Foreigner's guide to property market: Yemin Moshe

With its great views of the Old City and central Jerusalem location, this neighborhood is in high demand among both foreign investors and locals.

Hillside homes of Yemin Moshe 311 (photo credit: Lyle Plocher )
Hillside homes of Yemin Moshe 311
(photo credit: Lyle Plocher )
Lyle Plocher is the Director of Buy Property In Israel and can be reached by email at [email protected]
Yemin Moshe, the enchanting hillside neighborhood situated just across the road from the Old City of Jerusalem has a rather interesting history that would not be obvious when viewing the exclusive enclave today. Established in 1891, by British Jewish philanthropist Moses Montefiore, the neighborhood was built in response to overcrowding within the walls of the Old City. 
Photo: Lyle PlocherPhoto: Lyle Plocher
The first buildings within this new compound were called Mishkenot Sha’ananim. The compound, built in 1860, consisted of 28 small apartments and a gate that could be closed at night. It was actually difficult to get people to live in this new neighborhood because of it’s proximity to the Arab population. In 1948, the neighborhood was abandoned and then taken over by the IDF and became an intense battlefield where many soldiers lost their lives.  At the conclusion of the war, olim from Turkey came and rebuilt the neighborhood. Living in the neighborhood was still perilous however as Jordanian soldiers sitting on the Old City walls would shoot indiscriminately at the Yemin Moshe residents.
Yemin Moshe, which means “the right hand of Moses”, named in honor of Montefiore, was built on many levels, with steep stairways connecting the levels. One section of the neighborhood was built for Sephardim and one for Ashkenazim, with each group having their own synagogue.  Most of the homes were built on two levels. Since the conclusion of the Six Day War, the neighborhood has become a center for artists and writers and of course many wealthy foreign residents have purchased and renovated the hillside homes. 
Photo: Lyle PlocherPhoto: Lyle Plocher
A walking tour of Yemin Moshe would most logically start at the Montefiore windmill at the top of the hill in the amazing Bloomfield Park. From there, you can wind your way down the hill along the stone pathways, visiting the cultural center, guesthouse, restaurants and art galleries, while enjoying the historical, upscale hillside homes. You can actually make your way to the bottom of the hill, cross the street and reach the Zion gate of the Old City near the Kotel.
Yemin Moshe is a unique and amazing Jerusalem neighborhood which will always retain its value due to it’s proximity to the Old City. There are only somewhere in the vicinity of 130 homes in the neighborhood so that finite number also influences the price stability of the neighborhood. Of course, looking out your front window to an obstructed view of the Old City walls is priceless.
With all of it’s charm, there are some practical challenges, for those who live or want to live in Yemin Moshe. The two most obvious challenges or inconveniences are parking and tourists. Firstly, you can’t just pull up to your home and unload your groceries, parking is only at the top of bottom of the hill. Secondly, because the neighborhood is a tourist attraction, your home will always be on public display with tourists walking by your home. 
The upscale neighborhood was also in the news recently with details of an ongoing dispute with the government-municipal corporation who manages the neighborhood. In addition to taxes paid to the municipality, Yemin Moshe residents also pay fees to the east Jerusalem Development Corporation (EJDC) for the neighborhood’s upkeep. The residents of the neighborhood have not been pleased with how the EJDC have been spending money received from the residents. 
Knowing the challenges and inconveniences, for those still undeterred, plan on investing in the neighborhood of $10,000 per square meter to live in Yemin Moshe.
For assistance with property purchases in Israel, contact Lyle Plocher at [email protected]
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