Neighborhood watch: Posh and very pleasant

Though supply outstrips demand in Har Adar, the asking prices are still too high for many potential buyers.

Har Adar home (photo credit: Courtesy Har Adar Local Council)
Har Adar home
(photo credit: Courtesy Har Adar Local Council)
Jerusalem is the largest city in Israel in terms of population.
It also has a rather large metropolitan area.
This area contains a large number of urban concentrations, or satellites, because many wage earners find employment in Jerusalem. The satellites are towns such as Ma’aleh Adumim and Kiryat Arba, as well as rural and communal settlements to the north, south and west of the capital.
The urban areas to the west are inhabited mainly by families and individuals of a relatively high socioeconomic level. These are Jerusalemites who want to live in single-family houses or semidetached dwellings with their own private gardens.
One of these areas is Har Adar, located 15 kilometers west of Jerusalem, on the Green Line that divides Israel and the West Bank.
The modern urban center of Har Adar was founded in 1982. It is a community with its own elected council. It has approximately 850 households and a population of some 4,000. The founders were, for the most part, Jerusalemites who wanted to live in rural surroundings near Jerusalem.
The 100 or so founding families created a communal settlement, which effectively meant that anyone who wanted to live there was screened by an acceptance committee. Because of the current size of the settlement, this practice has now lapsed.
Har Adar is a pleasant place to live and is much in demand. It is located in a high area, with a very healthy cool and dry climate. The view from most of the community is breathtaking, with panoramic views of the Jerusalem Hills. And this has a very important bearing on the real-estate scene.
Urban entities in Israel are listed according to a socioeconomic scale that goes from a low 1 to a high 10. Upscale urban entities such as Omer in the south, and Savyon and Kfar Shmaryahu in the center are in the 10 category. Har Adar is at the top of the ninth category.
This means that residents are well off or very well off. The average monthly salary of the breadwinner is over NIS 16,100.
This also has a bearing on the real estate situation in Har Adar, as well its financial situation. According to Business Data Israel, Har Adar and Kfar Shmaryahu are the most financially stable municipal entities in Israel, and their per-capita surplus is the largest in the country.
Har Adar is divided into two parts – Shlav Alef (Phase 1) and Shlav Bet (Phase 2). Phase 1 is made up of dwellings built between 1982 and 1990 by the original inhabitants and those who acquired land immediately after.
Phase 2 constitutes houses built on land tendered by the Israel Lands Authority some 12 years ago. The Phase 1 dwellings have relatively large plots of more than 600 square meters; some are as big as 850 sq.m. In the Phase 2 area, plots are much smaller – 300 sq.m. on average, with many semidetached dwellings. Nevertheless, dwellings in the Phase 2 area tend to be more expensive and can cost more than NIS 4 million. These dwellings are more modern, with a wide range of new technologies.
The owners have also used more expensive building materials. Many of the houses in the Phase 1 area were built with basic materials. These sell for NIS 3m. to NIS 3.5m.
Tami Diliam, the representative of the Jerusalem branch of the Anglo-Saxon real-estate agency, told In Jerusalem that the real-estate market in Har Adar was unique.
“Har Adar is a pleasant place to live in and I, as a resident, can attest to that. Consequently, potential demand is very substantial, but there is a price problem.
Therefore, despite the fact that supply outstrips demand, the number of transactions is relatively small.
The properties on the market are owned by families.
Many want to sell to upgrade their standard of living.
The reason they don’t sell is that they have an unrealistic concept of the real value of their property.
Consequently, despite the fact that the potential demand is large, the actual demand is small because few buyers are willing to pay the asking price. And since most of those who would like to sell are not strapped for money, they are not willing to compromise,” says Diliam.