose by double digits. But their jump did not suffice to make up for the overall gap from the drop in store sales. In that same period, online orders increased 30%.

The increase focused on several categories frequented by parents of young children and on perishable goods. For example, sales of baby formula jumped 151%.

The ongoing produce shortage, which was strongly felt during Succot, and the high prices of vegetables have also affected sales.

Sales of fruit and vegetable dropped (21%), as did cottage cheese (17.8) and bread (12.6%).

Other products that recorded a notable drop included dairy (6.5%), packaged salads (5.5%), oil and vinegar (6.2%) and fresh milk (5.5%).

Supermarkets that deliver in Beit Shemesh:

Supersol – 02-991-5219

Shop online and have it delivered to your home. This system allows you from the comfort of your home ,shop , pay and , have your food arrive at your home without leaving your home.

Super Hatzlacha- 02-991-4337

Shop what you need and have your food delivered to your home. If you live in a building that has lots of stairs, this is awesome. What’s great about this system? If you need or forgot an item last second, you can always throw it into your cart before you fill in your delivery information.


More three-room apartments were started in January-June 2015 than in all of 2014

More three-room apartments were started in January-June 2015 than in all of 2014

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Family business: Korean grandparents demand better pay for child care

This article offers an idea that could help potential olim in the older bracket who can’t find a job so easily at their age, want, or require extra income.

By Christine Kim                                                                       IMG_20150921_115046

SEOUL (Reuters)- Ock Mi-eun, 57, has been taking care of her grandson since he was born two year ago so that her daughter could return to work. She receives 1 million won ($830) a month for her services.

It is not unusual for South Koreans to pay their parents to take care of their children. But the number doing so is on the rise, and the arrangement has become more professional as parents increasingly pay the equivalent of full babysitting rates.

“You’ve left your child with someone else: its only being responsible to pay some compensation,” said Ock , who picks up her grandson from his morning day care and looks after him until his mother retrieves him in the evenings.

Child-care classes for the elderly, rare before 2013, have cropped up at public health centers, They typically teach the resuscitation technique CPR, infant massage, feeding and playing with children.

“They’re very eager to learn modern-day child care because so much has changed from their time, and they don’t want to be looked down on by their children,” said Song Geum-re, who lectures at child-care classes for the elderly.

The trend is being driven by changes in South Korea’s population-the fastest-aging in the world. A record share of women work and a high rate of poverty amount the elderly means many older people need the income.

Even though government data shows almost 53 percent of women work, that level is low compared with other member countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

As of April 2014, 22.4% of all married women aged 15-54 in South Korea had quite their jobs due to marriage, childbirth or child care, government data shows.

New mother are often deterred from returning to work by a lack of day are, where demand far outstrips available places. A ruling party lawmaker said last  year there were 11 children for every day-care spot available, and in the more sought-after government facilities the ratio was 47 to one.


The share of families whose children were looked after by grandparents rose to 35.1% in 2012, the last year for which government data is available, from 31.9% in 2009.

A survey by the Gyeonggido Family and  Women’s Research Institute in 2011 showed nearly 80% of 300 grandparents who regularly took care of their grandchildren were paid.

Suh Moon-hee, a visiting research fellow at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, said paying grandparents for child care is not new, but the prevalence and the amounts paid have risen, suggesting a more professional arrangement.

“In the past, South Koreans paid a third of what they would have paid visiting babysitters because they regularly gave their parents financial support. Now they pay them full wages,” she said. “It’s more of a transaction for services.”

For many families, enlisting grandparents to look after young children has mutual benefits.

Compensation for child care can be a key source of income for elderly people in South Korea, where government data shows that 49% of those aged 66 and above live in poverty.

One Seoul district began paying monthly stipends in 2011 to grandparents who regularly take care of their young grandchildren. A lack of funding has derailed similar initiatives elsewhere.

The new professionalism among grandparent carers even shares some traits with day-care centers. Many grandparents are strict about working hours, with some cutting off service at 6 p.m. sharp, Song said.

“Grandparents exchange information among their friends who’s being given how much and what not. It’s all businesslike,” she said.

