Why Lend to First-time Homebuyers?

A chronic housing crisis is the biggest financial challenge for young families in Israel today. While the rental market is weak and volatile, real estate prices have doubled over the past decade. In 2016, it cost the equivalent of 148 salaries to buy a home in Israel, compared to just 66 in the US.

The Bank of Israel sets a minimum down-payment requirement of 25% for a mortgage. In practice, the banks demand closer to 40%. While conservative mortgage lending did shield the Israeli economy in the past, it has now created its own crisis – tens of thousands of hard-working dual-income households are facing intense housing difficulties.

Right across society, these are low and middle income households with the ability to repay a monthly mortgage, but little prospect of raising the capital for a down-payment. For people from modest financial backgrounds – including those from immigrant communities such as the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, Arab Israelis and the ultra-orthodox – this situation is even more acute.

An asset with the potential to grow in value

The ability to save month-to-month

A positive financial legacy to pass down

How We Lend to First-time Homebuyers?

Ogen provides financial coaching and practical guidance, as well as supplementary loans, to help Israelis from modest financial backgrounds to become first-time, financially responsible homeowners.


Supplementary loans to help borrowers meet the initial down-payment needed for their first mortgage.


The “Ogen L’Bayit” in-house advisory team guides potential buyers to assess whether homeownership is attainable or advisable. If so, Ogen’s team helps to find the right home and mortgage for them.

Loans are given only:

  • To households with the clear ability to repay both their mortgage and our supplementary loan
  • For homes of up to ILS 1.5 million in value
  • For homes primarily in Israel’s social and geographic periphery
  • On completion of the Ogen L’Bayit financial literacy and education program