New home sales down in first half year

New housing construction  photo: Shutterstock/ASAP Creative

The Central Bureau of Statistics reports a 1.8% increase in the stock of unsold housing.

1,955 new homes were sold in Israel in July 2018, 10% more than in the preceding month. At the same time, a comparison with the number of new homes sold in July 2017 shows a 10% decrease.

Looking at annual figures, the number of new homes sold in August 2017-July 2018 was 18.7% less than the number sold in August 2016-July 2017, while the number of new homes sold in May-July 2018 was 21.3% more than the number sold in February-April 2018.

These figures indicate that while new home sales by contractors fell substantially year-on-year, they have rebounded strongly in recent months. The Central Bureau of Statistics' figures include Buyer Fixed Price Plan projects (in which homes are sold at discounted prices) for which building permits have been granted, so these projects may partially explain the increase in new homes sold. The Ministry of Finance published figures yesterday showing a drop in new homes sold in the second quarter, but the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bureau of Statistics use different measures: the Ministry of Finance's figures showing a 6% decrease do not include discounted apartments. It cannot be ruled out that an increase in the number of discounted apartments counted as sold in July by the Central Bureau of Statistics caused an increase in the number of new homes sold, and that as the Buyer Fixed Price Plan progresses, the volume of homes sold in the framework of the plan will rise. The fact that the Central Bureau of Statistics does not distinguish between discounted and non-discounted homes makes it impossible to analyze the effect of the discounted homes on the the rate of new homes sold in a given month and how much it affects the final result.

Another interesting figure arising from the Central Bureau of Statistics' figures for July is an increase in the stock of unsold housing in the hands of contractors. According to the original data, the number of housing units in this category in July was 24,340, compared with 23,907 in June. The increase is only 433 housing units, 1.8%, but it may indicate a change in the trend, since the number of unsold units had been falling in previous months.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 13, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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New housing construction  photo: Shutterstock/ASAP Creative
New housing construction photo: Shutterstock/ASAP Creative
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