Jerusalem second homes

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Karen Lee Bar-Sinai Dissertation paper, LSE (The London School of Economics and Political Science), 2007

Table of Contents

I Introduction: Globalization, multiple dwelling and Jerusalem.......................................................................3 II Positioning second homes: beyond the second homes debate........................................................................6 An Evolution of the debate.....................................................................................................................6 Changing notions: Home, dwelling, dwellers ........................................................................................7 Second homes and local contexts: Learning from the rural ...................................................................9 Beyond blur definitions ........................................................................................................................11 Summary: Re-addressing second homes..............................................................................................13 III Methodology ...............................................................................................................................................13 Measuring temporal-dwelling ..............................................................................................................14 Data analysis criteria ............................................................................................................................16 IV Holiness and Property: Temporal-tenancy in Jerusalem.............................................................................18 Introduction ..........................................................................................................................................18 Jerusalem: a segregated urban context .................................................................................................18 Jerusalem second homes: Mapping of trend in time and space ...........................................................19 Temporarily occupied luxury housing .................................................................................................22 Purchase motives: A mixture of global and local drivers ....................................................................24 Findings ................................................................................................................................................26 Local impact .........................................................................................................................................30 Summary ..............................................................................................................................................31 V Temporary occupation and policy: Addressing urban second homes ..........................................................32 Should planners intervene? ..................................................................................................................32 Can planners intervene?: Lessons from the rural .................................................................................33 Policy in a global context: challenges ..................................................................................................35 Contextualizing policy in Jerusalem ....................................................................................................37 Summary ..............................................................................................................................................41 VI Discussion and conclusion: Urban second homes revisited........................................................................42 Bibliography.....................................................................................................................................................45 Annex ...............................................................................................................................................................49 A. Criteria for evaluating seasonality...................................................................................................49 B. Data Description ..............................................................................................................................49



Globalization has profoundly altered contemporary cities as it has transformed their structure, appearance, and heralded stronger links between them (Castells, 1996; Sassen, 1991), as well as between their housing and property markets (Sassen, 1991). These in turn, enabled the formation of new ways for people to move, tour, work and dwell among places (Hall and MĂźller, 2004; Urry, 2000). In this context, the possession of multiple dwellings regained new relevance, as well as a new form- titled here ‘urban second homes’. In contrast to past trends of second home ownership which were predominantly rural in nature, the paper will argue, in line with Paris (2006) that temporal-occupancy is currently gaining a transnational nature, and may be traced to the heart of cities. Possessing a growing centrality, these cities become terrains for unique spatial and social practices occurring within and between them, thereby complicating notions of place, home, migration and tourism (McIntyre and Williams et al., 2006), and calling for a new understanding of dwelling in cities in light of global forces.

Drawing upon various sources of data, the paper will delineate a particular and hitherto unexplored case of urban second homes as it is manifested in Jerusalem. In recent years the city has increasingly become an attractive purchasing destination for foreign Jewish buyers. Their temporal occupancy of properties in selected central city neighborhoods has provoked a vast and ongoing debate (Bekker, 2006; Peleg-Rothem and Bar-Gil, 2006) regarding the profound implications this trend of absent-presence entails. At the center of the debate stand the two allegedly conflicting affects- the imminent threat to the future sustainability of central Jerusalem versus the contribution of the newcomers to local economy and society. This paper will outline, analyze and estimate the trend of urban second home ownership in Jerusalem, and evaluate possible policy instruments for


addressing it in light of the local context. Linking it to broader urban reconfiguration trends, the case will be used to illuminate aspects in global urban second home ownership.

As the urban appearance of second homes has been only limitedly explored or researched in its global context (Paris, 2006), the aim here is twofold- to explore a particular case study, and establish a broad methodological, theoretical and policy framework for further approaching urban second homes. Drawing upon the rural experience and literature (Coppock, 1977b; Gallent and Tewdwr-Jones, 2000; 2001; Gallent et al. 2002; 2005), the transferability of rural lessons to current urban contexts will be explored. On the methodological level, the study will aim to overcome present evaluation challenges through the use of a proxy measurement for enumerating urban second homes. In addition, it will introduce a “temporal tenancy measurement� to determine not only whether a tenant is a temporal resident, but to which extent he is such. On the theoretical level, the study will link literature concerning rural second homes, tourism and migration to current urban debates and restructuring processes to broaden the terrain for discussing urban second homes. On the policy level, a revised framework for controlling second homes and mitigating their impact in global context will be performed based on the vast rural experience. Together, these components will allow us to frame urban second homes beyond the second homes debate and within the context of globalization and urban transitions. They will thereby assist in linking new practices of migration and globalization to the built environments in which they take place.

Moreover, they may shed light on the role the same agents may carry

simultaneously in different urban contexts and in several housing market scenes.

The paper will set out by critically analyzing the evolution of second homes in theory and practice to their current unexplored urban appearance and emerging global nature. 4

Challenging the existing literature on various levels, it will question the enduring rural affiliation of the phenomenon throughout the years, albeit recent expansions to touch upon tourism, outdoor recreation and even mobility in recent scholarly work (Hall and M端ller, 2004), and link certain attributes of urban second homes to global gentrification and urban-based processes. It will then turn to explore the particular case study of Jerusalem, aiming to contextualize it and evaluate the extent of the phenomenon in space and time. Finally, it will turn to address policy challenges that urban second homes pose to planning practice and the various possibilities for approaching them in globalizing cities.

The Jerusalem instance may indicate a larger, world scale trend emerging in cities, as they become sites for global dwelling patterns. It will be concluded that this trend may be easily overlooked. Its illusive disguise of occupancy through ownership, coupled with the actual vacancy it brings about, make urban second homes difficult to trace yet dangerous to ignore. The direct link second homes bear to local housing markets and planning on the one hand, and to migration, tourism and globalization on the other, also emphasize their pertinence on the global level. In light of this, there exists great relevance in developing methodologies for monitoring and studying the phenomenon in and across cities and overcoming current evaluation difficulties in order for planners and policy-makers to be able to re-evaluate their role in handling the encounter between global tenants and contemporary cities.



Second homes have been long and widely researched throughout the past century, and have recently gained a wave of renewed interest. Albeit their historical and increasing presence in cities (Paris, 2006; Svenson, 2004; Visser, 2004), and the acknowledgement of their growing transnational nature (Paris, 2006), the phenomenon has hitherto not been linked to wider social or spatial processes of urban transformation. It has remained affiliated to tourism, migration and rural studies, even in current literature (Hall and M端ller, 2004). An analysis of the scope and evolution of the debate throughout its various generations will serve as a ground to establish a wider theoretical framework for further discussion. Drawing links between recreational and temporary dwelling and other aspects of living, dwelling and moving within the globalizing metropolis, it will position second homes beyond current theoretical boundaries.

An Evolution of the debate

The different scholarly attention second homes have received throughout the past century largely reflects the change in the nature of the phenomenon and its spread over time. The long historical roots the phenomenon has- dating back to ancient Egypt and evident even in classical Rome where multiple homes or villas served their owners during different times of the year (Coppock, 1977b), have gained renewed interest around the middle of the century with a critical professional response to significant changing context. The great impact modernization and transportation improvements had on human mobility at the time coupled with a growing disposable income enabled an immense growth in the tourism industry. This directly impacted the dispersion of second home ownership and recreational dwellings across the western world, and consequently drew scholarly attention to the nature and extent of the phenomenon, especially in North 6

America and in the European context (Bielckus et al., 1972; Clout, 1970; Jaakson, 1986; Shucksmith, 1981). This phase of interest in the growing phenomenon cumulated in Coppock’s benchmark publication “Second homes: Curse or Blessing?” (1977b). Summarizing several decades of major change the publication extensively analyzed second homes’ spatial distribution, characteristics and policy implications, expressing a growing concern regarding the environmental, social and economic impact they induce.

Several following decades of research hibernation have come to an end by recent publications revisiting the second home debate from contemporary points of view (Gallent et al., 2005; Hall and Müller, 2004; McIntyre and Williams et al., 2006). Their newness stems from their attention to issues of mobility and identity relation to recent trends in tourism (Hall and Müller, 2004); their analysis of the new links between places and dwelling (McIntyre and Williams et al., 2006) and lessons learned in rural context throughout the world in recent decades (Gallent et al., 2005). These publications reflect a re-emerging relevancy of the topic in light of a more complex reality and the continuing proliferation of second homes. They also gain merit in drawing links between the topic and altered notions of dwelling, migration and home. Nevertheless, discussion within them only rarely refers to the change in the nature of the geographical context second homes appear in. The enduring affiliation of second homes with rural studies, tourism and population movements thus hinders the reassessment of the trend in light of its diversifying nature and namely its urban appearance.

