Gov’t: Changes in Real Estate Prices the Real Thing

Construction work on new homes outside Afula. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Numbers released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) indicate that there has been a sea change in apartment prices in Israel. After many long months of price increases, home prices have begun moving downward. According to the CBS, prices in February and March fell 0.5 percent compared to the previous two months, and were down 2.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the last quarter of 2016.

The data ends months of speculation and debate among various interest groups, government agencies, politicians and economists on which way prices were going. While the data is not final – the average sales for the week of Pesach compared to a non-holiday week is yet to be computed – the CBS said that this was the most solid set of data on recent sales trends.

Economists said that based on CBS data, a trend toward lower prices was already visible in February. The economists said that the agency did not release the data then because of its efforts to stay out of the political fracas surrounding housing prices. Nevertheless, the CBS said, the price decreases in the first quarter of the year were the greatest since October 2007.