All About Baka: A Look at One of Jerusalem's Most In-Demand Neighborhoods
Baka is the area from Harakevet up to Derech Beit Lehem. It has some of the most charming and character-filled buildings that you will see in Jerusalem. There is a huge demand for buying real estate in Baka due to its close proximity to the German Colony and peaceful, quiet streets, named for the twelve tribes (plus a sprinkling of other Biblical figures that managed to sneak in like Shimshon, Gidon and Boaz), with very little supply of available homes and apartments for rent.
Baka was somewhat rundown for many years, but has seen a resurgence, with some of the most luxurious developments and homes in the city being built and renovated there. There are a lot of Mandate and Arab style homes in the neighborhood on the green, pastoral side streets. These charming homes feature original archways, high ceilings, and character-filled doors and windows, making them unique and high-value, even without being renovated.
Points of Interest
As a quiet residential area there’s not much of note within, but Baka is bordered on all sides with some great amenities. To the West; the “Rakevet” and the German Colony’s Emek Refaim Street with its shops & restaurants. The North; The First Station and Yes Planet (cinema complex), to the East the trendy shops and cafes that line Derech Beit Lechem and finally to the south, the shops and supermarkets of Talpiot. The Mesila park runs through Baka to the First Station, offering a shady place to spend time outside in the grass under the trees, with a bike and walking lane on the sides.
For around 60 years, Baka was home to the ‘famous’ Ulpan Etzion, the Hebrew language school that has had it’s doors open since the founding of the state. The end of 2008 saw the transfer of the school to it’s new facility in the Beit Canada centre in Armon HaNetziv in the south east of the city.
Baka has developed a reputation for luxurious property, and rightly so, but affordable apartments do exist within the area too. The neighbourhood is home to what can only be referred to as mansions, often located in Baka’s quiet leafy backstreets. These properties can command 7-8 figure prices in both shekel and dollar amounts and having been lucky enough to visit many of these, the price is certainly justified for those that have the budget.
Baka has a number of new construction projects, such as Bustan Baka and Park8 with additional projects in the pipeline. We are also seeing a number of TAMA 38 projects being undertaken in the neighbourhood. These projects see brand new apartments being added to existing buildings in return for upgrading them to current earthquake resistance standards. These properties can often be obtained at a discount if you are willing to buy them ‘off-plan’ but have construction schedules that are significantly faster than a development that is being planned and built from scratch.
There’s also a vibrant rental market in Baka, with apartments of varying sizes and prices suitable for sharers and families alike, whether you’re looking for a luxury apartment or something more affordable.