Officials: Housing Prices Up Again, But Sales Fall

YERUSHALAYIM -
Construction of a new building in Bnei Brak. (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90, File)

Housing prices in Israel continue to rise in 2017, numbers from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) show. According to the numbers for housing sales in March and April released Thursday, prices during the period rose 0.5 percent – with an annualized price increase of 4.4 percent.

Despite the numbers, Shai Babad, director general of the Finance Ministry, is convinced that the tide has turned on housing prices. “It is impossible to know what the situation will be three months from now,” he told Globes. “Not all the deals that were reported in these statistics have been completed. Recent statistics indicate that prices actually fell 0.2 percent. And these statistics do not include the effect of the Price Resident program,” which will bring down the average of home prices, because they are sold at a discount to eligible buyers.

Israel’s home market has experienced a cooling trend in recent months. If over the past several years housing appreciated 7 percent or more each year, the CBS last month reported that prices had actually fallen in the first quarter of 2017, with housing costs down 2.9 percent in the first quarter, compared to the last quarter of 2016.

Meanwhile in a separate report, the CBS said that the number of sales had fallen dramatically in April. A total of 1,927 home sales were reported in April, compared to 2,286 in March – a drop of 15.7 percent. Compared to April 2016, sales were down 26 percent.