At a special press conference today about housing, Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon announced huge buyer fixed price plan lotteries in which 15,000 housing units in central Israel will be awarded. Most of the housing units are in high-demand areas. The lotteries will begin next Saturday night. Kahlon added that tens of thousands more housing units would be raffled off in buyer fixed price lotteries before the end of the year.
The lotteries will be held for 85 projects in 24 communities. Those eligible can register in only three different communities. The lottery will be completed on July 9, and the results will be published no later than August 24.
The housing units in the lotteries are located in Haifa, Rishon Lezion, Netanya, Beer Sheva, Beit Shemesh, Herzliya, Modi'in, Ramle, Ra'anana, Rosh HaAyin, Yavne, Upper Nazareth, Kiryat Bialik, Gedera, Ofakim, Migdal HaEmek, Kfar Yona, Tirat Hacarmel, Atlit, Shlomi, Pardesiya, Mitzpe Ramon, Shapira Center, and Harish.
Kahlon said, "No one set the market price. Because of the past distress, everyone, developers and contractors, demanded whatever they wanted, not a realistic price. 10,000 people to date have won a discounted apartment in the buyer fixed price framework, apartments at a reasonable price. It is possible to get an apartment at a reasonable price, all because the land subsidy has been stopped."
Kahlon added, "The housing market has cooled off because young couples see that it's coming. Not everyone has received an apartment, but they all will eventually. We'll remove tens of thousands of young couples from the demand."
Later in the press conference, Kahlon also said, "Up until now, they have charged young couples whatever they could for the apartments, and they had no choice. This exploitation has been stopped. We will enable young couples to realize their dream.
"We know that supply is needed in order to solve the housing crisis. The answer is the roof agreements and the construction cranes you are seeing all over Israel. We're only increasing marketing, plans, and supply. Now, after the buyer fixed price plan, people are seeing how much an apartment should cost. Even without the buyer fixed price plan, the inflated prices are over. The great gap in price resulted from distress. People won't be enslaved to a big mortgage. No one will stop the plan. This train hasn't attained its top speed yet, but it is speeding up quickly, and will continue, regardless of whether or not there are early elections."
Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Galant said at the press conference, "Many young couples will receive solutions. Many of them are demobilized soldiers. This lottery will give great certainty. They've given us the challenge of conducting new lotteries for many more people, and we have met it. It wasn't easy, and it's very big news."
National Housing Board chairman Avigdor Yitzhaki said, "The goal of the plan is certainty, increasing the chances of winning, and also certainty for contractors in buyer fixed price projects. There are now 45,000 people with eligibility in the first series who have not yet won. The winners will select the three communities for which they prefer to participate in a lottery. That will make it possible to greatly increase the chance of winning."
Yitzhaki added, "In October 2017, there will be another lottery with 10,000 apartments. That puts us in a place where I didn't think we'd be. Our measures will lead to lower housing prices, and make the prices sane."
Ministry of Finance director general Shai Babad said, "Something should be done about the investors. It's unacceptable for people to buy six or seven housing units; that's what drives young couples out of the market. The bill for taxation of a third housing unit is aimed at putting an end to it. We also gave investors benefits; we don't mean to punish them. More housing units will be marketed through the buyer fixed price plan - as many apartments for young couples as possible. There's no connection between the expected decision on taxing a third housing unit and today's announcement about the plan."
Participants in the press conference also included Deputy Minister of Finance Yitzhak Cohen, Israel Land Authority director Adiel Shimron, and Ministry of Construction and Housing director general Haggai Reznik.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on June 14, 2017
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