Housing sales in Israel hit 20-year high in 2020

Buyer Price project in Yavne  photo: Eyal Fisher

62,000 homes were sold in the second half of the year, the Ministry of Finance Chief Economist reports.

In 2020 there were 107,100 housing deals, while of the highest numbers in recent years. 62,000 of the deals were in the second half of the year, the highest number of homes sold in a six month period for 20 years, according to the residential real estate survey published by the Ministry of Finance Chief Economist office.

2020 was an exceptional year in every sense of the word. Residential real estate sales in the first two months were very strong, continuing the trend from 2019. But then the Covid-19 pandemic struck and sales plunged between March and May before slowly recovering with an unprecedented boom in the second half of the year, further boosted by the government's cut in purchase tax on owning more than one home, which drew investors back into the market.

The boom culminated in December with 13,400 housing deals - a number only exceeded in June 2015 and December 2013. In December 2020, buyers included large numbers of investors, young couples, and people moving up to bigger homes. Investors bought more than 2,000 homes a month in the final months of the year, moving towards the levels before 2015, when the then Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon introduced higher purchase tax for investors.

December 2020 was a particularly good month for building contractors with 5,400 new homes sold including as part of the Government's Fixed Buyers Price program. In the second half of 2020, 38% of all housing deals were for new homes.

In December 2020, young couples bought 6,200 apartments, including 1,600 as part of the Fixed Buyers price program and the highest number for more than 10 years and since the 2011 social protests against the high cost of living and lack of affordable housing.

Most experts expect the boom to continue in 2021 with prices expected to rise 3%-4% over the next year, according to government forecasts.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 11, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

Buyer Price project in Yavne  photo: Eyal Fisher
Buyer Price project in Yavne photo: Eyal Fisher
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