Housing Sales Surge 40 Percent

YERUSHALAYIM -
A new apartment building complex in the southern Yerushalayim neighborhood of Gilo. (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)
A new apartment building complex in the southern Yerushalayim neighborhood of Gilo. (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)

Some 2,370 new homes were sold in 2015, 40.3% more than in 2014, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Thursday.

The figure is the highest since at least 1999, when the survey adopted a new format.

The market shifted abruptly after a drop in sales attributed to the 0% VAT plan of former Minister of Finance Yair Lapid in 2014, as purchasers waited for the tax benefit to be implemented. When it was put aside and the public realized it was not to be, housing sales soared, resulting in the high 2015 figures, according to Globes.

In addition, current Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon’s buyer fixed price plan, which guarantees eligible housing buyers a discount, may have contributed to the surge.

Yerushalayim led the country with 2,292 housing units sold in 2015, followed buy Tel Aviv-Jaffa in second place, then Petah Tikva, Ramat Gan, and Netanya.