Changing notions: Home, dwelling, dwellers

The part time dwellers engaging in a new type of life style are a living demonstration of an altered notion of “home” as well as a challenge to definitions of migration. As Massey and Jess (1995) point out, an increasing part of the population has no usual


residence, but rather several ones in different locations amongst which time is divided. This strengthens the transitional nature of first and second homes identified by Coppock (1977b), and may suggest the familiar hierarchy of primary and secondary home is becoming obsolete. In addition, due to the changing nature of work, several disparate living patterns may occur even within a single household, posing an additional difficulty to existing notions. Second home owners therefore testify for the disappearing relevance of a “home” as a representation of a singular “household” and demonstrate the current complexity of the notion of “dwelling” both as a noun and as a verb (Gallent, 2007).

The evolving transnational nature of urban second homes (Paris, 2006) is greatly linked to wider processes of globalization. The emergence of global cities has been shown to herald the rise of the international property markets (Sassen, 1991). Sassen’s exploration of prominent global cities revealed how local property markets quickly responded to the new form of centrality which cities undertook, and the fashion in which a rapid rise in nominal prices of property followed. Nevertheless, her emphasis that this has not brought about an even effect throughout the city- but rather a specific demand for space in wealthy and central districts and neighborhoods (ibid:191-2) is of great relevance here. This helps shed light on the location-based selectivity second homes may involve in their urban appearance. In such cases, the landscape qualities driving purchase in rural and coastal areas are replaced with financial, cultural or economic centrality, or with a particular form of interest such as proximity to prominent religious sites as will be shown in the case of Jerusalem.

Given the costs of maintaining an expensive yet mostly vacant property in a city, it is assumed that at least some of the occupiers of urban second homes are amongst an emerging world elite. Hence, in a similarly to the “rural gentrification” second home owners were deemed to have created in the past (Phillips, 1993), their entrance into cities


links them to existing urban gentrification processes. The latter, have been significantly impacted by global forces (Atkinson and Bridge, 2005) resulting in various new forms. Amongst them was the process of “super-gentrification” which Lees (2003) identified in Brooklyn Heights, New York. Lees’s observation that the process is led by a new form of elite- richer, more mobile, and globally connected (ibid), indicates that there are not only new agents heading gentrification, but also a more extreme form and consequences to it. Definitional limits acknowledged in the existing debate (Butler and Smith, 2007; Lees, 2000) are further highlighted by temporal-tenancy characterizing the urban second home occupiers, which places them as “part time super-gentrifiers”. Furthermore, these agents often replace former gentrifiers thereby marking a growing distance from the origins of the phenomenon as it was identified in the late 60s and it’s current phase.

Luxury living in cities worldwide growingly take the form of enclosed developments also known as gated-communities, creating isolated islands of rich enclaves in selected locations within cities. These have been shown to greatly increase the complexity and polarity of current urban social and spatial compositions, deepening their segregated nature, as well as increasing social exclusion processes (Graham and Marvin, 2001; Soja, 2000). Whilst some of the properties serving as urban second homes are purchased from the existing housing stock, the demand for second homes in cities often creates targeted developments, as will be shown in the case of Jerusalem. As those tend to result in gated luxury developments, urban second homes’ affect on cities should be seen in light of this wider phenomenon of private residential enclaves, and their impact on urban morphologies. Second homes and local contexts: Learning from the rural

The urban occurrence of second homes calls for a revised assessments of their impact on the host communities. Though the impact of foreign presence and tourism in cities has


been widely explored (Martin et al., 2001; Svenson, 2004) there is scarcity of scholarly research or empirical data referring to the influence of temporary dwellers on them. Hence, there is great value referring to the vast literature concerning rural second homes. Despite the widely acknowledged difficulty to quantify the actual impact of second homes on locality (Gallent et al., 2005; Wallace, 2004), certain measurements have been proposed. Particularly useful is the criteria developed by Long (2001), based on various dimensions of sustainability. Though this study will not primarily focus on assessing the impact the urban second homes entail in Jerusalem, broadly outlining them is seen as a necessary part in re-addressing them in a different context and in contemplating possible policies.

As buyers tend to spend only limited time in their second home, they create a “shared but separate� space (Williams and hall, 2000: 19) in relation to locals. In high volumes, it has been shown that this dichotomy entails profound implications for the local environment, including social, environmental and economic impacts (Coppock, 1977b; Gallent et al., 2005) First, as second-home owners replace the permanent local dwellers, the local services, business and community are adversely affected by the diminishing number of people partaking in them, and by the growing seasonality of their presence. Secondly, as the housing stock is limited and under high demand, property values tend to rise beyond the reach of the locals (ibid). Consequently, younger inhabitants are forced to migrate out, the local community further ages, looses its productive members and may deteriorate with time. The out-migrants leave behind an aging generation and part time residents, sharing empty towns with vulnerable sustainability and limited future prospects.

Despite this, the tendency to over-dramatize the conflicts between second-home owners and locals should be remembered (Coppock, 1977b), along with the fact they represent one factor operating in a wider context of reconfiguration forces. Additionally, whilst 10

second homes often tend to accentuate existing tendencies (Bollom, 1978; Gallent et al., 2005), it has been noted that they hardly serve as a sole cause for soaring property prices, aging of the central city communities, out-migration of younger generations or deterioration of local services (Gallent et al., 2005). They may therefore represent “a symptom of economic decline, rather than a cause for such decline” (Dower 1977:161). In addition, second home ownership entails some positive affects on localities, amongst them- incoming economic investment and improvement of the existing housing stock. Nevertheless, in light of the vast rural experience (Coppock, 1977b; Gallent et al., 2002; 2005; Gallent and Tewdwr-Jones, 2000; 2001), albeit their partially positive affect, the proliferation of second homes and their potential threat to local contexts should not be overlooked.

Beyond blur definitions

Throughout the years, numerous terms have been used to refer to second homes (recreational homes, summer homes, vacation homes, weekend homes, cottages). Originally, the term allowed distinguishing primary and secondary homes by their respective degrees of use. It has grown to encompass a variety of newly built and preexisting housing types- as caravans, chalets and so forth (Coppock, 1977c: 7-8). Nevertheless, sub-terms for various use-purposes (business, leisure etc.) have not been developed (Dower, 1977), and the definition of “occasional” remained vague until today, albeit attempts to accurate it (Bell and Ward, 2000; O’Reilly, 1995; Williams and Hall, 2000). The phenomenon’s changing geographical context has not received any distinction in terminology, albeit a long acknowledged need



(Dower, 1977:160). In

Dower stressed the need for definitions to encompass second homes in towns and cities beyond those in the countrysides.


order to distinguish the urban from the rural appearance, this study introduces the term “Urban second homes”, together with a definitional framework for classifying levels of temporal-use and further accurating the terminology.

Situated in a gray area in-between terms, secondary dwellings also pose a significant challenge in distinguishing tourism from migration (Aronsson, 2004:76; Williams and Hall, 2000:19), thus greatly hindering the ability to gather statistics, understand them and evaluate the phenomenon in different contexts. The problem is underscored by the emergent mediating terminology referring to quasi-migration (Casado-Diaz, 1999) further emphasizing their closeness, rather than assisting their distinction. Another dimension of difficulty is posed by the dynamic nature of second homes, as well as the potentially changing relationship between them and first homes (Coppock, 1977c). Their transitional nature means they may serve as semi-retirement sites on a part time basis for the initial period, until “the second home becomes unambiguously the first” (ibid: 3).

The most common data source used for evaluating second homes is an urban, regional, or national-based survey. This method is limited due to its reliance on the homes being declared as a second ones, and often on the presence of occupiers during the day of survey. Therefore the lack in a single comprehensive method that can enumerate second homes, evaluate their volume, and measure their impact on their physical and social surroundings is often noted (Coppock, 1977a; 1977c; Dower, 1977; Gallent et al., 2005) in addition to the difficulty to capture dimensions of temporal dwelling and mobility (Bell and Ward, 2000: 96). A further challenge in monitoring second homes’ growth or change in extent over time has been pointed out (Happle and Hogan, 2002), also posing a significant obstacle for setting effective policies. Cities pose even a higher socio-spatial complexity compared to rural areas, thus urban second homes are more challenging to evaluate within the limiations of existing tools. 12

Summary: Re-addressing second homes

This section was used to broaden the current debate concerning second homes, namely in reference to their urban appearance. Through highlighting gaps in current debates, vagueness in existing definitions, and limitations of former studies, the hitherto nondiscussed notion of “Urban second homes� was situated in its contemporary context. This has been done through linking past and present second home literature as well as migration and tourism studies to current urban processes and debates. The presented framework thus allows to re-approach urban second homes on the basis of a wider definitional and contextual understanding of their role, meaning and impact in a globalizing context.


