Exorbitant rents prompt a Tel Aviv couple to take to the sea; others can follow
As Tel Aviv faces a housing crisis with soaring rents due to rising property prices, an enterprising professional has found an alternative that may prove to be the most frugal way to live in the Big Orange, now the fifth most expensive city in the world.
“Ella” told The Times of Israel that she plans to buy a nine-meter (30-foot) yacht with about the same living space as a 16-square-meter (172-square-foot) apartment. The yacht costs less than a new car between $10,000 and $72,000 (NIS 32,424 to NIS 247,853), exact specification, and of course – provided Ella and her partner can secure a mooring – comes with a beachfront location.
“We want to keep it in port for the first year or two, except for occasional weekend trips. We both work in Israel and would need to get to work from a marina,” Ella said. “After that, we might try to find a more flexible type of work that might allow us to travel further, but we won’t be able to retire any time soon.”
Recently, a 16 square meter studio in South Tel Aviv went on sale for NIS 4,000 per month ($1,160) excluding bills. The bed, cooking facilities and bathroom are arranged in a space measuring only four meters by four meters (13 feet by 13 feet).
Rents in Tel Aviv are reportedly officially up around 10% year-on-year for the first part of 2022, although a significant number of tenants renewing leases in the city are expected to face challenges. increases of 30-40%, according to anecdotal reports. stories are circulating on social media, as owners catch up with the COVID-era price freeze.
Tel Avivians with an average salary – NIS 12,762 ($3,700) per month before tax according to the latest official statistics – face the very real dilemma of trying to cut costs elsewhere to stay in the city, or have to move .
Meanwhile, there are currently eight marinas in Israel. Although not full, last year the government tried to press ahead with plans for six new marinas and faced widespread opposition from environmental activists. Of these plans, only the development in Nahariya has been given the green light. But in recent weeks, there have been indications that plans to add marinas in Hadera, Netanya and Bat Yam, among others, are about to be revived. The expansion of existing marinas in Haifa, Hertzliya, Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Ashdod and Ashkelon is also generating some excitement.
The Tel Aviv Marina can accommodate boats up to 12 meters (39 ft) long. At marinas in Israel, mooring fees start at 1,000 NIS ($295) per month for a small yacht. That’s significantly less than any apartment rental, especially in Tel Aviv’s expensive Old North neighborhood, the closest residential area to the marina. Even with a black market in berths developing due to increasing pressure to find openings, living on a yacht in port could mean substantial savings.
Water and electric utilities are available at marinas at very reasonable rates, even costing much less than they would in a traditional brick-and-mortar apartment. There are hidden expenses and maintenance – insurance to live aboard a boat (which costs around $800 a year), keep fresh water tanks full or some sort of filtration system running, manage sewage and regular boat maintenance wear and tear – the latter of which can cost around 10% of the boat’s value per year. However, the sum total of all these charges is similar to – or perhaps less than – the annual costs for conventional apartment tenants (although landlords are apparently responsible for maintaining the property).
Living on the water may not be for everyone, and it’s certainly far from the mainstream dream of climbing the housing ladder. But for Ella and her partner, rather than using a large percentage of their monthly income to live in a small apartment – let alone saving for a down payment on a property – they will put their money into a house they can keep. in port until they are ready to depart.