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500 Start-ups opens Israel office

By Roy Goldenberg


US venture capital fund 500 Start-ups is opening an Israel office. The fund, which operates one of the world’s five leading accelerators, has appointed Adam Benayoun and Diana Moldavsky as investment partners. They will be sourcing and investing in Israeli companies as well as supporting the existing 500 Start-ups network in Israel. 500 Start-ups has invested to date sums of between $100,000 and $250,000 in about 1,200 early stage start-ups worldwide.

Benayoun said that the fund plans making 10-20 investments over the next year. The total investment (each of up to $250,000) could reach $5 million.  Some of the start-ups will be invited to join 500 Start-ups accelerators in San Francisco and Mountain View.

Founded in 2010, 500 Start-ups is a venture capital seed fund and start-up accelerator based in Silicon Valley with $200 million in assets under management.

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Budget proposals target olim


By Leon Harris

Now that the Israeli election is long forgotten, government officials have circulated their decisions on what state budget proposals should be presented to the cabinet for approval and submission to the Knesset for enactment. Some of these proposals take aim at olin in an unpleasant way.

According to the proposals, a survey of the Global Forum on transparency and exchange of information has rated Israel “partially complaint.” This is apparently considered a low rating. Consequently, the European ban of Reconstruction  and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank apparently have announced they will stop cooperating with Israel if these “defects” are not remedied by the end of October.

Israel apparently has notified OECD it will act to amend the law to facilitate information exchange according to international standards.

What is proposed?

First, it is proposed to enable the government to exchange tax information with other governments. Currently Israel’s tax treaties allow this mainly to prevent double taxation regarding specific taxpayers, not as part of a general campaign (“no fishing expeditions”). Now it seems fishing expeditions will be allowed. Also, Israel ma now sign up to multilateral tax treaties , such as the upcoming OECD common reporting standard.

Second, it is proposed to allow the Israel Tax Authority (ITA) to obtain more information electronically from Israeli financial institutions about business and private clients’ accounts. The information will be passed to a special ITA unit that will have 45 days to review it and either delete it or pass it on to investigative tax officials if income or payments appear to have been under-reported by NIS 500,00 for the purposes of income tax, VAT or land-appreciation tax.

Third, changing are proposed regarding new Israeli residence and so-called senior returning residents (who lived abroad 10 years)- collectively referred to as olim.

Currently, olim are exempt from Israeli tax on overseas income and gains for 10 years. They are also exempt from DISCLOSING overseas income and assets to the ITA for the same 10 years. Under the proposals, the tax exemption will stay, but the disclosure exemption will be curtailed for olim who arrive in Israel on or after January 1, 2016.

In the year of arrival and the following tax year, olim would only need to disclose of foreign income and assets if a foreign body demanded this from ITA. Thereafter, olim would need to disclose their foreign income and assets each year anyway.


Two years ago, similar disclosure proposal were included in the budget and caused a howl of protest until they were dropped. Now it seems they are back.

The new proposal may not increase the tax olim pay- just increase disclosure and bureaucracy. But many potential olim may rightly or wrongly assume a repeal of the tax exemption is around the corner.

Olim thinking of moving to Israel after January 1, 2016, might consider going through the aliya process before that date before they value their privacy. It is hard to believe that olim are mainly responsible for Israel’s woes with he Global Forum, the OECD the EBRD and the World Bank. Olim appear to be a scapegoat. To sum up, the Israeli budget proposal. are not boring, and they may be controversial. It remains to be seen what will be legislated.

As always, consult experience tax advisers in each county at an early stage in specific cases. 


Leon Harris is a certified public accountant and tax specialist at Harris Consulting & Tax Ltd. b

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Israel Railways begins laying Jerusalem-Tel Aviv tracks

By Hedy Cohen


Israel Railways reached a major landmark in the construction of the high speed railway to Jerusalem: the first line to run on electricity. The company began laying tracks on the western section of the line, in the Ayalon Valley region.

The project is estimated to cost about NIS 7 billion, including the construction of two 5-kilometer tracks from Tel Aviv’s Haganah Statin to the entrance of Jerusalem, near the International Convention Center, as well as five tunnels, totaling 20 kilometers, and eight bridges.

Israel Railways also announced Monday that work was completed on the final section of the Negev line between Ashkelon beersheba.  The project connected the rail from Ashkelon to the Goral Junction and to the existing railway in Beersheba, as well as the national rail network.