The primary aim of this paper is to delineate the notion of urban second homes and evaluate its extent and particular appearance in the city of Jerusalem. In light of this, the project methodology was comprised of various elements, which in combination intended to both thoroughly understand the particular case study, and position it in a global context. To this end, a qualitative research was used in tandem with a quantitative analysis of empirical data drawn from Jerusalem. The former was based on in-depth analysis of the relevant literature supplemented with interviews and field research in Jerusalem. Additional sources of data were a local steering committee meeting attended by the author as well as several private correspondences. Due to the low level of cooperation on behalf of real estate agents and marketing representatives of several Jerusalem developments, contact with them was eventually disguised as buying


intention, thus allowing a partial view into the purchase process potential buyers undergo.

In order to perform the qualitative investigation, a proxy study of the water-usage levels in Jerusalem was conducted. As attempts to obtain the data through the official water supplier failed on both formal and informal channels, indirect permission was sought to access it through the independent print house in charge of the bill printing and distribution2. Though the difficulty was probably bureaucracy-related, it may mask political-based motives, thus further indicating the intricacy of the local political context in relation to the foreign buyers.

The relative merit and validity of water and sewage proxy measurements in reflecting home-usage in comparison to survey based methods has been noted in a Spanish case study by Casado-Diaz (1999). In terms of reliability- this methodology also bypasses the potential drawbacks identified by Rogers (1977:88) regarding direct investigation of second home owners. Albeit these advantages, precedents for actual use of such method of analysis for evaluating second homes have not been found. Hence, this study represents a first attempt of its kind, and demanded the development of unique methodology.

Measuring temporal-dwelling

There is a widely acknowledged need to capture factors such as duration, frequency, and seasonality in evaluation of temporary movements (Bell and Ward, 2000) as well as of


Data has been eventually obtained from Be’eri print. Due to privacy protection regulation, it has been modified prior to its reception to omit any personal identification of the users.


second homes (Dower, 1977). This study thus aimed to develop a methodology which refers to these criteria and applies them to the water-usage analysis.

As second homes are a vague phenomenon by nature, and there currently exists no clear definitional border (in terms of occupancy levels) between second home dwellers and residents, it has been decided to refer to the probability of occupation. To this end, a system of scoring ranging from 0 to 1 was developed and applied to the water usage data to classify consumption units suspected as second homes by their “Temporary Occupancy Measurement” (TOM). The score represents the probability of a house to be vacant at any given moment (0- refers to a fully occupied whereas 1 refers to fully vacant). The advantage of this system, is that rather than attempting to determine whether the users’ are temporary occupants or not, it allows to estimate to what extent they are such. In addition, the statistical result may later be integrated with additional statistical data.

In light of the five-tier duration-based criteria proposed by O’Reilly3 (1995, quoted in Williams and Hall, 2000: 18), a three-tier definition of seasonality degrees has been defined here in relation to the proposed scoring system:

1. Residents- occupying homes for more than 6 months a year (score: below 0.5) 2. Seasonal tenants- occupying homes for 2-6 months a year (score: 0.5-0.833) 3. Returners- Occupying homes for less than 2 months a year (score: 0.833-1)


See annex for full description of O’Reilly’s criteria and the fashion in which the criteria proposed here relates to it. 15

Diagram 1: Temporary Occupancy Measurement: A Scoring system for evaluating urban second home dwellers (prepared by author)

Data analysis criteria

It is assumed that occupancy patterns broadly fall into three categories:

a. Normally occupied - representing “residents” b. Maintained and low occupied- may represent “seasonal tenants” or “returners”4 c. Possessing a changing occupation pattern (i.e- normal in some months, and low in others)- may represent “residents”, “seasonal tenants” and “returners” (depends on scoring).

The aim is to distinguish the two latter categories from the first. To achieve this, an initial evaluation criterion for determining a low vacancy level was required. This has been set as 5 cubic meters a month (based on an average daily consumption of 160 Liters per person5)6. An additional lower threshold of 3 cubic meters per household7 has been


Though low occupancy level may represent “seasonal tenants” or “returners”, those could not clearly be neither determined, nor distinguished. Hence they will be treated as potential second homes. 5 Estimation based on information provided by the UK water provider- South-East Water. Obtained from 6 It must be noted, that this amount may also represent a vacant house with a limited yet concentrated use performed every month (ie- a large family visiting for a week a month). At the same time, the lower category- referred to maintained but low occupied may include households with full occupancy and


set to represent a threshold for basic maintenance consumption. Homes consuming between 3 (maintenance) and 5 (minimal monthly consumption) cubic meters- referred as the “gray zone” in diagram 2, were viewed as potentially vacant. Units demonstrating a changing occupation pattern (category c), were be also treated as potential urban second homes until the “Temporary occupation measurement” was applied to them, to distinguish the “seasonal tenants” and “returners” from “residents”.

Diagram 2: Consumption levels and occupancy estimations (prepared by author)

Once the raw data was inserted into a manageable database, it was verified to assure there are no conflicting records. After that, on the basis of the above criteria, three queries were designed for the data-analysis as described in table 1.


Pattern sought

Search criterion (x- monthly usage amount)


Maintained but low occupied

X< 3


Gray zone- probably low occupied, yet may be


fully occupied by users with very limited use 3

Changing occupation pattern (containing both low

X<3 and X>3 (for different

and normal occupation amounts)


Table 1: Data-Analysis queries

extremely low consumption. Such cases could not have been distinguished in the given framework, and therefore it was not possible to enumerate them as potential urban second homes. 7 Based on an estimation of a vacancy level threshold by a representative form the water company (personal communication, July 2007).



Jerusalem represents a unique and unexplored arena for urban second homes. As it is increasingly attracting members of the Jewish world to partly-dwell in it, their growing absence-presence is gradually sensed, deemed to result in an extensive amount of “ghost houses” in the city-center. This has provoked a debate regarding the trend’s imminent costs in relation to its potential contribution to the Jerusalem and Israeli economy and society (Bekker, 2006; Peleg-Rothem and Bar-Gil, 2006). This section will delineate and analyze this particular trend within the heart of Jerusalem8- by shedding light on tenants’ profiles, purchasing motives, and property objectives; and by qualitatively evaluating their presence in volume, space and time. The existence of a vast amount of urban second homes will be concluded to be quite apparent in light of the qualitative findings.

Jerusalem: a segregated urban context

Situated mainly in the city center, urban second homes are inherently part of broader urban processes Jerusalem is undergoing. In light of the observation that second homes tend to accentuate existing tendencies (Bollom, 1978; Gallent et al. 2005), it is pertinent to highlight the forces they adjoin. By nature, Jerusalem is a highly segregated city due to various conflicts operating parallely within it. Beyond the complexity the IsraeliPalestinian conflict inflicts on the urban space9 (Bollens, 2000; Misselwitz and Rieniets, 2006; Wasserstein, 2001), there exists a deep cultural struggle amongst Ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews (Hasson, 1996; Hasson and Gonen, 1997). In addition, the city has been 8

The research relates to the official municipal boundaries and will namely focus on the Western central city. It is beyond the scope of it to address the challenge posed by the eastern (namely Arab) parts of the city, as well as to the wider metropolitan area. 9 This inherently creates a polycentric urban system, of the eastern and western city parts. The city center referred to in this study is the western (and Jewish) part


shown to be a ground for diverse forms of gentrification (Gonen, 2002). The combined impact of these processes often makes the city function as an agglomeration of disparate neighborhoods, rather than as one city (Yonah, 2005).

