Foreigner's guide to property market: Living in Jaffa

While Jaffa is high on the list of ancient sights in Israel, the modern real estate market is becoming just as much of an attraction.

Jaffa real estate 311 (photo credit: Lyle Plocher)
Jaffa real estate 311
(photo credit: Lyle Plocher)
Lyle Plocher is the Director of Buy Property In Israel and can be reached by email at [email protected]
With its century’s old buildings atop a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, Jaffa, which is part of the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, is helping to re-define the southern part of the city that never sleeps. The driving force behind the re-definition is what’s happening just over the hill from the historic old city of Jaffa.
Like many places, some of the most interesting things to see and do can often be just “off of the beaten path”, just slightly removed from the crowds of tourists. That is definitely the case with Jaffa. Taking a stroll starting at the historic clock tower, making your way south and weaving back and forth on the narrow streets between Yefet Street and Jerusalem Blvd, will reveal neighborhoods and experiences that most tourists to the area miss out on.  
Jaffa (Lyle Plocher)Jaffa (Lyle Plocher)
During this expedition, you will discover the Jaffa Flea Market, known in Hebrew as Shuk Hapishpishim, which is definitely a fun place to check out.  But even more interesting to those looking for lots of culture, you will be intrigued by the urban, somewhat bohemian atmosphere, where one block you may find brand new four story apartment buildings, next to single story shop fronts that have fallen into major disrepair after many years of abandonment or neglect. On the next block, you may discover a block-long row of shops, many of which have been renovated and are now occupied by artists, a variety of design type studios, cafes, creative office spaces and live/work spaces.   
The transformation of Jaffa has been underway for the last decade. As usually happens in a city where real estate prices consistently rise over time, urban re-development seeks out those areas of a metropolitan area that have been overlooked or neglected in order to provide entry level, price points for housing. One of the very appealing and interesting things about Jaffa is the close connection and proximity of living spaces to commercial buildings, which creates what urban planners call “walkability."  In the case of Jaffa, it’s a cutting edge opportunity to both live and work among vibrant and creative neighbors, who instead of hopping in a car and commuting 45 minutes to work in a high rise, can comb their hair, brush their teeth, walk across the street for breakfast and walk two blocks to their office or studio. 
(Lyle Plocher)(Lyle Plocher)
The other noteworthy thing to know about the neighborhoods of Jaffa, including the Ajami neighborhood, which has been in the news quite a bit lately is the interplay between Jews and Arabs. Jaffa is a mixed neighborhood, which has a pretty good track record of demonstrating peaceful co-existence.
So what kind of olim might want to live in Jaffa?  Probably not a family with three children, but perhaps a young single person or married couple who come from a very urban setting and can run their internet related business from anywhere in the world or who have the money to start a retail store of some kind. 
For assistance with property purchases in Israel, contact Lyle Plocher at [email protected]
Buy Property in Israel can assist you with all of your Israel Real Estate needs.