Speaking to the "Globes" Real Estate and Infrastructures Conference today Israel's Minister of Construction and Housing Zeev Elkin said, "The government does not have control over housing prices but it does have control of certain elements of the market. Regarding predictions I leave it to the Minister of Finance to be a prophet. Too many prophets in one government is too much."
Elkin was speaking just ahead of the government lottery for affordable housing at discounted prices. He said, "We have registered 86,000 (people eligible for the lottery), a record number and double the number in the largest lottery during the time of Moshe Kahlon. 40,000 have taken out new eligibility in the past few days. That's also a record number. There are 120,000 people eligible. That means we have added 50% to the system in two weeks. Nobody expected that. There will be a lottery about every two months and we will market 30,000 apartments a year. A 25% chance of winning is not a small chance of winning."
Asked about the 13% rise in housing prices over the past year, Elkin said, "For those who knew the figures and the amount previously marketed, the rise was no surprise. If in the previous year they marketed only 50,000 homes, then no wonder that there is a shortage and rise in prices. The writing was on the wall. I prefer to deal with creating solutions, and there will be 30,000 housing units at a discount. I'm certainly not satisfied because I want more. We proposed 80%-85% but the Ministry of Finance opposed it. The Ministry of Finance plan published in the media is still being worked on. There is no plan there are only ideas. We are open to hear everything and I'm happy to hear -to incentivize local authorities in order to release more homes for marketing and I'm very much in favor of increasing percentages of discount apartments but I'm not sure that it's for 100% of the land. There is no logic in the state investing in luxury housing."
"We are marketing 100,000 housing units a year. Is that sufficient to close the gap from over the past two years? No we need several years like this to close the gap. Everybody laughed at me when I spoke about 60-70,000 homes marketed but we reached 100,000. The numbers speak for themselves."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 27, 2022.
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