'Eilat boasts highest return on real estate investment'

Property demand in Eilat rising as Israelis, tourists flock to the southern resort town.

eilat 88 (photo credit: )
eilat 88
(photo credit: )
Tourism in Eilat is reviving and tens of thousands of visitors have helped not only the bruised industry, but investor interest. As a result, property demand in Eilat has been rising as Israelis and many tourists seek a refuge in the southern resort town. With blue skies, turquoise waters, and an average temperature of about 21 Centigrade in the winter, Eilat has long been a preferred retreat for tourists. The southern city is again becoming a haven for Israelis and foreign tourism. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics tourist hotel revenues rose 17% to NIS 2.6 billion for the first six months of 2005. Eilat and the Dead Sea accounted for 38% of the tourist hotel proceeds during January to June 2005. Similarly the number of employees in Eilat has seen a revival over the past year slowly reaching the level of employees during the tourism boom in 2000. In the past decade, massive construction took place along the coast line of Eilat. Some luxury hotel and residential units were built, offering fancy residential beachfront units, just five minutes from the heart of Eilat. As Eilat's population continues to grow annually, the demand for long-term housing, both for tourism industry employees and for local and international tourists is growing as well. Almog B.Z. Construction & Investments Ltd. has taken advantage of the shortage of housing in Eilat and the demand for affordable and cheap accommodation for hotel employees and students building appealing to several market sectors and needs. The Israeli construction and development company has developed the first residential construction complex of its kind - Almog Eilat - which is specifically tailored for hotel workers and student accommodation. "Eilat now boasts the highest return on investment in the Israeli real estate market. Almog Eilat offers a rare opportunity for the solid investor. We guarantee monthly rent of NIS 3,000 for 5 years and 7% annual return on investment compared with the average of 3 to 4% across the center of Israel," said Eli Hanein, Assistant General Manager at Almog in an interview. Almog Eilat is a NIS 90m. modern residential complex ideally situated along Eilat's main Hatamarim Boulevard next to the resort's hotel area and near to the campus of the Ben-Gurion University and the Eilat hotel management school. The 13,000 sq.m. project consists of a total of 330 simple one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment units which are being sold at a starting price of NIS 549,000. The 55 to 80 sq. m. apartments are equipped with one or two bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. "Investors buy the property and they have peace of mind for the next five years. We provide professional on-site management including apartment rentals, security and property maintenance," said Hanein. Almog said the company has already sold 100 apartment units at a total of NIS 60m. Israel's major three hotel chains including the Dan hotel group and the Sheraton hotel group will be renting about 75% of the apartment units at Almog Eilat on a 10-year contract. The Dan hotel group has signed a rental agreement for 160 rooms with a total rental income of NIS 35m. The Sheraton hotel group is renting 100 rooms at a total rental income of NIS 20m. About 5% will be rented to students of the Ben-Gurion University at an annual rental income of NIS 450,000. The residential complex offers a variety of facilities and services to tenants including a swimming pool, health club, social club/pub, laundromat, drugstore, mini-market at low prices, a subsidized coffee bar and a child care center.