There’s also what Knobil calls “the Corbyn factor” in the UK — Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party and leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition, is anti-Israel, Knobil said: “The Corbyn factor has had a massive influence on English Jews purchasing homes in Israel.”

According to an October 2018 poll, 38% of British voters believe Corbyn is an anti-Semite, The Times of Israel reported. And according to The Times in the UK, the Labour Party has failed to fully investigate more than 200 complaints of anti-Semitism against Corbyn, Business Insider’s Ben Gartside reported.

Knobil, who specializes in the UK market, said he’s seen an uptick in English Jews purchasing homes in Israel following the UK’s last general election in May 2017 when Corbyn did better than expected. In the ensuing 20-month period until December 2018, Knobil said, “I personally have been involved in purchases of Israeli residential property that comes to an aggregate of $45 million. If you take the 20-month period previous that, it would be $15 million.”

There’s also a small percentage of Jews from Argentina and Brazil purchasing homes in Israel because of the poor economic situation in their current countries, he added.

“These are holiday homes or insurance homes — they’re doing it as an insurance policy in case they feel they need to leave where they’re living,” he said.

While the government has tried to institute policies to cool down the property market by implementing a 3% higher purchase tax for foreign buyers, Knobil said it hasn’t been particularly successful because Jewish communities across Europe are so keen on getting that “insurance policy.”

Tel Aviv is a top travel destination, and tourists seek luxury

But the luxury property market in Tel Aviv hasn’t just been catering to the demand of wealthy Israelis and overseas buyers both looking for residences — it’s also meeting the needs of travelers.

“Tel Aviv has seen a recent influx in tourism and from that, an increased demand in luxury hotels,” Galit Heller, director of sales and marketing at The Jaffa, a five-star hotel in Tel Aviv, told Business Insider. The city has been cited as a top travel destination across multiple outlets, including CNN’s 2019 list of places to travel and a fourth-place ranking on Virtuoso’s list, indicating a general consensus that Tel Aviv, and Jaffa in particular, is a top place to visit, she said.

The Jaffa Hotel
The courtyard at The Jaffa in Tel Aviv. The five-star luxury hotel was transformed from a convent and hospital and opened in 2018. Amit Geron

“With an increased popularity, and a previous lack in the luxury hospitality scene, we see many luxury hotels popping up across Tel Aviv,” Heller said.

She said the typical luxury-seeking guest at The Jaffa is middle-aged (40-70 years old) and international — mostly from America, with some from the UK, Europe, or Russia — often traveling for leisure, but sometimes visiting for family occasions or work.

Heller said these modern travelers are seeking a different kind of luxury than what’s typically defined by grand, brand name hotels. In addition to top amenities, the best service, and location, they’re looking for a certain kind of experience. For example, The Jaffa creates a luxury experience that immerses guests in local history and culture, she said.

“They receive an authentic reflection of the local community and I think that is what modern day luxury is — connecting guests to local luxury,” Heller said.

Israel’s luxury property market boom may not last for long, though. “I think at the moment, it will level out — there’s been such a growth of these luxury homes, the supply is now meeting the demand,” Knobil said.

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