Housing Ministry chief: 22% home price fall would mean crisis

Shlomo Ben-Eliahu: Local authorities will receive incentives to overcome their objections to increasing the extra building rights in projects.

"Home prices must not fall by more than 22%, because that would cause an economic crisis," new Ministry of Housing and Construction director general Shlomo Ben-Eliahu said at the Israel Builders Association's annual conference in Eilat today. He unveiled the ministry's plan to lower housing prices, which including turning the Jewish National Fund (JNF) into a competitor of the Israel Land Administration, raising extra building rights for apartments in projects from 20% to 30%, and publishing a call for papers for architects to plan state land in unused built-up lots. The proposals will shortly be submitted to the housing cabinet.

Ben-Eliahu said that local authorities would receive incentives to overcome their objections to increasing the extra building rights in projects, in the form of closed tender for local residents in the allocation of the additional apartments. Another proposal is to give local authorities extra building rights at no cost for lots zoned for public buildings, on the condition that these building rights are for small apartments.

The Ministry of Housing also proposes separating JNF land from Israel Land Administration land to create a rival to the latter for the first time.

To encourage building on state-owned land in cities, Ben-Eliahu said, "We will let architects locate unused state-owned land in cities. In exchange for completing the planning, the architect will receive a percentage of the proceeds on the land when it is sold by the state. Every firm will receive up to three permits to plan and will be compensated in installments. If an authorized building plan is obtained within four years, the architect will receive 20% of the proceeds on the land sale. If this takes five years, the architect will receive 15%, and so on."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 23, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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