High up and high end

Ramat Sharett and Ramat Denia have attracted well-to-do families since their inception.

The Ramat Sharett neighborhood of Jerusalem (photo credit: courtesy)
The Ramat Sharett neighborhood of Jerusalem
(photo credit: courtesy)
Ramat Sharett and Ramat Denia are two high-end neighborhoods in the southwest corner of Jerusalem. Demand for real estate in the area is relatively high, and homes there tend to be more expensive than in other parts of the capital.
Like many other outlying Jerusalem neighborhoods, these were planned and built after the Six Day War. The government was keen on enlarging Jerusalem, and the only way to do this was through a massive program to build new neighborhoods.
Ramat Sharett was named in honor of Moshe Sharett, the country’s second prime minister (1953- 1955), while Ramat Denia was named after the Denia Sibus construction company, which was instrumental in building the neighborhood.
From its inception, the area attracted middle-class families, because it was planned well on the outskirts of the city and therefore had a suburban atmosphere.
It also attracted religious families because of its proximity to the established religious neighborhood of Bayit Vagan. Today Ramat Denia’s population is almost entirely secular, while Ramat Sharett is slowly but surely losing its secular character – a process going on in other parts of Jerusalem as well because the number of religious Jerusalemites is growing.
Contributing to this growth are religious Jews from the Diaspora, for whom Ramat Sharett has a strong appeal.
Ramat Sharett’s main attraction – so to speak – is the Holyland residential complex. Many – myself included – consider it a blot on the Jerusalem skyline. In a lower part of the city, it might have been attractive and modern-looking; in its present location, at the crest of a hill, many see it as an architectural monstrosity.
In fact, according to the original zoning, it should not have been there at all.
The project was built on the site of the old Holyland Hotel, a famous Jerusalem landmark that featured a highly detailed model of the city in the Second Temple era.
The Holyland residential complex is vast, with approximately 500 expensive luxury dwellings that are popular among French Jews who have either made aliya or bought property for investment purposes or as second homes. It is also much favored by national religious Jews.
The Holyland complex consists of a residential tower over 30 stories high and five other buildings with eight to 12 stories each, connected at the top two floors by a bridge apartment. The complex has a series of terraced dwellings at its base.
Today demand for real estate in the area is relatively strong, and the weak real-estate markets of the past two years have affected it less than they have other parts of the capital.
This holds true for the Holyland complex as well; the corruption scandal has not affected demand.
Generally speaking, and despite its outward appearance clashing with the topography, the apartments in the Holyland are large, airy and well-built.
The apartments in the area are modern, and in contrast to other “modern” developments, there is a selection of sizes. One can find two-room apartments – something of rarity in buildings built after the 1960s – as well as three-, four- and five-room apartments, terraced dwellings built on the sloping terrain, garden apartments, penthouses and mini-penthouses.
Despite the appeal of the area, price is a barrier, and only those with deep pockets can afford the hefty prices.
“Demand in the area usually outstrips supply, but prices are holding steady, with a tendency to creep upward,” Michal Harel of the Anglo-Saxon Jerusalem real-estate agency tells In Jerusalem. “Prices are high, and large price increases may outprice them for the type of buyer common in the area. The buyers are usually comfortably off, but even they have a price limit.”
The average price for a three-room apartment is NIS 1.3 million to NIS 1.5m. An average four-room apartment may cost from NIS 1.9m. to NIS 2m., while a five-room apartment can cost from NIS 2.8m. to over NIS 3m.