“The Negev railway is first and foremost a Zionist project,” Israel Railways CEO Boaz Tzafrir said. “The direct line between Ashkelon to Beersheba, through Sderot, Netivot and Ofakin, will boost employment in southern Israel, attract young couples to the region and increase the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of southern Israelis.”

“Alongside that project, we recently began laying the new tracks on the high speed railway to Jerusalem, where the development work has been going at an accelerated pace,” he said. “It’s a vision that is now becoming a reality.”

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Public transportation fares to Tel Aviv to be cut

By Hedy Cohen


Public transportation fares will be slashed as part of an effort by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to contend with the work on the light rail in Tel Aviv and to encourage drivers to leave their cars at home. The projected costs of the plan stand at NIS 120 million.

The planned reform of the system would institute unified pricing for each of the major metropolitan areas: Tel Aviv , Jerusalem, Haifa, and Beersheba. It would radically decrease costs by allowing passengers 90 minutes to transfer between different modes of transportation – bus, train,light rail, and MetroFi rapid bus transit systems without paying an additional charge, as long as they remain within the designated area.

The plan also calls for significantly reducing the prices of monthly hybrid passes that allow unlimited rides on both trains and buses throughout the metropolitan area.

For example, under the new regulations, a monthly pass for rail and bus use between Tel Aviv and Rishon Lezion would cost NIS 252 instead of NIS 400, a decrease of 37 percent. Between Tel Aviv and Rehovot, the cost of the pass would fall to NIS 286 from NIS 491, down 42%, while commuters making the journey between Tel Aviv an Netanya would save 30%.


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Housing cabinet approves plans to boost housing supply

By Niv Elis

The housing cabinet on Monday approved two plans to boost housing supply and bring down the cost of apartments, particularly for young couples and first-time buyers.

“Our younger generation has rights, not just obligations, ” Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said. “A roof over your head is a basic right, and it’s our duty to supple one.”

The plans will produce a “massive supply” of apartments aimed at young couples, both in the periphery and high-demand areas, he said.

The first of the plans will broaden a mechanism for doling out subsidized state land to developers who promise the lowest cost for their units. Young couples who are first-time buyers will have first dibs on the apartments, on condition that they do not sell them for five years.

A tenth of the apartments wil lalso be designated for local residents. The land subsidies can go as high as 80 percent of the appraised value of the land, benchmarked from the beginning of June.

In areas where the scheme is expected to have less of an impact, the state will also offer development subsidies of NIS 40,000 to 60,000. The Finance Ministry estimated the grants and subsidies of the whole program would amount to NIS 200,000 on average per apartment unit.

The second plan will allow construction projects that are already in the works to expand by 20% without needing additional approvals. The temporary order, which will apply to buildings that do not yet have a frame built, allows developers to get on=the=spot approval to add more units, on condition that half those units are small apartments (under 75 square meters) appropriate for young couples, and none of the units exceeds 150 sq.m.

The plan is intended to make a quick push for new apartments using existing infrastructure, thus sidestepping the lengthy and costly approval process and need to build further infrastructure to accommodate new buildings.

Local authorities will exact a fee from increased building that they can use toward developing public spaces.

Overall, the Finance Ministry expects its initiatives to get 82,000 units into the planning process by the end of 2015, 45,000 of which will be on state land. The Bank of Israel has estimated that the country needs roughly 40,000 to 45,000 construction starts each year to meet the growing demand for housing.

The plans must still be approved by the Knesset before becoming law.


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Knesset approves Kahlon’s tax increases on apartments for investment

By Niv Elis

The Knesset on Monday approved Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s plan to increase taxes on apartments, a move intended to steer existing apartments out of the rental market and onto the sales market.

By making it more expensive for investors to buy apartments for renting out, the Finance Ministry hopes to keep more apartments on the market for home buyers, thus driving down the sales price.

The law will go into effect on June 24, not July 1 as earlier planned, in order to cover apartment buyers looking to quickly close deals ahead of the law coming into effect.

