More Commercial Real Estate in Israel – Is It Really Necessary?

In a past blog post I wrote about the fact that there is a gluttony of commercial real
estate being built in the center of the country. Now it seems that the Galil in northern Israel
is getting into the picture as well.

In an effort to lower the price of residential apartments, the Israeli Government has decided to
encourage people to move away from the center of the country. Just as the slogan in the
States went “Go west young man,” the slogan in Israel seems to be “Go north.”

The hope is that the apartments in the north are more affordable and if less people are rushing to buy apartments in the center of the country, then prices there will go down as well.

However, the problem with this is that currently there are not enough jobs in the north for all these new families that are to move to these new apartments and neighborhoods. The solution to this is to allow for the construction of new commercial centers in Northern Israel. I am not
talking about shopping centers only but also industrial zones for offices and factories as well.

In the following areas many square meters of commercial centers, office space and factories are being constructed: Afula, Migdal Ha’emek, Kiryat Shemona, Ma’alot, the Acre-Zefat road, Katzrin, Emek Yizrael, Beit Shean and Rosh Pina. Some of the properties are for sale
and some are to be rented out. If these new commercial areas are successful then they will be a source of many new jobs of all types for residents of the area.

But how can these new commercial centers be successful if businesses don’t want to move there? To provide incentives, the government is giving out candy in the form of tax benefits and other incentives for companies who choose to open up their businesses in the north.