The cost of living in Israel changes depending on the city. Additionally, Israel holds the second position regarding the highest prices in OECD(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) relatively to income. For people who want to buy a home in Israel, 148 monthly salaries are necessary. In Israel there are high levels of income inequality, for example salaries in the technological sector are much higher than in other workforces.

Both sides of Israeli coins.

Here are some statistics:

  • Minimum salary in Israel is 5,300 NIS for 2021
  • The average salary in Israel’s hi-tech 16K NIS for 2021
  • Rent a three-room apartment in the central districts of Tel Aviv: from 6000 shekels per month. At the same time, in the city of Netanya, you can rent a two-room apartment for 3500 shekels or in Hadera for 2900 shekels…, as you can see, the price of the apartment depends on the city.

The cost of living in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is a magnificent cosmopolitan city that holds the 7th position in the list of most expensive cities in the world because it is the most high-priced place for ex-pats in the Middle East. Most people prefer to live nearby this beautiful city, avoiding the high costs of housing and living. House-sharing is very diffuse in Tel Aviv for those who want to live in the city centre. Indeed, Tel Aviv is more expensive than Paris and London. Nevertheless, in general, the urban centres are more expensive than desert locations and mountain towns.

City landscape of Tel Aviv

Typologies Of Housing In Israel

Apartments are the most common housing types in Israel. Some buildings offer common areas such as shared gardens, fitness rooms, and swimming pools to enjoy different activities.

Rent apartments in Israel

Most new immigrants find a home in Israel through online real estate websites or a real-estate agency. The only issue of the real-estate agency is the payment of agency fees that are usually equivalent to a month’s rent. A room apartment is a studio apartment, and a two rooms apartment consists of a living room and bedroom. Before signing a contract, the tenant needs to understand all the terms of the rent. Usually, rents are for a year in Israel, and under certain conditions, the tenant can leave the apartment before the lease expires. Of course, in this case, the tenant has to leave the apartment in the same condition as it was at the beginning of the contract. It is customary to pay the first month of rent in advance with the equivalent of another month’s rent or more as a security deposit that is returned at the end of the rental contract. Moreover, besides the rent, it is necessary to pay for electricity, water, municipality tax, and gas.

Complex of modern residential building and city park in Ashdod, Israel.

In Israel, everyone can purchase private property, even non-Israelis. Nevertheless, to buy a property in Israel is expensive, and the prices are constantly rising. Also, a way to buy an apartment is to benefit from a mortgage from a bank.

Recommendations on how to save on housing

Summarising there are many solutions to live in Israel, both renting and buying, considering that the big cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are the most expensive places to reside. Hence, a good and convenient solution is to live outside the big cities or in the countryside and small towns. Since Israel is a small country that is very well connected through trains and buses, it is not difficult to reach a city.

For example, I personally live in Hadera and love my city very much, and to work I go by train, it takes me about 1 hour a trip from Hadera to Tel Aviv. By the way, I want to note separately that I can’t live without the holy city of Jerusalem and prayers at the Western Wall, so time to time I also go/up to Jerusalem. So in Israel, you can really easily get to the central cities living in cheaper areas of the country like Netanya, Hadera or if you really want to live in Haifa and at the same time economically, then Krayot (Kiryat Yam, Kiryat Bialik,…) will be an excellent alternative for your home.

The cost of food in Israel

The cost of food in Israel changes depending on the location and type of the shop. For example, in Israel there are cheapest grocery stores, such as Osher-Ad, Rami-Levy where food is cheaper than in other stores.

Machane Yehuda – The Biggest Market of Jerusalem

Average prices for some food products in Israel:

  • Cucumbers(1 kg) ~ 4 shekels
  • Tomatoes(1 kg) ~ 4 shekels
  • Potatoes(1 kg) ~ 9 shekels
  • Apples/Oranges (1 kg) ~ 9 shekels
  • Minced meat(1 kg) ~ 30 shekels
  • Chicken breast (1 kg package) ~ 28 shekels
  • Milk(1 liter) ~ 6 shekels
  • Yogurt(200 grams) ~ 4 shekels
  • Bread ~ 13 shekels
  • Rice (1 kg) ~ 12 shekels

The cost of transports in Israel

Public transport in Israel is very convenient and you can use it to get to anywhere in the country. For example, a trip from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by train will take approximately 45 minutes and will cost you 21 shekels and 50 agorot. However, you can buy a day pass ticket (Tel Aviv-Jerusalem) for 32 shekels, which will allow you to travel by train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or in the opposite direction without restrictions throughout the day, as well as to travel free of charge throughout the Gush Dan district(Tel Aviv is part of this district) and the holy city of Jerusalem on all types of public urban transport.

Jerusalem train station
Jerusalem train station, 200m underground – up there is the holy city of Jerusalem.

Also, for those who want to travel all over Israel by train, including city transport without restrictions for the whole day, there is a special tariff – the cost of which is 58 shekels and 50 agorot. This tariff will allow you, for example, to travel all day without restrictions in any direction from Jerusalem to Haifa, Tel Aviv or even to Ber Sheva by train, as well as to use free public urban transport in these cities.