Tax rates will rise to 8 percent on apartments under NIS 1.12 million (currently at 5%), from NIS 1.12 m. to NIS 3.37m. (currently 6%) and from NIS 3.37m. to NIS 4.64m. (Currently 7%).  They will rise to 10% on apartments from NIS 4.64m. to NIS 15.47m. (currently 8%) and remain at 10% for apartments over NIS 15.47m.

“I’ve seen the entirety of things they (the Finance Ministry) want to do in housing, and for the first time we are talking about a serious process and, if it comes to fruition, we are on the right path,” said Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ).

Zionist Union MK Manuel Trajtenberg, who had run as his party’s nominee for finance minister, congratulated Kahlon for getting the ball rolling.

“This is the first step in the right direction after six years of absent policy for failed attempts to deal with the insane increase in home prices,” Trajtenberg said.

The bill hit a brief sang when opposition parties objected to how the new rules apply to siblings who inherit an apartment. The apartment would be considered an investment apartment only if three or more siblings inherit it.

“You must find a solution to inheriting siblings starting at two siblings, and not just from there up,” said Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit. “We should define ownership as over  ‘a portion of the apartment’ and not a third of an apartment.”

The treasury promised to address the issue within a month, and the provision of a temporary measure in the bill brought most of the opposition on board to support it.

Finance Ministry director-general Shay Badad noted that the policy was the first in a series of steps intended to increase the supply of housing, but said this step was one that could have an immediate, if limited, impact.

Every percentage increase in the purchase tax, he said, would reduce the market of investors by 10%.

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Unemployment rate rises slightly

By Kobi Yeshayahou


Israel’s unemployment rate was 5 percent in May, 0.2% higher than April’s 4.8% rate, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Monday.

The number of participants in the labor force among those aged 15 and over reached 3.833 million in May, of whom 3.643 million were employed and 190,000 unemployed. There were 1.925 million employed men, compared with 1.921 million in April and 1.717 million employed women, compared with 1.718 million in April.


The statistics bureau also reported that the number of those employed full-time (35 hours a week or more) was 5.95 higher than in April (136,000 more employees), while the number of part-time employees (less than 35 weekly hours) declined by 3/5% compared with April (34,000 fewer employees).


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Total mortgages jump in May on tax-hike concerns

By Irit Avissar


May appears to be a particularly strong month for mortgage taking due to concerns that the purchase tax on home purchases for investment might rise. Sources in the banking sector estimate that mortgage taking in May might cross the NIS 5 billion threshold, about 10 percent above the monthly average in the past year.

“The past month has seen hysteria for mortgage banks, and contractors have also witnessed and encountered huge demand,” a senior banking source said. Recent months have been strong in the mortgage market. Mortgages worth NIS 5.6 billion were taken in March, with more modest amounts of NIS 4.71b. in April, NIS 4.62b. in February and NIS 4.57b. in January

The positive sentiment began with the cancellation of former finance minister Yair  Lapid’s 0% VAT plan, which brought many young couples off the fence and into the market. The aftermath of the cancellation is still being felt.

Another likely factor is that Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon plans to raise the purchase tax on homes bought for investment.

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Treasury plans to raise taxes on homes bought for investment

By Amiran Barkat

and Drior Marmor 


The Finance Ministry is recommending to Finance Minister-designate Moshe Kahlon a 20-percent tax on purchases of housing for investment purposes. Kahalon has already declared he intends to introduce a steep tax hike within the framework of the coalition agreement his Kulanu partyy signed on Wednesday with the Likud. 

The agreement does not specify the rate of the new tax, which applies to purchases of apartments by people who do not intend to live in them. Kahlon spoke of raising the purchase tax to 25%, but he would be satisfied with 20%, people familiar with the matter told Globes.

An internal probe by the Finance ministry Budget Department showed that a 20% tax would e optimal for state tax revenues, while a higher rate would reduce tax revenues due to a sharp drop in the number of deals.

The measure is quite dramatic, amounting to hundreds of thousands of shekels for an average apartment. The current tax on housing for nonresidential purposes is graduated : 5% on the first bracket and up to 10% on the fifth and highest bracket of NIS 15 million or more. A simulation conducted for an apartment costing NI 2m. shows that the recommendation quadruples the purchase tax on an investor from NIS  108,000 at present to NIS 400,000, while a person buying the same apartment for residential purposes would pay NIS 20,000.

