Initial figures about apartment rents for the first half of 2020 seen by "Globes" reveal how the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the usual cycle, whereby rents rise in the second quarter of the year. According to an analysis of the data on the Yad2 website for advertising rental accommodation and figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, rents have fallen in the cities that are usually the most expensive and have the highest demand.
In Tel Aviv rents fell 0.6% between December 2019 and June 2020. Rents fell 3.6% in Herzliya, 2% in Ramat Gan, 1% in Ashdod, 0.6% in Rishon Lezion, 0.4% in Bat Yam and 0.2% in Holon.
On the other hand rents rose 3.9% in Jerusalem during the first half of 2020 and were up 2.6% in Beersheva, 2.5% in Haifa, 2.2% in Petah Tikva, 0.6% in Rehovot and 0.4% in Ashkelon.
Israel Chamber of Real Estate Brokers vice chair Assaf Epstein told "Globes," "There are many apartments standing empty because of the situation including in regions that are considered strong. Young people are choosing to leave their apartments whether because their contract has ended, or whether they are simply unable to pay. I don't know whether they are violating their contracts or whether the landlords understand that there is nothing that can be done."
In Epstein's opinion rents have fallen further than indicated on Yad2 and there have been falls of between 5% and 10%. Commercial rents are also falling. "I don't think that we have reached the hard blow and I'm worried about what is going to happen. I was walking around Florentin (in Tel Aviv) and I met a real estate developer. During the meeting he showed me several businesses that had closed down and other stores that were not operating. Some of them probably won't reopen because there is no money."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 22, 2020
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