Apartment prices still rising despite recession

Real estate prices in Tel Aviv are on the rise again, especially in the luxury apartment sector.

Real estate prices in Tel Aviv are on the rise again, especially in the luxury apartment sector, reports www.nrg.co.il. One such project, the Gindi group's G Tower on Rehov Shaul Hamelech, reports that after a dip at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, prices for its apartments have now risen by some 20 percent. According to the report, two apartments were recently sold in the 31-story tower, which contains just 37 upmarket apartments. A 15th-floor apartment some 243 square meters in size sold for NIS 10 million, while an eighth-floor apartment of 265 square meters sold for NIS 9 million. The report said the massive penthouse on the 26th story - fully 454 square meters in size with 70 square meters in balconies - was still for sale at $14 million, or about NIS 52 million. Several well-known figures already own apartments in the building, including businesswoman Shari Arison, who bought a triplex apartment there in 2006 for $13.5 million, real estate tycoon Samuel Hayek and others. Meanwhile, in a separate report, www.nrg.co.il says that at the other end of the market even tiny, rundown apartments in central Tel Aviv are selling for sky-high prices. The report said that some buildings were not even fit to live in, but in the wake of the massive demand for apartments in the city, sellers had "lost all proportion and all shame." According to the report, potential buyers are finding that apartments just 80 square-meters in size and in need of "total renovation from the foundations up" have price tags of NIS 1.65 million or more. Even smaller apartments, just 50 to 60-square-meters in size, are selling for NIS 1.54 million or more. "Every apartment that has an ounce of potential is selling," one despairing buyer said. "They don't give you one second to think or to decide." The report said that real estate agents were not helping the situation by providing misleading information to potential buyers, in particular overstating the size of apartments for sale.