This tax hike will cause an earthquake in the housing market, a quarter of which is composed of those purchasing housing for investment purposes, according to the most conservative estimates. 

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Gasoline prices set to rise NIS 0.10 on Thursday night

By Hedy Cohen


The price of a liter of 95-octane gasoline at self-service pumps in Israel is set to rise NIS 0.10 to NIS 6.62 on Thursday night at midnight, May 1, sources in Israel’s energy market believe. The rise is caused by higher oil prices on global markets.

This would be the third consecutive month that fuel prices have risen in Israel after falling sharply to their lowest level in five years in February.

On global markets, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has reached a three – month high of $57.15, and a barrel of Brent crude is selling for $65.28, a three-month high. Prices are influenced by growing demand, dwindling supply and Middle East tensions.

The price of gasoline fell by NIS 0.63 per liter at the beginning of January, by NIS 0.15 at the beginning of December and by NIS 0.27 at the beginning of November due to the decline in the price of oil on world markets.

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Foreign banks exp3ct BoI to cut interst rate eventually

By Amiram Barkat


Leading foreign banks are convinced that the Bank of Israel will lower the country’s benchmark interest rate to zero in the next three months and subsequently launch quantitative easing.

Merrill Lynch expects the Bank of Israel Monteray Committee, headed by Governor Karnit Flug, to cut the interest rate from 0.1 percent to zero when it announces the interest rate for May on Monday. “The Bank of Israel loves to surprise investors, so it may well be that the interest-rate cut will be postponed,” Merrill Lynch said.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said it is likely that the Bank of Israel wont cut the interest rate at Mondays meeting. But RBS does expect a rate cut in the coming three months. RBS said the shekel exchange rate against the worlds major currencies is only 0.5% less than when the Bank of Israel cut the rate 15 basis points to its current historic low at the end of February.Furthermore, RBS said macroeconomic indicators for March show weakness in export orders, suggesting that the shekel is too strong.

HSBC has repeated its forecast last month that the Bank of Israel will cut the interest rate and launch quantitative easement. HSBC had predicted a bond-buying program of between NIS 27 billion to NIS 72b.

Merrill Lynch forecast that Israeli inteest rates will remain at zero at least until the second quarer of 2016.It will only begin rising again in May 2016 and will end 2016 at 0.25%, Merrill Lynch said. In its previous forecast, Merrill Lynch predicted a 0.75% interest rate at the end of 2016.

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Amdocs Israel seeks new local headquarters By Shomit Tsur


Technology company Amdocs Ltd., which occupies a giant 75,000- square-meter complex at the Ra’anana Junction, on Sunday notified its employees that it is looking for a new location in the central region. The company’s lease with REIT 1 Ltd., the owner of the company’s current site, expires at the end of 2019.

In its announcement to the employees, company management explained the planned move by saying that it wished to improve their working environment. Among the alternatives under consideration by the company are the purchase of a new office building to be constructed for it, renting a new office building or renovation and adaptation of the existing complex to the company’s needs.For this purpose, Amdocs has established a task force, which has already begun looking for locations.

“The search will be in the central and Sharon regions,” Amdocs management wrote in its letter to the employees.”The main guiding criteria are a better experience for the employees, including better transportation, suitable facilities in the area, business, cost and other operation considerations.”

Assuming that Amdocs does move its offices from the current location in Ra’anana, REIT1 will have to find a new large tenant. This large size of the areas to be vacated will make this a difficult task. Amdocs Israel has been in the hi-tech park at the Ra’anana Junction since 1996 and currently occupies 75,000 sq.m., not including parking, out  of 82,000 sq.m.  in the entire complex.

One of the other tenants in the office complex is Microsoft. According to REIT1’s  reports, Amdocs paid NIS 38.2 million in 2014 for its facilities in the Ra’anana site. REIT1 owns 60 percent of the compound, with the rest owned by S.A.N. Centers, Ganai Shefa Building & Investment and Sunflower Sustainable Investments Ltd.

Amdocs Israel is a subsidiary of the global Amdocs company and has 4,500 employees, mostly in the Ra’anana center, with the rest in other development centers in Haifa, Sderot and Nazareth.

“The search will be in the central and Sharon regions,”

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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.”