Jerusalem also faces many socio-economic challenges. With great disparities in its socioeconomic ratings (Choshen, 2003), increasing poverty rates (ibid), and sharpening internal conflicts, the segregated nature of the city is further strengthened. This tendency resonates similar processes characterizing contemporary cities (Graham and Marvin, 2001; Soja, 2000) amongst them: growing segregation of the urban fabric, increasing social and spatial polarities, and the evolution of complex human and spatial mosaics as their joint consequence (ibid). Some conflicting tendencies have been shown to occur parallely- such as the hollowing out of the city center due to out-migration of certain populations, whilst other types of population migrate in (ibid). In Jerusalem, the steady growth in levels of out-migration (Choshen, 2003)- namely of younger generations, can be seen to represent the former whilst temporary tenants of the urban second homes may be seen to contribute to the latter. The partially transnational nature of this dual process also highlights the role and influence processes of globalization have within the city.

Jerusalem second homes: Mapping of trend in time and space

Similarly to secondary dwelling around the world, second homes in Jerusalem have a long history. The religious and political magnitude of the city is deemed to have attracted affluent families even back to the days of the Judea Kingdom10. In a more recent scope, the first contemporary wave of second home ownership in Jerusalem can be traced to the 1950s, as part of the great immigration wave following the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. The purchase of houses for temporary use carried a sporadic nature at the 10

Information provided by Ezri Levy, CEO of the Jerusalem Development Authority, during an interview, July 2007


time, and was not limited to specific locations in the city11. An additional indication of this wave may be seen in the establishment of “Anglo-Saxon” – an Israeli real-estate company set up at the time offering off-shore purchase and rental of properties, thus assisting foreigners to set “a foothold in Israel” (Peleg-Rothem and Bar-Gil, 2006: 14). This wave also correlates with the growth in world tourism and the consequent increase in global second home ownership at the time (Coppock, 1977c).

The second wave can be traced back to the 1980s, with the construction of “David’s village”12 as part of Mamila Center (Figure 1). The 200-unit housing complex13 was the first project targeted towards the affluent Jewish diaspora, thus marking the beginning of a series of luxury housing developments which dominated the subsequent wave. This project is claimed to be standing mostly vacant even today, with commonly shuttered windows. Foreign purchase at this stage occurred in several neighborhoods as well (such as Wolfson and Shaarei Chesed), and was significantly halted by the First Intifada14 (1987-1993).

Figure 1: David’s Village, Mamila Center (from Safdie’s official website


Information provided by Ezri Levy, CEO of the Jerusalem Development Authority during an interview, July 2007 12 Designed by architect Moshe Safdie across the Old City’s Jaffa gate 13 As described in architect’s official website 14 The first wave of mass Palestinian uprising against the Israeli rule


The third and recent wave can be seen to correlate with the end of the second Intifada together with growing Israel and OECD countries economic disparities. It represents a renewed interest in the Jerusalem housing market, with several unique particularities. Vastest in volume and intensity, this wave encompasses houses from the existing stock in central-city neighborhoods along with targeted luxury-home developments (see figure 2). Various of the latter are currently under planning or construction (see figure 2), and some similar projects are constructed outside this area15. The phenomenon may therefore be seen to have reached its maturity in the local context, according to Gallent et al.’s definition (2005) - referring to the stage in which surplus houses (vacant or dilapidated) are exhausted and "second homes seekers turn their attention to mainstream market housing or create a demand for new purpose-built development" (ibid:4). This is also reflected in the recent proliferation of luxury real-estate companies, advertising in English and French 16, as well as in the shift from Hebrew to English in “for sale” signs around the city, supporting the contention17 (Bekker, 2006; Kaufman, 2007) that the trend is only intensifying.


This trend can also be sensed beyond the city centre, as well as outside the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem. Prime examples for luxury developments beyond the city center include the currently constructed settlement of “Nof-Zion”- situated amid the East Jerusalem village Jabel Mukhaber and overlooking the Old City, as well as “Eden Hills” project located south-west to Jerusalem. 16 The web-portals of the leading Jerusalem property agencies (ie- Century 21, Anglo-Saxon) are great indicators in terms of the target market, potential buyers and their respective interest. Offering accessible information in English, French and Hebrew, and often providing listings sorted by key neighborhoods they are clearly outward oriented. These companies also tend to employ native foreign language speakers to deal with particular customers. 17 This also includes impression voiced by local tenants and real estate agents.


Figure 2: Urban second homes in Jerusalem: Spread of trend and location of current major projects

Temporarily occupied luxury housing

The rise of luxury housing developments in Jerusalem is not unique – neither in the Israeli urban landscape, nor in other globalizing cities. The latter have been shown to


witness a vast formation of enclosed elite islands within them in form of gated communities (Blakely and Snyder, 1997; Soja 2000). In the Israeli context, the highest prevalence of such developments can be found in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Netanya, all of which have become especially attractive to different foreign buyers (Kaufman, 2007). This is also reflected in the growing rates of foreign investment in the Israeli property market as reported by the Bank of Israel- recently reported to have reached a record of $784 million for the first half of the year 18 (Klein, 2007). Such purchases are deemed to represent 5% of current total home purchases in Israel (Kaufman, 2007), indicating the high financial investment in each property19. Although buyers in the different cities are claimed to differ in their profiles (Peleg-Rothem and Bar-Gil, 2006), they share their strong financial capacity. Upon their entrance to the Israeli property market they thus echo Lee’s notion of ‘financiers’ (Lees, 2000; 2003), representing a world elite performing a ‘part-time super-gentrification’.

Similarly to global gentrifiers, buyers demonstrate an inclination towards specific property characteristics. Prime considerations tend to include location and proximity to the cultural and religious assets of the city; architectural quality20, local population, religious affiliation of the community and general neighborhood atmosphere. A great added value is attributed to “sights and sounds of Jerusalem” (Kaufman, 2007)21, which play a significant role in property prices. Though this may add 30% to the buying cost22, such flats are still the most popular and first to sell out23, regardless of their size or other interior characteristics.


During 2002 foreign buyers were reported to have invested $192 million in Israeli real-estate (Kraft, 2007). In 2004 investment was reported to have reached $445 million (Kaufman, 2007), soaring up to $1.43 billion in 2006 (Kraft, 2007). 19 The relative height of the foreign investment compared to average local investment in properties has also been noted by real estate agents (Peleg-Rothem and Bar-Gil, 2006) to begin at around $10,000 psm in the luxury projects. 20 Especially popular are old Arab stone houses in central city neighborhoods as in the Katamon, Talbieh, Baka’a, German Colony (Gross, 2006) 21 Namely views of the Old City and holy basin (Kaufman, 2007) 22 As revealed in field research of luxury developments. A property enjoying prime views is approximately 30% more expensive than an ordinary one, with prices beginning at around $1 milllion. 23 As was revealed to be the case with ‘Jerusalem of Gold’ and ‘King David’s residence’ projects.


Whilst the existing housing stock is old, limited, and involves difficulty for foreign dwellers in terms of renovation and maintenance, the new luxury flats offer highstandard building with a great degree of customization24. In many aspects, what is sold is space, rather than an apartment (Benzaquen, 2006). The additional services offered in the various developments is largely influenced by luxury estates around the world. These include a combination of various luxury-facilities (spa, private gym, a 24-hr concierge etc.) together with religious ones25. Additional customized services as pre-arrival cleaning and grocery shopping service, and even Sukkah26 building, appeared to be even more important to customers than originally estimated. It has been revealed that projects not initially offering them were required to readjust their maintenance bids to include various packages of tailored services27. Beyond enabling this life-style, these characteristics also ensure a certain buyers-profile is maintained, as reflected at the outset of a conversation with a marketing agent clarifying that “anyone is welcome, but the majority of tenants will be religious”28.

Purchase motives: A mixture of global and local drivers

The purchase motives of the Jerusalem buyers both draws parallels with grounds for world second home ownership, and represents a unique set of motives. Similarly to world-buyers, their purchase is seen to be beyond financial investment, and often represents an eventual intention to turn the house into a primary residence (Coppock, 24

According to marketing agents of the projects visited, the interior space of the flats can be completely altered and customized according to buyers’ request and personal taste. This resulted in many purchases of several adjacent units combined into one extensive flat 25 The religious facilities tend to include private synagogues and a Mikve (A natural collection of water serving for ritual purity). 26 A traditional Jewish outdoor structure, constructed during Sukkot. 27 As reported by the project’s marketing agent July 10th, during a marketing meeting. 28

In King David Residence, as reported by marketing agent, July 10th, during a meeting.


