Home sales hit 10-year high in December

Finance Ministry: 13,400 homes were sold in December, 47% more than in November.

Home sales in December 2013 rose to the largest monthly amount since the beginning of the 2000s, the Ministry of Finance reported today. 13,400 homes were sold in December, 47% more than in November, and 23% more than in December 2012.

The Ministry of Finance attributes the jump in home sales in December to "sales by investors and the marketing of a large project in Rosh Ha'Ayin." The reference is to hundreds of apartments offered at a discount to the Hever (the IDF and security forces servicemen and pensioners NGO). The ministry adds, "The jump in transactions was in both the new and second-hand market segments."

Excluding the Rosh Ha'Ayin project, new home sales were just 5% higher in December than in November, although the Ministry of Finance did not disclose the number of home sales excluding this project.

Home purchases by young couples were 76% higher in December than in November. The Ministry of Finance said that purchases by young couples rose nationwide, but especially in areas with low prices; i.e. the periphery. Home purchases by young couples in Beersheva nearly doubled, and the Rosh Ha'Ayin project boosted their purchases in the Central District by 115%. The average apartment price in the Rosh Ha'Ayin project was NIS 1.24 million, compared with an average price of NIS 1.46 million for homes bought by young couples in the Central District in 2013. Tel Aviv is not part of the Central District.

Home purchases by investors fell by 22% in December, compared with November, after rising for five consecutive months. Home sales by investors rose by 64% in December, compared with November. "Home sales by investors in Tel Aviv, the center, and the Sharon in December were double the number in the preceding month," said the Ministry of Finance.

Preliminary data for January indicate an extraordinary drop in real estate transactions, compared with both December and January 2013, says the Ministry of Finance, which attributes the drop to lower sales of second-hand apartments to the strike at the Land Registry offices during January.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 11, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

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