Figures published today by the Central Bureau of Statistics show a steep drop in building starts in both the fourth quarter of 2017 and the year as a whole.
The figures also show a decrease in the volume of active construction in Israel, and in building completions at the quarterly level. These figures indicate that continuation of the decline in housing sales in 2017 is causing contractors to consider what they are doing, and they have started building less.
According to the figures, building starts totaled 10,190 in the fourth quarter of 2017, the lowest figure since the 8,719 building starts in the third quarter of 2012, 6.8% fewer than the 10,939 building starts in the third quarter, and 26.3% fewer than the 13,829 building starts in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Building starts in all of 2017 totaled 46,320, 14% fewer than the 53,950 building starts in 2016.
Building start figures in recent years show that the general trend is upwards, from about 40,000 in 2010 to 47,700 in 2013 and 54,000 in 2016.
Together with the increase in the figures, however, the 60,000 annual target set by the government in this category appears rather impossible and is receding even further, according to the data published today. According to the latest figures, an entire quarter of building starts is lacking in order to meet the target.
Steep decline in Jerusalem district
A decline in buildings starts from 2016 to 2017 is also evident at the district level, most prominently in Jerusalem, where the number of buildings starts in 2017 was 24% fewer than in 2016. The decrease was 18.4% in the northern district, 13.8% in the Haifa district, 13.5% in the central district, 10.9% in the southern district, and 47.1% in Judea and Samaria.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on March 20, 2018
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