City by the sea: Ir Yamim

Netanya is the favorite destination for many overseas residents who want a holiday home in Israel.

netanya 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
netanya 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Ir Yamim is a large area in the southwestern part of Netanya, being built with the sea as its focal point. When completed, it will have more than 4,000 dwellings. Proximity to the sea assures its success, according to real estate developers. Netanya is the favorite destination for many overseas residents who want a holiday home in Israel; it is located in the center of the country and is a seaside town. In relation to the total population, Netanya has the largest number of overseas residents. According to rough estimates, it has an overseas population of nearly 9 percent, most of whom have a house or an apartment that they use as a holiday home. Ir Yamim was designed with these people in mind. Its high-standard design and construction has much in common with the modern architectural motifs of Mediterranean seaside towns. Ir Yamim has nature on three sides: to the west, the Mediterranean Sea; to the south, the Poleg Nature Reserve; and to the east, the Irusim Nature Reserve. The buildings are designed so that the maximum number of apartments have sea views. As is typical of a quality development near the sea, the dwellings are not cheap - and they're not meant to be. The closer an apartment in Ir Yamim is to the seashore, the more its will cost, Dudu Halfon, the manager of RE/MAX Netanya, told The Jerusalem Post. An average 120-square-meter apartment can cost $350,000, he said, while those facing the coast can cost $500,000. Large penthouses by the sea can cost millions of dollars, he added. Ir Yamim should be a pleasant place to live, but for now it is somewhat bare of greenery. It is doubtful whether buying a residence in Ir Yamim is a good investment. Prices are already high; they probably won't rise much. So if you like modernity and living by the sea, buying an apartment in Ir Yamim might be a good idea, but buying for investment purposes might not be. Investors looking for ways to invest in Netanya real estate have better opportunities, including eastern Netanya. While Ir Yamim was designed for people with deep pockets, eastern Netanya was designed for those of much more modest means. While Ir Yamim is purely residential, eastern Netanya is close to industrial parks, City Hall, commercial centers and the railway station (for a 20-minute train ride to Tel Aviv). It is very convenient to live in eastern Netanya and work in Tel Aviv or Herzliya's hi-tech industrial park, which is only 10 minutes away by train. As eastern Netanya becomes more popular and its residents become more affluent, the area will be upgraded and demand and prices will likely rise.