The downtrend in building starts is persisting. Exceptionally high levels of building starts in the fourth quarter of 2018 resulted in the July 2018-June 2019 period being higher than the preceding year, but the trend in building starts in Israel has been downward since 2016, with the Buyer Fixed Price Plan preventing an even steeper decline.
Building starts in July 2018-June 2019 totaled 51,890, 6.4% more than in July 2017-July 2018. According to trend figures, however, the trend in building starts has been negative since the first quarter of 2019, with an average quarterly decline of 6.8% (an average level of 12,030 housing units per quarter). While these are interim figures and are subject to substantial changes, the downtrend began in 2017, when building starts fell from 56,000 in 2016 to 53,000 in 2017. The number of building starts fell to 51,000 in 2018, and even that was with the help of an exceptionally high fourth quarter in which building starts totaled almost 16,000 housing units, the highest quarterly figure in recent years.
The biggest rise in building starts was in the Tel Aviv district, where building starts leaped 84% in July 2018-June 2019, thanks to a large increase to 3,010 in buildings starts in Tel Aviv itself, putting this district in first place. Housing starts in Herzliya this period doubled to 2,150, with a substantial proportion of the increase due to Buyer Fixed Price Plan projects in Glilot and continued promotion of urban renewal projects. Building starts in Ramat Gan surged 86% to 1,686 as a result of urban renewal projects approved before the election of Carmel Shama as mayor. Building starts in Jerusalem totaled 2,876 housing units, putting it in second place on the list. Beer Sheva was in fourth place with 1,806 housing starts; here, too, the Buyer Fixed Price Plan was directly linked to the dimensions of construction. This was also the case in Or Yehuda, where building starts increased 204-fold, from eight to 1,637, and in Yavne, where building starts increased 12-fold.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 19, 2019
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