Kahlon Cuts Housing Statistics Down to Size

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Emil Salman/Pool)
Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Emil Salman/Pool)

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has succeeded in pushing through a measure to establish order in the compilation of Israel’s housing statistics.

On Wednesday, the Central Bureau of Statistics became the only government body authorized to publish data on home prices in Israel. This cuts out the chief government assessor in the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Construction and Housing, which until now have issued competing — and often conflicting — data on the real-estate market.

Globes reported that Kahlon circumvented opposition in the housing cabinet by utilizing a provision under which the proposal can be distributed to ministers and the decision then becomes binding if there are no objections within an allotted period of time.

However, the resolution includes a clause stating that the minister of finance, in consultation with the minister of justice, may postpone the date that the resolution goes into effect. But no postponement is anticipated.

The Ministry of Finance maintains that the plurality of data and indices on the housing market leads to confusion, hence the new measure.

That is not everyone’s view, though, and the story is apparently not over.

Ronen Wagner, chairman of the continuing education committee of the Real Estate Appraisers Association, denounced it as an admission by the minister of finance that his efforts to bring down housing prices in Israel have failed, and that he would call upon the association’s chairman, Ehud Danus, to convene its board to file a petition against the decision.

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