Mortgage taking in Israel remained high in April

Aura residential construction project / Photo: Eyal Izhar, Globes

Mortgages worth $5 billion were taken in April, the Bank of Israel reports.

Mortgage taking in Israel was surprisingly high in April with about NIS 5 billion worth of mortgages given by the banks. This was a 43% drop from the record of NIS 8.7 billion in mortgages taken in March and a similar level to the NIS 5 billion taken in April 2019, the Bank of Israel reports.

The high March mortgage taking figure was because of a rise in the number of the government's Buyers Fixed Price program buyers and the rush to take mortgages before interest rates rose. The percentage of mortgage takers in March in the Buyers Fixed Price program was 12% compared with 10-11% in January-February. In April, interest rates had risen yet mortgage taking still remained relatively high, in part because the percentage of Buyers Fixed Price program mortgage takers rose to 13%.

Unexplained is why mortgage taking remains so high when the number of deals has fallen. The number of housing deals in March fell 30% from February to 6,600 and is expected to be even lower in April, when the country was in lockdown, although the figures have not been published yet.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 26, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Aura residential construction project / Photo: Eyal Izhar, Globes
Aura residential construction project / Photo: Eyal Izhar, Globes
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