A locale with a view

With lower prices and more land for expansion than adjacent areas, Arnona has become a good investment.

home 521 (photo credit: Illustrative Photo)
home 521
(photo credit: Illustrative Photo)
The greater Arnona area’s location at the southern perimeter of the capital is no coincidence. Together with Kibbutz Ramat Rahel, it was built as a southern Jewish outpost of Jerusalem in the early 1930s. Today, it is one of the capital’s areas of urban expansion.
Greater Arnona is inhabited by approximately 14,500 people. Over the past decade, the brisk demand for housing in the area has been driven by local residents who were deterred by the high prices in most of the capital’s secular areas.
The southern area of Jerusalem was considered an attractive place to live, but the time when prices in adjacent Baka and the German Colony were relatively inexpensive is long past. For those looking for an affordable dwelling in the southern district of the capital, Arnona is a natural choice.
Furthermore, since 1990 there has been a growing demand from European buyers, mainly French Jews looking for a vacation home or pied-à-terre in Jerusalem.
Arnona has also been slated as a good investment opportunity, especially in the older parts. In this area there are a large number of old apartments that can be renovated and resold for a good return.
Investment in real estate in Arnona was very strong. Low interest rates make mortgages relatively cheap, and the yield from rentals is markedly higher than that obtained from a savings account. Furthermore, the anticipated appreciation adds to the investment value of the property. Investment demand has cooled during the past six months, but in Arnona investment opportunities abound.
Arnona was founded 1931. At the time, it was the most southerly neighborhood of Jerusalem but separated from west Jerusalem by the Arab neighborhoods of Baka, Talbiyeh and the German Colony.
Greater Arnona is bordered by Ramat Rahel to the south, Talpiot to the north, Derech Hebron to the west, and the Judean Desert to the east. Arnona itself is bisected by Rehov Betar into Old Arnona, which was built before the 1948 war and a decade later to house new immigrants, and the new neighborhoods built during the last 10 years.
Arnona is located on a hill 800 meters above sea level with views of the Judean Desert, the Dead Sea and the Arnon Stream. The neighborhood has fantastic views, which is one of the reasons the British Mandatory authorities built their seat of government, Government House, or Armon Hanatziv (today the UN headquarters), in the area.
Jason Kanar, a real-estate agent at the Re/Max Vision real estate agency in Baka, told In Jerusalem, “Arnona is a great place to live, and it also has great investment value.
It is a modern neighborhood with all the necessary services and amenities. Furthermore, prices in the neighborhood are not high by Jerusalem standards; therefore, many young families make it their home. It has investment value because prices are relatively low and its anticipated appreciation value is excellent. Being close to Baka, where prices can be 10-15% higher for the same-size property, gives investors a hint of the profit they can anticipate in the near future. Furthermore, it is one of the few areas in Jerusalem with land available for building purposes.
Consequently, more apartments are planned and will be built in the future, which will also increase the desirability of the neighborhood for more young families.”
A typical new four-room apartment of approximately 95 sq.m. built in one of the many new projects going up in Arnona costs about NIS 2.1 million to NIS 2.35m., depending on the interior design, floor area, view, etc. A large five-room penthouse of approximately 145 sq.m. with four bedrooms, including an en-suite master bedroom and large terrace, can cost more than NIS 3.3m.
Second-hand apartments can cost a bit less, depending on the exact location, floor and whether it has an elevator. A standard four-room, 90-sq.m. apartment in the older part of Arnona with parking and storage can cost between NIS 1.6m. and NIS 2m.
The population is a mix of moderate religious and secular residents with a large degree of tolerance between the two communities and a welcoming environment for those who move in.
Developing Arnona is an ongoing process. There are a number of projects in the planning and building stages, such as Top Arnona, a 320-unit building project, and Nofei Minrav, a 102-unit project.