1977c). Returning to the Jewish roots is considered to be a prime motive- as purchase fulfills a dream– to end the dichotomy between the national and religious domicile by possessing an address in Jerusalem29. This is often accompanied by a will to strengthen ties with family members who are already residing in Israel. The two thus echo some of the prime motives described by Coribier30 (quoted in Williams and Hall, 2000:19). An additional widely acknowledged factor 31 (Kraft, 2007; Peleg-Rothem and Bar-Gil, 2006) is the escalation in anti-Semitism levels32, encouraging buyers (especially European) to secure a future asylum for themselves or their siblings.

The growth in local foreign communities further increases the attractiveness of selected locations, as the concentrations of American ultra Othodox in Shaarei Chesed, or the recent French concentrations in Baka’a33 and the major sub-communities they form demonstrate34. These factors are supported by the recent security improvements35 which strongly contribute to the safe sense of purchase. A great influence is also affiliated to growing disposable income and greater buying power enjoyed by OECD countries’ members (Kraft, 2007). Nevertheless, an explanation given by a local real estate agent36 qualifies this factor. Her claim that whilst the English buyers are currently driven by their relatively high buying power, the American ones engage in purchase mainly “to keep up with the Joneses" indicates this motivation, yet reminds us that purchase grounds may vary immensely amongst different buyers from disparate origins.


Great emphasis is made on the exact address buyers are provided with upon purchase. As explained by the marketing agent in King David’s residence, all apartments in the development bear the address “King David st.”, regardless of the fact some of them are not actually located along it. This reflects the buyers’ expectation to gain not only a flat but also a prominent Jerusalem address in return to their high investment. 30 Coribier notes that the main motivations are “family unification, a return to roots…, and the seeking out of leisure spaces”. 31 This factor has been noted also by several of the Jerusalem experts interviewed. 32 According to official reports, there has been a sharp escalation in levels of Anti-Semitism around the world reaching a peak since 2000. Increase is reported to been less prevalent in the USA (where a certain decline was noted) and more apparent Europe. Report and data obtained from the Anti-Defamation League web site ( 33 As noted by prof. Menachem Klein. 34 Including special synagogues, local newsletters and so forth. 35 Influenced by the construction of the controversial separation wall within Jerusalem which has significantly reduced rates of terror attacks in the city. 36 Noted by a real-estate agent during a phone conversation disguised as purchase interest, June 26, 2007.



The aim of the proxy analysis of the Jerusalem water-usage data was to ascertain the number of urban second homes in the city, examine their spatial distribution, and trace their usage pattern across time. This has been achieved only partly, due to limitations in the obtained data, which were partly impaired in terms of validity and reliability (see annex for full description). Firstly, due to validity considerations only 72% of the data was eventually used (see diagram 3). Secondly, the time-span eventually amounted to less than a full year as initially hoped (September 2006 until the May 2007), thus hindering conclusions regarding the specific seasonality. Thirdly, as the physical addresses could not be verified37, the delineation of the particular spatial spread of the trend in the city could not have been conducted.

Diagram 3: Division of raw data (prepared by author)

The three queries performed on the data (see methodology) revealed a total of 8,161 potential urban second homes in the city (diagram 4). The limited records found in the “gray zone”, indicate that the definition of low vacancy was relatively accurate. Units demonstrating a changing consumption pattern (query no. 3), rather than merely a low occupation one (queries 1&2) were further analyzed, and the TOM38 was applied to


The data obtained from Be’eri print-house contained the billing addresses, rather than household addresses of the different billing units. 38 The “Temporary Occupancy Measurement” (TOM) developed by the author was detailed in the methodology section.


them. As the findings appearing in diagram 5 reveal, apart from 19.1% - appearing to be ‘residents’ most units traced may represent temporary dwellers (either ‘seasonal dwellers’ or ‘returners’, amounting together to 4,939). Therefore, the estimated number of potential urban second homes ranges between 4,939- 6,993 comprising 5.5-7.8% of the city’s houses (see table 2 and diagram 6).

Diagram 4: Potential numbers of urban second homes in Jerusalem: Division by analysis queries (created by author)

Diagram 5: Temporal-dwelling degrees amongst units with changing usage pattern (created by author)


Diagram 6: Temporary vs. normal dwellers in Jerusalem: Sorted by temporal-occupancy type (created by author)



Maintained and low occupied




Seasonal tenants


Unknown- may be maintained and low occupied






Total temporarily/low occupied (upper range includes maintained and low occupied and unknown)


Table 2: Temporary vs. normal dwellers in Jerusalem: Sorted by temporal-occupancy type (created by author)

In order to further estimate temporary use in relation to time of the year, the average water consumption of potential second homes was compared to the broader city-average (diagram 7). It was expected that peaks would be found around the major Jewish holidays (October 2006, March-April, 2007) as well as around global holidays (ie. end of December, beginning of January). Yet actual findings only partly comply with this estimation. Whilst data affirmed the October holiday peak (reflected in the peaks


apparent during October-November 200639), the peak around global holidays is only noticeable around January-February, yet not in December40. In addition, the later expected peak around the Jewish holiday of Passover (March-April 2007) is not reflected in the graph. Therefore the usage pattern along time is concluded difficult to determine on the basis of the data, further underscoring the need for a thorough examination of temporary dwelling time-patterns in the city based on a long time-span and a higherresolution source of data.

Diagram 7: Average consumption pattern: Urban second homes vs. entire Jerusalem (created by author)

To conclude, the findings reveal a significant volume of urban second homes in Jerusalem. Though their spatial spread could not have been determined, it may be roughly indicated by current purchase interests in the city. Despite the fact the detected volume may seem absorbable on an urban scale, the nature of this trend to concentrate in specific central neighborhoods, echoes Sassen’s observation (1991) and makes their impact larger than numbers alone imply. The Jerusalem urban second homes may thus pose a threat to the future sustainability of the selected neighborhoods in which they appear. Additionally, though the luxury projects under construction are not enumerated here they should be taken into consideration. As they contain hundreds of additional 39

Due to the bi-monthly nature of billing, and the disparity of billing months amongst different customers (see annex for full description), there may be a latency of one month in the graphs. This explains the November peak. 40 This may stem from the latency of bills as explained above.


units with a high probability of being partially-occupied, the estimated numbers provided here are bound to significantly increase in the near future.

Local impact

Though the evaluation of urban second homes’ impact on Jerusalem is beyond the scope of this study, its rough illustration is essential for contextualizing the trend towards consideration of possible policy. On the spatial level, the highly invested yet mostlyvacant properties are deeply changing the nature of the city and its appearance. This is especially apparent in Mamila (David’s village) and Yemin-Moshe (Peleg-Rothem and Bar-Gil, 2006), yet is beginning to characterize other neighborhoods as well (figure 2). On the financial level, the massive foreign engagement in purchasing properties in the city- estimated to compose 25% of recent transactions (Kaufman, 2007), has significantly increased local prices41 (Kraft, 2007). This has namely impacted central city neighborhoods, yet entailed secondary affects in additional locations in and around Jerusalem42. Though this may stem from a general rise sensed in several Israeli cities, the nominal price rise in Jerusalem still tends to be attributed to foreign buyers (ibid). Consequently, many properties are now placed far beyond the reach of locals, especially middle-class families and young couples, and may further increase their tendency towards out-migration. Beyond this, the phenomenon also introduces political complications, as a story of one particular house (Gross, 2006: 17-18) well revealsbeginning as an Arab family residence, fled from and in 194843, then occupied by Israelis and recently transformed into a foreignly-owned and partly occupied “ghost house”. This sheds light on the intricacy of the Jerusalem second homes and the multiple layers of complexity this form renewal and gentrification entails. 41

It has been estimated to have resulted in a 27% rise in average per room prices last year, to reach over $88,000 (Kaufman, 2007) 42 As noted by both Ezri Levy and Prof. Menachem Klein during interviews, July 2007 43 Israel’s war of Independence


Nevertheless, the tendency to over-emphasize the cost and negative impacts of second homes noted by Coppock (1977a; 1977c) raises the need for caution in evaluating local impact, and the relevance in mentioning the positive influence urban second homes entail. In reference to the foreign presence in Jerusalem, several such aspects arise. Firstly, as it has been shown, an inflow of second home-owners tends to increase percapita spending per incomer (Anderson, 2006). Although it may be counter-argued that this sort of income is seasonal in nature (Dower, 1977:156) and may not replace the existence of local industries, it does bring about a contribution to the local economy, serving as catalyst for local tourism and investment. Secondly, second homes have been shown to strengthen the binding between individual buyers and the location (ibid: 157). This resonates the hope raised by many in Israel that the trend will eventually result in permanent residence of either the buyers or their siblings (Shechter quoted in Kennemer, 2005: 17). Thirdly, the high investment in the existing housing stock greatly contributes towards its architectural conservation and improvement, and there are voices claiming that it is better for houses to “look better and be unoccupied than the opposite�44 (Kroyanker quoted in Peleg-Rotherm and Bar-Gil, 2006). Summary

