Demand to Outstrip Supply 10 Times for More Affordable Homes

YERUSHALAYIM -
Construction work on new homes outside Afula. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90
Construction work on new homes outside Afula. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The number of apartments to be built in 2016 under the Finance and Housing Ministries’ “Price Occupant” program, in which contractors set aside a certain number of homes in a project for sale at a lower price to first-time homebuyers and others who qualify for subsidized housing, is likely to be 25,000 – while the numbers of those eligible to purchase those homes is likely to stand at 250,000.

The Ministries on Sunday released their work plan for the coming years, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. In 2017, 30,000 homes will be built under the plan, with that number increasing to 35,000 in 2018, when the program is due to expire. Altogether, 90,000 homes will be built under the program. The number of eligible purchasers is likely to rise as well, the statement said.

The first Price Target homes are set to come on the market in the coming weeks, when a lottery will be held for the right to purchase them. As of Sunday evening, business daily Globes reported, 905 people had submitted applications for the right to purchase one of the 222 homes for sale under the program. However, submissions for the lottery are open for the next two weeks; at that point, say officials, as many as 10,000 requests to participate in the lottery could be submitted.

Available in Afula under the program are 222 five-room apartments (120 square meters), at a total cost of NIS 650,000 ($167,000) – about 40 percent less than the market rate. Eligible applicants include couples who have been married for at least five years and do not own a home; disabled, single parent households; and single people 35 years old and up who have not owned an apartment for at least six years.