Housing Starts Jump in Yehudah and Shomron

YERUSHALAYIM -
Arab construction workers in Beitar Illit. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90
Arab construction workers in Beitar Illit. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

After a drop in 2015, there was a 3.9 percent increase in building starts in Israel in 2016 – with Yehudah and Shomron one of the most popular areas for new construction. Building starts there rose 26 percent over the amount in 2015. With that, the overall number of starts in the region accounted for just 4 percent of the total in the country for 2015, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced Sunday.

Construction actually started out strong at the beginning of 2015, but leveled off considerably in June, after new rules on taxing apartments for investors kicked in. Housing starts in the second half of the year were off 4.7 percent over the previous three quarters.

A quarter of the 47,750 new homes on which construction began in 2015 were in the Tel Aviv area. Also strong was southern Israel, where housing starts were up 47 percent over the year before. Much of that activity was attributed to new homes being put up near the large IDF bases that are under construction right now, as it is expected that tens of thousands of officers and army civilian employees will move to the area near Be’er Sheva where the homes are being built.

A total of 27 percent of the housing starts in 2015 were for single-family “villas” (free-standing) or “cottage” (attached) homes with ground-level entrances. Fifty-four percent of the housing starts in the Galilee were that type of home, compared to 6 percent in the Tel Aviv area.

Yerushalayim was the single biggest city for new construction, with 3,230 homes started there in 2015.