Though urban second home ownership in Jerusalem carries a particular form, it has been shown to share similarities with global second home ownership, and be linked to wider processes of super-gentrification and urban restructuring. The presented findings affirmed their presence the in the city, and shed some light on the particular patterns of temporary occupation. The concentration of the trend in specific neighborhoods was underscored as a challenge to the sustainability of local communities, highlighting the relevancy of further addressing the phenomenon both in research and in policy. 44

Translation from Hebrew



In contrast to rural areas, which have received a significant amount of attention in terms of second homes policy (Coppock, 1977a; 1977b; 1977c; Gallent et al., 2002; 2005; Gallent & Tewdwr-Jones, 2000; 2001; Shucksmith, 1981; 1983), little attention has been given to policy methods suitable to their urban appearance. This section will thus explore the transferability of rural policy lessons to contemporary urban settings, and further examine their applicability to the particular case study of Jerusalem. It will then conclude with practical recommendations for the latter in light of the unique position of urban second homes within it. Should planners intervene? Addressing second homes through policy raises various ethical as well as technical challenges. One fundamental argument voiced out was that planners have no right "to contemplate the problems of second homes" (Craig quoted in Coppock, 1977a: 197) until they solve "those of the first homes" (ibid). It may also be questioned whether planning should be dealing with occupancy levels as those concern the owner’s free will and choice. In addition, as Gallent et al. (2005) contend, targeting second homes presupposes they entail a negative affect on host communities requiring them to be addressed, controlled and monitored45. The tendency of second homes to serve as a “scapegoat” (Dower, 1977: 161, also quoted in Gallent et al., 2005: 148) to economic decline, further stresses the need for caution while setting policy. It therefore needs to be remembered that second homes tend to accentuate existing socio economic pressures rather than provoke new ones (ibid), and hence need to be addressed with caution and in relation to the wider housing market they operate in. 45

Although the authors refer to rural areas, the question they raise regarding the normative stance of planners in face of second homes is relevant to their urban appearance as well.


Can planners intervene?: Lessons from the rural

Possible directions of policy

Table 3 evaluates the applicability and estimated affectivity of rural-based second home policies in cities46. Along with broadly classifying the policies (into direct, indirect and supplementary), it aims to set out a preliminary framework for addressing second homes in urban contexts. The evaluation criteria relates to the respective impact policy may have on second home ownership and its temporal-use along with its potential to ameliorate impact on locals.

Table 3: Policy outcome matrix: Evaluating the transferability and affect of rural-based policies in urban contexts

Method description

Limit spread of urban second homes

Reduce temporary occupancy

Re-include locals in the housing market

Reduce social costs of urban second homes





May have a slight impact, but is unlikely to dissuade people from purchasing a second home

Is unlikely to impact the actual degree of occupancy/ may bring about a tendency to disguise vacancy levels

Is unlikely to impact

Revenue raised may be used to ameliorate the social costs of urban second homes





May limit new purpose built developments provided they are declared as second homes/ May not be applicable where second home ownership is not tracked

May potentially reduce temporary occupancy in restricting newly built second homes/ Unlikely to impact temporal- usage existing housing stock

Locals may face less competition in newly built housing developments/ May enhance external demand on existing housing stock

May reduce consequences due to limiting the number of newly built second homes oriented developments

Direct policies

Tax disincentives/ penalties

Land use planning control

Application of Differential council tax / Additional tax levy / Stamp duty charge

Restriction of use as second/holiday home


The table was prepared in light of the key literature focusing on policies in rural areas. Selected sources include: Dower, 1977; Gallent et al., 2005; Shucksmith, 1981, 1983. Additional reference has been made to planning agreements and inclusionary housing schemes (Barlow and Chambers, 1992).


Occupancy control

Restriction of property or residency rights





May entail significant impact where second home owners are non-locals

Will impact temporal occupancy due to restriction of purchase to locals who presumable are less absent

Will limit competition in the housing market

Through limitation of second home spread/ May be accompanied with other costs





Will balance the number of vacant units in second home oriented developments with ordinary housing for locals

Is unlikely to affect degree of temporal-usage of second home owners/ Developments with locals will be occupied during the majority of the time

Local citizens will be included in new developments by requirement

May balance costs through the inlcusionary schemes





Will not impact the volume of second home ownership

Will not impact the usage pattern of second homes

Will include locals only, hence increasing their accessibility to local housing

Will indirectly impact affects by promoting greater social inclusion





May increase number of second homes, as will apply to a new market of buyers seeking for purchasing a parttime second home

Operation model of scheme is based on reducing vacancy levels and maximizing occupancy

Unlikely to impact the degree locals are included in the housing market

May reduce costs inflicted by such developments compared to ordinary ones/ unlikely to impact second home ownership’s affects caused by other developments





Unlikely to impact the volume of second home ownership

May impact the temporary occupancy by increasing the presence of shortterm renting tenants

Will increase locals inclusion in short term rental forms/ is unlikely to increase local home ownership

May reduce costs of low vacancy levels / Is unlikely to address all costs inflicted by second homes/ May increase involvement of second home owners in the host community

Indirect policies

Development control / Inclusionary housing schemes

Requiring developers to supply a certain amount of affordable units in any development

Provision of affordable housing

Locally based housing provision, (namely rental housing)

Time-sharing schemes in housing development

Encouraging developments and purchase of second homes by usage-time, rather than space

Supplementary policies

Public management bodies

Public bodies arranging maintenance and lettings of vacant second homes



Encouraging second home owners to rent properties whilst away





Unlikely to impact the volume of second home ownership

May encourage second home owners to let while away/ May not impact affluent second home owners who do not need the additional income, or are reluctant to let an expensively decorated houses.

May increase locals inclusion in short term rental forms/ is unlikely to increase local home ownership

May reduce costs of low vacancy levels / Is unlikely to address all costs inflicted by second homes

(Classification, evaluation and table created by author)

Policy in a global context: challenges

a. Restricted vs. free market

The challenge in designing policies for steering current urban second homes is linked to the broader motivation to protect local environments and ensure their sustainability in face of global forces. As a free property market depends on the absence of regulations or boundaries, planners are forced to renegotiate their role within it. In light of the wide recognition of their enduring social responsibility (Barker, 2004; Gallent et al., 2005; Gallent and Tewdwr-Jones, 2007), policy response is still highly relevant. Nevertheless, mechanisms which rely on state expenditure or aim to directly restrict second home ownership and spread may be less suitable for the current context than indirect policies.

b. Cities, social class, and housing tenure

Recent globalization processes heralded the demise of the middle class as it has been pushed closer to lower economic classes in face of growing polarities (Soja, 2000). This has resulted in a diminishing ability of many to partake in housing markets, further accentuated by the entrance of global capital to cities. As gaining a first, not to mention a


second home in cities is becoming a distant dream for many, the freedom of the market seems to be confined to those who can afford it. In light of the merits ascribed to home ownership in increasing social capital (DiPasquale and Glaeser, 1999), along with the acknowledged need to address the wide rental share of the market (Gilbert, 1992 ; Rakodi, 1995)47, there is great importance in assisting urban dwellers in various forms of tenure. Viewing urban second homes in light of these wider market challenges, underscores the relevance of indirect policies (as development control) or provision of non-market alternatives.

c. Existing vs. new

The distinction between existing and new purpose-built second homes is crucial as they often represent two disparate challenges in rural as in urban areas. As second home ownership within existing housing stock can only be addressed by limited means (ie. planning controls and tax-based instruments), it highlights the relevance of tools as public management bodies or campaigns, which may encourage a change in occupancy levels. Newly built developments beg different attention, and may be addressed on physical and non-physical levels. As for the former- their “gated� nature may be ameliorated by urban design guidelines required upon gaining planning permission to ensure their responsibility towards the surrounding urban fabric and its vitality. The latter may be targeted through various development controls, or by encouraging timeshare schemes in terms of occupancy. In any case, whilst evaluation of urban second home should take both types into account, addressing them in policy should reflect their disparity.


