Where the living is easy

Herzliya Pituach is without doubt one of the most prestigious areas in the country - with prices to match.

Herziiya home 521 (photo credit: courtesy)
Herziiya home 521
(photo credit: courtesy)
Herzliya Pituah is known as one of Israel’s premier residential locations. Penthouses in Jerusalem’s “Golden Square” with the King David Hotel at its epicenter, or on the Tel Aviv seashore may fetch higher prices – but Herzliya Pituah is without doubt one of the most prestigious areas in the country, with prices to match.
Its area is bordered by the Mediterranean on the west, the Tel Aviv-Haifa coastal road to the east, the neighborhood of Nof Yam to the north, and the municipal boundary to the south.
Since the establishment of the state, Herzliya Pituah has been the preferred residence of the diplomatic corps.
Eitan Blumberg, manager-proprietor of the Anglo Saxon real estate agency in Herzliya Pituah and Kfar Shmaryahu, told Metro:
“In Herzliya Pituah proper, excluding the apartments in the Marina compound, there are approximately 2,500 households, of which at least 30 percent are members of the diplomatic corps and overseas residents. The vast majority of the local residents are affluent because only the affluent can afford the prices in Herzliya Pituah. A 500-square-meter plot in a good area can cost from $1.5 million to $2m.”
The area itself is made up of single-family homes and semidetached residences.
But if you are picturing palatial residences, remember that we’re talking about Israel, a small country where the central coastal area has one of the densest urban populations on the globe. So you can forget the rolling acres of lawns associated with great houses in the UK, the US, Australia and South Africa. In Herzliya Pituah, most of the plots on offer measure up to 500 sq. m., or less – which means small gardens and grounds. Larger plots fetch hefty prices.
Oded Nachum, of the Neot Shiran Real Estate agency, told Metro:
“We are currently selling two adjacent, 1,000-sq.-m. plots in Rehov Ha’eshel. Each one, sold separately, would go for from NIS 15 million to NIS 18m.; but sold together as a 2,000-sq.-m. plot, they are worth at least NIS 40m. – nearly $12m.
There is demand for large plots of land, but supply is very limited and when something comes onto the market, pricewise the sky’s the limit,” says Nachum.
The market for real estate in the area is small. The prices charged limit potential buyers to a small segment of the population. Furthermore, land is restricted. There isn’t that much land available for building.
Much of the real-estate activity is therefore concentrated in buying existing properties, tearing down the existing house and building something more modern and more grandiose. And there aren’t many of those kinds of properties around.
In relation to the number of households, the number of real estate transactions in the area is large because of the high number of overseas residents. These people buy and sell properties in shorter time spans than locals. In consequence, there is a constant upward pressure on prices.
One of Herzliya Pituah’s selling points is its proximity to the azure Mediterranean, and the price differential between the streets is in direct proportion to their proximity to the sea. The nearer it is, the more expensive the property.
Properties near the eastern boundary of the neighborhood, adjacent to the coastal highway, are the least expensive as they are not only farthest from the sea, but also the noisiest.
The most expensive street in Herzliya Pituah – perhaps in all of Israel – is Rehov Galei Techelet (meaning “blue waves”). Properties on the side with unobstructed sea views sell for tens of millions of dollars, depending on the size of the plot and the building itself.
In December of last year, local businessman Teddy Sagi bought a property on the right side of Galei Techelet for NIS 145m. To date, it is the most expensive real-estate transaction here for one dwelling.
A year earlier, a property also on the right side of the street went for NIS 82m.
Says Nachum: “Today, we are marketing two properties on the seaward side of Galei Tchelet. One is valued at $19m. – approximately NIS 66.5m. – the other at $50m., approximately NIS 175m.”
Other pricey streets in the neighborhood, much in demand, are Ha’eshel, Kaplan, Hakidma, Havatzelet Hasharon and Hama’apilim. They are relatively near the sea and to the west of Rehov Hanassi, which, to all intents and purposes, bisects Herzliya Pituah into the relatively inexpensive eastern half and the much more expensive western one.
The core of Herzliya Pituah is made up of very high-end, singlefamily homes; but there are two areas that are different.
To the south is the Marina area, a complex of approximately 800 holiday apartments including the very posh Ritz-Carlton residences. These are designated as tourist enterprises, which means the proprietors can only use them for six months or 183 days a year.
The other part of Herzliya Pituah that deviates from the “norm” is Nof Yam at the northern end, which was originally established as a ma’abara or transit camp for new immigrants. In other ma’abarot, the government supplied residents with modern flats and the camps gradually emptied.
In Nof Yam, however, things developed differently. The camp residents, realizing that land prices would gradually rise due to the proximity to an expensive area, were not so eager to leave. Today, the original residents and their heirs have certain rights to the land. Some of them are still there, and the area is part of Herzliya Pituah.
Blumberg told Metro: “Today, these plots of land are much in demand because they are relatively large, from 750 to 800 sq.m., selling for an average of NIS 12,000 per sq.m.”