Israelis will be getting a post-Pesach present from Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon – a tax cut, he said in an interview on Army Radio. Kahlon said that he had made the decision after seeing the data on economic activity in the first three months of 2018, a continuation of the successes of 2017. “We are now in the third month of 2018,” Kahlon said. “Based on the data on growth we are in a very good place. We will make a decision on cutting taxes after Pesach, and with the money that helps further grow the economy we will assist young couples and workers.”
The one negative data point in the 2017 data report was a drop of 14% in new construction, which could lead to an increase in housing prices, as demand would be just as high as ever. Kahlon said that he was not worried that housing prices would increase, and that his Price Resident program would ensure that prices remained stable. “The crazy demand for homes has calmed down, and right now the contractors are stuck with tens of thousands of empty apartments. They are resisting pressure to lower prices, but that will come,” Kahlon said.
Data on construction released by the Central Bureau of Statistics showed that in 2017 there were 46,000 building starts, compared to 54,000 in 2016. With that, there were some areas where construction grew, while in others there was a sharp drop. A full quarter of the new homes under construction are being built in the Tel Aviv area, while Yerushalayim had just 8% of the new construction. In Yehudah and Shomron, there was a 47.1 percent drop in building starts, while in the Tel Aviv area 2017 saw a 6.7 percent increase in construction.