As Israel’s real estate and housing markets continue to expand, new immigrants are faced with searching for affordable home-buying options in communities around the country.

To help in that endeavor, 500 olim gathered in Jerusalem on Wednesday night to hear from existing residents about the most viable areas for newcomers to consider.

Representatives from 45 communities from the north, south, center and from Jerusalem were on hand at the second annual Nefesh B’Nefesh Communities Fair to offer information about cities, towns, moshavim and more.

New immigrants also had the opportunity to hear from experts on the details of purchasing a home, understanding mortgages and choosing the right community for their needs.

The event was part of the Nefesh B’Nefesh and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael “Go Beyond” program, which works to develop the periphery of Israel and Jerusalem through benefits for olim to reside in these areas. Additionally, the fair was run in partnership with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Jewish National Fund (JNF-USA).

Olim come from a wide range of backgrounds and have different priorities when searching for a community in Israel,” said Rachel Berger, director of post-aliyah at Nefesh B’Nefesh. “Our fair was created in order for them get a closer look at the diversity of options and affordability throughout the country.”

Some of the communities represented included Ashkelon, Beersheva, Beit Shemesh, Carmei Gat, Caesarea, Efrat, Hadera, Haifa, Hispin, Jerusalem, Karmiel, Katzrin, Lod, Ma’alot, Migdal HaEmek, Modi’in, Naharia, Negohot, Ra’anana, Rehovot, Shoham, Tzfat and Yokneam.

Specific locales that have seen an uptick in interest from new immigrants are the likes of Rehovot, Pardes Hanna and Harish, which is a brand-new, developing city in the north.