Housing Slowdown Slows Down More

A view of a residential neighborhood currently under construction in Raanana. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Despite all the much-touted governmental initiatives to cure Israel’s chronic housing shortage, the latest figures indicate that, if anything, the situation has grown worse.

“The slowdown in the real estate market continued, and even worsened in September,” the Ministry of Finance chief economist wrote in his review published today. According to his figures, 7,300 homes were sold in September 2017, including 400 under the buyer fixed price plan.

Not counting the buyer fixed priced plan, the number of homes sold at market prices was 14 percent fewer than in August, and 26 percent less than in September 2016.

The ministry noted that September was one of the worst months the real estate market has seen since the waiting period for the 0 percent value-added tax plan in 2014.

According to the review, the number of deals fell in all segments of the market. The number of those buying a first home dropped by 18 percent compared with the preceding month and 23 percent compared with the same month last year. The number of those buying a better home than their current one also dropped, falling 10 percent compared with August and 25 percent compared with September 2016. Investors are also buying fewer homes.