The Property Market & Obtaining a Mortgage in Israel
Hebrew: משכנתאות ושוק הנדל"ן
The mortgage arena in Israel can be challenging. Following is a brief overview of what you can expect.
Applying for a mortgage
It is strongly advised to get approved for a mortgage before signing a purchase contract. As opposed to other countries where a home purchase can be “conditional upon financing”, a purchase contract for a property in Israel is final once the purchase contract is signed.
It is also important to understand that a bank will approve a borrower based on a percentage of the appraised value of the property. Due to the high prices in many English speaking communities, appraisers can often undervalue properties in these communities. For this reason, it is often recommended to have a property appraised before signing a purchase contract in order to determine exactly how much money the mortgage bank is willing to lend.
Qualifying for a mortgage
Lending institutions in Israel generally approve mortgage applications based on a borrower’s income. A borrower’s assets can contribute to the strength of the application, but the income is a much more relevant factor in approving the mortgage. Borrowers who work in Israel need to provide records of pay slips. Foreign borrowers generally need to provide annual tax statements.
Cosigners and Guarantors (in Israel or abroad) for the mortgage can also be used in the event that the borrower does not have sufficient income.
There are a number of mortgages options available. Mortgage options are tailored to match a number of factors, including: The currency of your income, place of residency, financial goals, economic outlook and economic standing. Mortgages are available in a number of currencies and are generally available up to a maximum of 30 years.
Mortgage hidden costs
Comparing and choosing the best mortgage option can be challenging. Many mortgages have hidden costs which can significantly increase the cost of the mortgage. An independent mortgage professional can advise you on the most economical option.
Following is a table that shows the monthly repayments per 100,000 NIS of mortgage:
Rate 10 Years 15 Years 20 Years 30 Years 8% 1213 956 836 734 6% 1110 844 716 600 4% 1012 740 606 477 3% 966 691 555 422
Fixed rate or variable interest rate
Most mortgages offered in Israel are variable and are linked to either the Israeli Prime rate, the LIBOR rate, or the Israeli inflation index. Only recently a few banks have begun to offer truly fixed rate mortgages for a maximum of 30 years. Borrowers need to be cautious in insuring that there are no hidden costs or “price floors” in any of these mortgages.
Some mortgage options in Israel have pre-payment penalties in the event that the borrower wants to either prepay the mortgage or sell the property. It is important to clarify with the relevant lending institution if, when and how much prepayment penalties can be.
How much can I borrow?
Israeli lending institutions will generally lend a maximum of 75% of the price of a property directly from a bank. It is possible to borrow a maximum of 90% with mortgage insurance.
Olim Hadashim (New immigrants), Ktinim Hozrim (Returning minors) and Ezrachim Olim (Israeli citizens born abroad)
Addition qualifying criteria
The following will also be taken into consideration; collateral, your IDF service, the number of years you have been living in Israel, your age, family status, family size - children, dependents etc.
Foreigners who wish to purchase property in Israel
Mortgages are available to foreigners and can be easily arranged without ever having to come to Israel. These mortgage can be linked to a foreign currency so that individuals can hold their mortgage in the same currency as the income they are earning.
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