When Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon looks back at the map of construction during his term in office, he will find Tel Aviv in the center - in all respects. An investogation by "Globes" shows that 13,000 housing units were built in the city in July 2015-June 2019, an average of 3,300 homes a year, making it the leader in Israeli construction by a wide margin, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, ahead of Jerusalem with 10,364 housing units. These were the only two cities where over 10,000 housing units were built during this period.
Construction in Tel Aviv was dominated by urban renewal projects in the eastern part of the city (neighborhood 9) and in the area of the new Central Bus Station (neighborhood 8), as well as new projects in Jaffa and the neighborhoods next to the Yarkon River. Housing starts in July 2018-June 2019 averaged 4,700, the most in at least the past 15 years.
In third place after Tel Aviv and Jerusalem was Harish with 6,759 homes during the four-year period, caused by strong government backing and the allocation of discount homes for young people.
Petah Tikva and Netanya, on the other hand, which experienced massive construction for many years, were relegated to 10th and 12th place, respectively in July 2015-June 2019.
Dramatic effect of the Buyer Fixed Price Plan
One major cause of the shift in focus among contractors was the government's Buyer Fixed Price Plan. Five of the 10 leading cities in construction were in the focus of this plan: Harish, Ashkelon, Rosh HaAyin, Beer Sheva, and Rishon Lezion. The state has already been promoting construction in Ashkelon for over 10 years and in Rosh HaAyin for seven years: housing starts in the past four years have exceeded 6,000 in both of these cities, consisting mostly of discount housing for young couples.
Beer Sheva is another city of boom and bust in construction, depending on government policy. Thousand of housing units were added to the city early in the previous decade in the Neve Zeev and Ramot neighborhoods, leaving local developers with a serious problem of large excess supply. Land was again marketed for thousands of homes in recent years in the western and northern outskirts of the city, bringing the number of building starts to 5,500 in recent years. As in the past, marketing consisted of cheap housing and was aimed at young couples.
Urban renewal, too
In contrast to these cities, Ramat Gan and Herzliya were among the top 10 cities in construction in Israel during the current government's term for a different reason: urban renewal and TAMA 38 projects. Ramat Gan had many TAMA 38 projects, while Herzliya had both a large number of TAMA 38 projects and large-scale construction in the Glil Yam area, which also featured a large volume of construction under the Buyer Fixed Price Plan. The high price of land in these two cities facilitated urban renewal projects.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 15, 2019
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019