It’s now official: Home prices climbed 8 percent between the first quarters of 2015 and 2016, according to information released by the National Appraisal Service. Prices in the first quarter alone were up 1.6 percent over Q4 2015. The biggest price rise in the first quarter – 5 percent – was in Eilat; in Holon, prices were down 3 percent, the biggest (and one of the few) price drops.
The Service takes its information from sales data in Israel’s 16 biggest cities. Prices in Yerushalayim were flat over the 12-month period, while prices in Tel Aviv were up 8 percent. The biggest price jumps were in Herzliya (up 14 percent over the year), Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva (both 13 percent), Netanya (12 percent) and Modi’in (10 percent).
In its report, the Service said that “the public is still looking at real estate as an investment vehicle, and during the first quarter we saw a rise of 13 percent in the number of deals compared to the previous quarter. We could assert that the investors here are not those who would qualify for government-backed lower cost housing programs, which appears to be having an impact on the investment market. In March, there were 27,000 new homes available for sale, a drop of 4 percent over the previous year. Meanwhile, mortgages were up 1 percent over the same period a year before.”
The 27,000 number cited in the report, said real estate experts, related mostly to apartments under construction and not yet ready to be moved into. The actual number of empty, ready to move into apartments in Israel is just several thousand, they said.