Though these sources mainly refer to the rental share in developing cities, its high prevalence in developed cities is highlighted along with the negligence of rental tenure in relation to home-ownership in government policies.


d. Growth vs. decline

Positioning second home in cities also poses great challenge to the semi-automatic inclination towards their expansion. Seen in light of Oswalt’s (2005) “Shrinking Cities”, this picture is even more alarming upon acknowledgement of inner city decline. Oswalt’s project represents a criticism to urban growth in light of vast shrinkage processes caused by population drainage, which result in extensive vacant areas in the heart of cities. Viewing urban second homes through this lens suggests they may entail even a deeper threat, as vacancy is disguised here by ownership. Urban second homes thus carry an illusion of occupancy, whilst actually contributing to the growing hollowing out of the city’s core, as many houses remain empty for the majority of the time. This challenges the role and tools planer possess in the face of formal and informal process of urban transition and underscores the need to monitor such processes prior to further development as well as to policy intervention.

Contextualizing policy in Jerusalem

The particular context of Jerusalem poses various challenges for addressing urban second homes within it for various grounds. The following part will further illuminate this context and discuss the adequate policies for Jerusalem in light of them.

The intricacy of the Jerusalem context stems from various disparate factors. Firstly, as the city’s segmented nature is evident in its housing market as well, it is comprised of various sub-markets48. Those limitedly overlap and influence each other, and are mostly characterized by their contradicting tendencies. Whilst the western center is becoming


Those include the Arab housing market (namely in East Jerusalem), the low-budget housing market (mainly dominated by the ultra-orthodox population), and the mainstream housing market, to which foreign second home buyers pertain.


more temporarily occupied, the eastern one has been densifying to an alarming extent49, hence limiting possible impact of any policy to partial success only. Secondly, as various new developments indicate, local planning inclinations are characterized by a significant loosening of planning restrictions50 and strengthening of the free property market (Mirovsky, 2006). Those inherently stand in contrast to any restrictive policies, thus prelimiting the scope of possible action in reference to urban second homes.

Thirdly, major recent planning moves indicate ill and perhaps also interest-driven decision-making regarding housing in the city. “Safdie plan” – proposed recently as the panacea for the city’s housing needs well exemplifies this. The plan for thousands of newly built homes through an extensive urban expansion has eventually been rejected following a wide public objection (Zandberg, 2007a; 2007b). Though the protest is a positive indicator of growing grassroots-based involvement and reflects genuine concern for the future of the city, the plan itself echoes Oswalt’s (2005) warning regarding the risk in overlooking illusive tendencies of inner city decay whilst contemplating growth. Therefore, any policy channels undertaken to target second homes must take into account local inclination and the short-handness of current policies in this context.

Lastly, great ambivalence characterizes both the local stance in relation to the phenomenon and its leading agents, and the position of the foreign buyers themselves. These were highly evident in an informal steering committee referring to the issue held during February 200751. Along with a genuine concern for the local environment and


In contrast to the growing vacancy of the western city-center, the Arab housing market, for instance, is witnessing an opposite tendency towards over-crowding since the construction of the separation Wall in the city (2002). The strengthening of “centre of life” policy, requiring those residing outside it to prove that the centre of their lives is indeed Jerusalem in order to maintain their Israeli I.D and entitlement for Israeli social and health services, has resulted in a incoming flood of citizens who were fenced out by the wall. This is also brining about an additional rise in the property prices and rent rates in that area, but mainly represents a misbalance between the two parts of the city. 50 Namely in terms of heights and densities. 51 The steering committee was held as an informal discussion by several local actors working together for promote awareness and action in response to the proliferation of “ghost houses” within the city. Committee members included an academic expert, three high rank municipal members affiliated with planning and


will to increase awareness to the problem52, a cautious approach dominated discussion. The need to avoid prohibitive steps was highlighted as it was widely concerned that any restrictions would hinder market forces, and worstly- be perceived as a move against the foreign Jewish buyers. These were further underscored by the expressed need to “operate through their [foreign tenants] consciousness”53 and turn them to “part of the solution”54, rather than employ formal policy against their presence. But, can the agents driving the problem truly become part of the solution? Though internal-debates in the diaspora Jewish community do reveal growing awareness to the costs of their temporal-tenancy55, those are not necessarily coupled by an acknowledged their personal role or responsibility to it56.

These underlying causes greatly limit the range of policies which may effectively be applied in Jerusalem in response to urban second homes. Thus, direct measurements are concluded to be unsuitable for this phase of action, as in light of the intricate relationship between the tenants and Israel, the benefit of “active discouragement” (Dower, 1977: 160) may be outweighed by its possible costs. This is further strengthened by the current inability to trace urban second homes and activate such measurements. Nevertheless, in line with the “definite approach” proposed by Dower57, it is suggested that municipal bodies develop a clear stand towards urban second homes and their optimal volume in

construction in the city, two community leaders, and the architects amongst which the author is included. Due to the informal nature of the meeting, members’ names were requested to be kept anonymous. 52 To this end, a conference was set to take place in late November 2007, under the title “The right to the city” for gathering ideas and supporting further action. 53 As expressed by one of the members during the steering committee, Feb. 2007. 54 Ibid 55 As a web-blog article “Jerusalem-Ghost Town?” (4.12.2005) called those who partake in part-time dwelling in Israel to realize the imminent consequences of their partial-presence, encouraging them to permanently move to Israel if they wish to have a home in it (blog: Six kids and a full time job: 56 A conversation with a tenant showed that the growing awareness to the costs of temporal tenancy is not necessarily coupled with acknowledgement of direct responsibility to it. Phone interview, June,2007. 57 Dower’s suggested components for a “definite approach” (1977: 159) for targeting second homes included “…adoption of a statutory definition of second homes; securing of systematic information on the subject; clarification of the basic governmental attitude; and explicit coverage of second homes in the policies of local authorities.” (ibid)


the city, and set a threshold for future action should that limit be exceeded58. This should be done in combination with the development of proper monitoring and evaluation tools for assessing the phenomenon and its actual impact on the city.

In contrast to direct instruments, the indirect ones proposed above are of high importance to promote, given the absence in housing policies targeting the middle-class59. As such schemes do not exist in Israel, a legislative planning platform is required, and initial steps towards such schemes have been recently taken, as part of country-wide plan60. Given the centralized structure and the limited legislative power of municipalities in Israel, this process is beyond the hands of Jerusalem. In light of this, schemes which do not involve central legislation, and allow more power to the local authority in negotiating with developers (such as the UK section 106 agreements), should be highly considered in order to overcome bureaucratic boundaries, and possibly impact current projects.

The questionable effectiveness of relying on the good will of the tenants and their concern for Jerusalem, highlights the relevance in applying the supplementary policy measures (table 3). Though such policies may slightly encourage urban second home ownership, they may provide adequate and sensible channels to tackle the issue in Jerusalem and still engage the foreign population as hoped. Whilst the urban second homes may not magically turn into “creative spaces”61, a campaign may encourage their letting during the owners’ absence, and public management bodies may assist buyers in maintenance and bridge between them and local communities. The upcoming conference, “The right to the city” represents a positive step as well, and may indeed raise public awareness to this trend. Nevertheless, it must be remembered, that even in light of productive grass-root action in the city (ie rejection of Safdie plan or the current 58

Once threshold is exceeded, direct measurements should be reconsidered in order to balance the phenomenon or at least levy charges to fund its costs, if those are found to be detrimental. 59 There has been a history of social housing provision in Israel, yet it targeted low-income groups, not middle class needs. 60 As part of “TAMA 35”- an encompassing Country plan approved during 2005. 61 As suggested by a member of the steering committee, February 2007


objection to the ‘Four-Seasons’ hotel), success was rooted in rejection, and does not guarantee a similar level of effectiveness in the formation of policy and action.


The solution-bank presented above, offering alternatives for balancing the partialtenancy with a vibrant city, was examined in light of the particular Jerusalem context. Evaluation of possible policy channels in light of broader housing trends and social forces reveal a contrast between the growing concern the urban second homes raise, and the actual steps officials seem keen or capable on pursuing to mitigate them. Thus, local reality renders many of the above-presented mechanisms currently irrelevant or inapplicable to the city. Therefore, indirect or supplementary policy instruments were recommended to be more suitable. The need for establishing proper monitoring system has been highlighted in its equal relevance, to enable correct evaluations as grounds for future policy.



