In terms of years of work, housing in Israel is more expensive than in 174 out of 175 large American cities. 7.7 years of work are required to purchase an apartment in Israel, as compared with 6.8 years in Australia, 5.7 years in New Zealand, 5.1 years in the UK, 3.7 years in Ireland, 3.7 years in Canada and 3 years in the US.
These new statistics were published by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel. The study also found that milk, cheese and egg prices in Israel were 6% higher than the OECD average in 2005, and 44% higher three years later (2008). In the automobile market, the numbers are even more dramatic: car prices were 46% higher than the OECD average in 2005 and 70% higher in 2008. Starting a business is also not a simple task in Israel: it takes six days to open a business in the US, 13 days on average in the OECD countries, and 34 days in Israel.
Taub Center investigators found that prices were not higher in Israel in all areas, but it turns out that in the areas in which prices were relatively lower in Israel in 2005, such as education, health, communications, and fruits and vegetables - the gaps had narrowed significantly by 2008. In some instances, prices in Israel that had been lower than the OECD average in 2005, were higher than the OECD average three years later.
For example, food and non-alcoholic drink prices, which were 16% lower than the OECD average in 2005, were 16% higher than the OECD average within three years.
The study also shows that the cost of living in Israel in 2005 was 14% lower than the OECD average, whereas in 2008 it was 9% higher.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 5, 2011
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