Elkin Predicts Historic Rise in Home Prices

Israeli Housing Minister Zeev Elkin, of the New Hope party. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Newly installed housing minister Zeev Elkin told Israelis on Thursday to brace themselves for an historic rise in home prices.

“I know what the building starts were and what the price rises were in sales by the Israel Land Authority. The headlines we have seen are nothing compared with what is going to happen over the coming year. The appropriate image is the Six Day War versus the Yom Kippur War. The last Israeli government neglected housing, and that will lead to a substantial rise in prices,” Elkin said, according to Globes.

The minister acknowledged that the change isn’t apparent yet, but warned that it will be soon. “It’s no secret, although the public isn’t feeling it yet, that we are in a renewed bout of the housing crisis. We are on the way to higher prices.”

Elkin said there’s no “one magic solution,” but that accelerated planning for construction is necessary.

“It’s true that there are surpluses, but that is mainly in the periphery of the country. When there is planning on paper it isn’t always doable. The National Committee for Planning and Building Preferred Housing Sites will make it possible to speed up the planning process. It will also be an incentive for the regional planning committees, which want projects to come to them rather than to the National Committee for Planning and Building Preferred Housing Sites.”

He also expressed support for extending the National Outline Plan 38 for reinforcing buildings against earthquakes while permitting additional floors to be built on them, another way to increase the housing stock.