The resurgence of the second homes debate in recent years reaffirms their growing relevance in light of emerging spatial and social practices. Yet, despite their evolving transnational nature (Paris, 2006) and their spread to cities, they still remain confined to rural, tourism, and migration studies even in recent scholarly work. Their additional absence from current urban studies leaves their impact on cities, as well as the impact of cities on second homes unexplored, further stressing the need to address them both in theory in practice. This study examined the particular case study of urban second homes as they are manifested in Jerusalem, using it to situate them amongst the various forces operating in contemporary globalizing cities. They were then evaluated through this lens, to discuss policy instruments which may be suitable in approaching them. Thus, the study represents an attempt to re-frame and re-address second homes beyond existing debate and current definitional boundaries.

The exploration of the Jerusalem urban second homes case study revealed it indeed draws parallels with broader second home experiences, as well as with current migration and urban restructuring trends. This was reflected in the form and effect the phenomenon takes, its estimated impacts, and in the motives driving buyers. Though the Jerusalem absent-tenants are of a particular profile, and are led by an additional set of unique religious based motives, they partake in dwelling patterns of a global nature. Acting as part-time super-gentrifiers in the Jerusalem context, their presence provokes similar consequences to elite landscapes currently forming in other cities. Though the qualitative analysis could limitedly accurate their choices regarding space, it has affirmed their presence in significant volumes in the city. Whilst it still remains unclear to which extent partial-tenancy is a curse or a blessing for Jerusalem’s urban rejuvenation, it is clear that it further contributes to the segregated nature of the city. This emphasizes the relevance


of a policy response to balance access to dwellings in the city and mediate between Jerusalem’s religious attractively to foreigners and its future sustainability.

It has long been claimed that definitional and methodological challenges hinder the ability to define and enumerate second homes (Coppock, 1977c; Gallent et al., 2005) This challenge is further strengthened in cities, where urban second homes represent one layer only in a complex, multiple force reality. To overcome this challenge, this study has introduced a unique methodology for tracing and evaluating urban second homes and applied it to the Jerusalem case study. The method is based on analysis of a proxy measurement of local water usage. Urban consumers’ usage data along time was analyzed based on occupation-related queries to determine the potential number of urban second homes. This has been applied along with a “Temporary Occupancy Measurement” (TOM) - developed to classify the occupants by their degrees of presence in the city. Thus, the study represents an attempt to overcome existing methodological boundaries and translate recent theories regarding seasonal and temporary migration evaluation (O’Reilly, 1995; Williams and Hall, 2000) into practical assessment instruments for second homes’ spread in cities.

The intention of the policy section of this study has been to set the foundation for policy to approach second homes in rural contexts. To this end, a range of rurally based policies were examined, and their potential adaptability and transferability to urban context was evaluated. The adaptability-criteria referred to their potential impact on limiting the spread of urban second homes or their temporal use along with their potential to ameliorate the affects felt by locals. A re-evaluation of this policy foundation in the context of Jerusalem reaffirmed the contention that there is no magic policy suitable to all places, and that every context should be uniquely addressed. In Jerusalem, many factors adjoin to form obstacles to policy- local politics, ambivalent approach towards the foreigners and a strong official inclination towards opening the property market. 43

Hence, many of the direct policy instruments were concluded to be currently unsuitable, and the indirect policies were estimated to be more adequate. This may be pertinent to similar urban cases, in which rather than attempting to control or impose restrictions on the free property market, tackling its deficiencies may serve as a more efficient strategy. In this aspect, countering market forces can be partly achieved by enabling an entrance point to those who are excluded from the housing market.


This study has shown that urban second homes should be an issue of concern for contemporary cities, as they become terrains for new forms of spatial practices and of dwelling across space. As the Jerusalem case study indicates, second homes will “not just quietly go away� (Dower, 1977: 163), but are also projected to gain a more evasive nature as they proliferate in cities. Though cities may be deemed capable of absorbing a certain amount of vacant homes within them, it is the tendency of urban second homes to concentrate in selected neighborhoods which should guide research and lead policy. Therefore their imminent threat on particular urban surroundings should not be underestimated, and should encourage the search of innovative ways of evaluating their spread and impact. Furthermore, studying second homes across cities and creating a globally oriented database and policy expertise in this area may be of great contribution to addressing this challenge as part of the struggle to maintain sustainable cities in face of disappearing world borders.


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ANNEX A. Criteria for evaluating seasonality O’Reilly (as quoted in Williams and Hall, 2000: 18), proposed to classify temporal residents according their duration of stay in host communities, reflecting the relative orientation they have to it. O’Reilly proposed five categories: Expatriates (referring to permanent members); Residents (with legal residential status, yet performing a seasonal visiting pattern of 2-5 months); Seasonal visitors (oriented to the country of origin, spending 2-6 months in host community); Returners (usually second home owners, with an irregular visiting pattern); and Tourists (which see the place mainly as a holiday destination).

The criteria proposed here at the same time draws upon and diverts from O’Reilly’s definitions. As it is concerned with different levels of occupancy degrees, rather than classification by length of a touristic visit, the criteria here was narrowed down and slightly altered to suggest an approximate duration range each category refers to.

B. Data Description 1. Data in Jerusalem Water Bills The data obtained from Be’eri print represented a filtered version of the data sent for printing the municipal water bills (due to privacy laws protecting the anonymity of the users). While it is safe to assume the data is reliable (since consumer's bank accounts were debited based on it), it does have some limitations as delineated below.

The Gichon, Jerusalem's water and sewage corporation, bills its customers on a bimonthly basis. Each bill states the amount of water consumed in the billing period, and


the amount of water consumed in the past year, again on a bimonthly basis. Some consumers are billed on even months, and some on odd.

This means that, while water bills were obtained for each month, the actual resolution of the data is two-months. This causes the data to be "smeared" over a two month period (see diagram 1). For example, if a temporary dweller visited the city on October only, if she is billed on even months, there will be a "peak" in her water bills on October. On the other hand, if she is billed on odd months, that pick will appear in November (see diagram 1).

Diagram 1: Analysis of data resolution

The data obtained were not enough to cover a while year. Particularly missed is May 2007. Since the Jewish holiday of Passover was celebrated at the beginning of April, and because of the possible one month latency of the billing, the extent of the temporaltenancy at that time could not have been satisfactorily covered.


It is important to note that while water bills contain an address, this is a billing address, and not necessarily the address of the property where the water consumption is being billed (as customers may direct their billing mail to a local POB or to any other address abroad). The address of that property is represented in the bill as a "contract-bill" number62. Obtaining the geographic location of the property using this number can only be done with the help of the Gichon corporation.

Contradicting bills- Another issue with the data are duplicate, contradicting bills. Some occupants received billing statements with different water consumptions for the same period (formally: we found water bills with the same month, year and contract-bill number, but with different water consumption). After we could not get a satisfying explanation for this anomaly, we decided to ignore their data altogether (see raw data diagram).

The data included bills for private residences as well as businesses without any distinction amongst them. However, since the vast majority of businesses operate all year long (rather than on a seasonal basis), their water consumption was assumed to remain roughly steady throughout the year. Since the analysis looks at payees with fluctuating water consumption, it was assumed that the queries will not mistake businesses for partially occupied flats. Therefore, it was seen safe to include the businesses in the "fully occupied" count.

2. Analysis Software The raw data came in the form of a text file, where each line contained a single water bill. Each bill contained the billing address, the contract-bill number, the water 62 The "contract-bill" number links a single payee (e.g. person or business) to a single water consuming property. This number is needed because some payees have multiple properties across the city.


consumption for the billing period and the past bi-monthly water consumption for up to one year.

The database consisted of three tables: addresses, occupants (i.e. payees) and water bills. After reading the billing files into the database, the occupants who had contradicting bills were detected and filtered out. Then, three analysis queries were performed as described below: 2(a) Alternating Range Analysis This analysis counts how many unoccupied months an occupant had. Occupied months are those with water consumption above 5 cubes. Unoccupied months are those with water consumption of less than 3 cubes. The score each occupant received represents the number of unoccupied months divided by the number of samples. Occupants with less that three samples were ignored. 2(b) In-Range Analysis This analysis counted occupants with water consumption ranging between 3 and 5 cubes. This was defined as a "Gray area"- as it is difficult to determine whether consumers in this range are partial occupants or simply do not use a lot of water. (c) Threshold Analysis This analysis counted occupants that never consume more than 3 cubes. This range includes seasonal residents who come for very short stays, and perhaps permanent residents consuming a very limited amount of water. 3. Technical Information The data were read, compared and scored using java 1.5 on Mac OS X. The database used for data storage, counting and averaging was MySQL 5.0.41 for Mac OS X.