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Building a Nation: the Booming Israeli Real Estate Market

When author Mark Twain visited the Land of Israel (then still called Palestine) in 1867, he penned impressions of what he witnessed in his book “Innocents Abroad”: A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We reached Tabor safely. We never saw a human being on the whole route. There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent – not for thirty miles in either direction…One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings… these unpeopled deserts, these rusty mounds of barrenness…  

In conclusion, Twain claimed that Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes… desolate and unlovely… Others described the land as desolate and roamed through by Arab bands of robbers, nothing but houses in ruins, cisterns rendered useless, and fields abandoned and even late in the 19th century a French traveler wrote that Haifa can be crossed in five minutes.

The picture is clear: a mere 100 years ago, the Land of Israel was desolate of people and of buildings, and villages that did exist were comprised of small, rural shacks. That is certainly not the scene that travellers arriving in Israel today first lay eyes upon. “Though you were ruined and made desolate and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those who devoured you will be far away. The children born during your bereavement will yet say in your hearing. This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in“. (Isaiah 49:19-20)

Construction in modern day Israel is booming, with apartment buildings, malls, hotels, highways, interchanges and high-rises springing up all over the country, like mushrooms after the rain. Today, Israel boasts over 750 skyscrapers that are 20 floors high or more – hardly a desolate wasteland with barely a village for thirty miles in each direction. Israel is now a thriving and developed nation, constantly growing and building at an exceptional rate. Especially notable is Israel’s largest city of Tel Aviv, where dozens of new corporate office buildings and luxury apartment buildings can be seen rising from the Ayalon freeway as it curves through the city.

Major construction can also be seen in Kfar Saba, Kiryat Gat, Herzilya, Hadera and Rosh Ha Ayin with each city’s construction growth rate rising considerably compared to the same quarter last year by 309%, 260%, 114%, 109% and 100% respectively. The rise in construction is also reflected in Israel’s House Price Index which hit an all-time high in May of this year, up 114% in the past 10 years. Israeli real estate prices even continued to rise during the 2008 global financial crisis, with no sub-prime or mortgage-backed securities setbacks.

Israeli real estate is seen by many as a solid and long term investment, and there are may around the world, especially in Messianic / Christian circles who would like to both support and benefit from the growth of the Israeli real estate market. However, purchasing real estate here requires a large amount of initial capital, comes with high entry and exit fees (lawyers, bank fees, agents, taxes, etc.) and the investor must endure a hefty amount of bureaucracy. Property management from abroad is difficult, and unfortunately there are no companies here that offer that service to individual investors. Another disadvantage is the non-liquidity of the funds used to purchase the real estate, and in times of need are difficult to obtain speedily without suffering significant losses.

That being said, there is a way for Believers around the world to engage in Israel’s real estate market, and at the same time bypass the disadvantages that come with purchasing actual real estate. This is accomplished through purchasing real estate securities in Israel’s financial market. Beginning with a relatively small initial seed amount, anyone can purchase real estate securities thus both supporting the Israeli economy, helping to build up the land and at the same time enjoy the returns that come from it.

It is amazing to see how Israel has transformed from a desolate, desert, swamp land into the established built-up land that it is today. It is nothing short of a miracle. According to the Scriptures, looking ahead we can foresee that this modern-day, nation born in a day miracle will continue to grow and thrive. If you desire to take part in building up the Land of Israel, literally, you now know that there is a simple and accessible way to own Israeli land and real estate without the hassles of purchasing it yourself.

This article originally appeared on Out of Zion Ministries, September 23, 2016, and reposted with permission.

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Stefan Silver
Being passionate about both business and ministry work, Stefan is a Director at Wise Money Israel, the first Jewish believer-run Investment Portfolio Management firm in Israel, and also serves as the Executive Pastor at Kerem-El Congregation in Haifa.

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