A suburb in the city

Prices in Pisgat Ze’ev are 30 percent lower than in central neighborhoods.

House hunting 521 (photo credit: Courtesy of Hitorerut)
House hunting 521
(photo credit: Courtesy of Hitorerut)
After the Six Day War Israel annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem. The population of west Jerusalem at the time numbered barely 250,000 and the government decided to build a ring of satellite neighborhoods around the city so as to increase the Jewish population.
Planning work on East Talpiot and Ramot Allon started in 1971, and on Gilo and Neveh Ya’acov on 1972.
Pisgat Ze’ev is one of the “satellite” neighborhoods.
It was planned in 1982 so as to create a continuous built-up area from French Hill to Neveh Ya’acov in the north.
Pisgat Ze’ev is divided into four areas: Central, the original and oldest part of the neighborhood; West, which borders on the Arab village of Beit Hanina; East, opposite the Judean desert; and subunit North, adjacent to Neveh Ya’acov and the latest addition.
Pisgat Ze’ev sits astride the ancient road from Jerusalem to Nablus, and from there to the Galilee and Damascus. Consequently during construction there many archeological finds were unearthed.
In the biblical period this was a rich agricultural region of small villages and holdings. This area was in many ways the food basket of ancient Israelite Jerusalem, from approximately 1,200 BCE to the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon in 587 BCE.
The remains of wine and oil industries have been uncovered in the area, and some archeologists and historians believe that it was the source of the oil and wine supplied to the Temple.
During the Roman-Byzantine period the area was dotted with churches and monasteries as well as small villages whose peasant inhabitants tilled the land. From the late fifth century CE to the end of the eighth there was a large Greek monastery at the top of the hill. The date was more or less assessed from the mosaic floor of the chapel, which was built above a burial cave, and the oil press discovered in the compound. Pots and pans were discovered in one of the abandoned rooms, and secreted in one of the recesses of the building a sturdy cloth bag was found containing 200 coins.
To the west of Pisgat Ze’ev is a hill called Tel el-Ful, probably the biblical Givat Shaul, the capital of the tribe of Benjamin. It is the highest point in the area, at 840 meters above sea level.
Today Pisgat Ze’ev is the largest neighborhood in Jerusalem. With over 50,000 residents, it is a popular destination for families and young couples looking to escape the high prices elsewhere in Jerusalem.
Moshe Aharon, a real-estate agent with RE/MAX Vision, says that “young families can buy large homes [in Pisgat Ze’ev] with gardens and terraces for about 30 percent less than they can in the central areas of Jerusalem. Although in the past they would complain about traffic, getting to and from work, the light rail has now eased many of these problems and people are once again seeing the financial benefits of living in Pisgat Ze’ev.”
Prices in the neighborhood are holding steady despite the current downward real estate trend.
Demand has dropped very slightly in Pisgat Ze’ev, mainly because of the price differential between Pisgat Ze’ev and the rest of Jerusalem. A single family home – of which there are very few – can cost from NIS 3.2 million to NIS 3.4m., semidetached dwellings can cost from NIS 2.5m. to NIS 3m.
An average 70-sq.m. three-room apartment can cost from NIS 1m. to NIS 1.15m., a 90-sq.m. fourroom apartment can cost NIS 1.3m. to NIS 1.6m. while a five-room 125 sq.m. apartment sells from NIS 1.7m. to NIS 1.9m.
The neighborhood is home to many young families with children, and consequently has many kindergartens, elementary schools and a few high schools. The population is a mix of religious and secular Jews, with a significant number of synagogues throughout the neighborhood. The residents are very civic minded. With the assistance the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, residents transformed a five-acre site used as an illegal dumping site into a wildflower sanctuary with over 55 species of trees and plants.
From an investment perspective, Pisgat Ze’ev attracts investors who realize the future appreciation potential of the neighborhood. Due to its proximity to the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University, there is also a constant demand for rentals from the student population.
Recent real-estate transactions in Pisgat Ze'ev
• A five-room, 120-sq.m. apartment in Rachmilevich Street with a terrace and fine view sold for NIS 1.5 million.
• A four-room, 98-sq.m. ground floor apartment on Haim Toran Street sold for NIS 1.25m.
• A three-room, 69-sq.m. apartment on Reuven Arazi Street sold for NIS 1.05m.
• A four-room, 120-sq.m. ground-floor apartment on Shmuel Tamir Street in dire need of renovation sold for NIS 1.275m.
• A three-room, 77-sq.m. newly renovated apartment on Moshe Dayan Street sold for NIS 1.2m.
• A single-family home on a 500-sq.m. plot with a 250-sq.m. built area with six rooms and a large garden sold for NIS 3.25m.