Residential real estate records fewest deals for 20 years

Netanya's Ir Amim credit: Shutterstock
Netanya's Ir Amim credit: Shutterstock

The number of housing deals in Israel has plunged while interest from foreign residents fearing antisemitism has not yet translated into purchases, the Finance Ministry chief economist reports.

Is the Israeli real estate market beginning to recover from the tragedy of October 7 and the war in Gaza? Real estate developers claim that there is a recovery but the data say otherwise. From the latest report of the Ministry of Finance chief economist, it seems that there was a certain recovery in November compared with October but when the December figures are finally compiled, 2023 will have been the worst year in the real estate market since the Second Intifada (20 years ago).

While there is reportedly interest from foreign residents looking to buy a home in Israel following the huge wave of antisemitism abroad, the interest has not been translated into purchases.

4,133 apartments were bought in November. Although this is 85% higher than October when the war broke out, it is still less than half the multi-year monthly average. This is the result of the high interest rate combined with the national trauma of the war. Consequently Israel will end 2023 with just 70,000 apartments sold, the lowest figure for 20 years.

As mentioned, real estate developers and realtors have reported a dramatic increase in foreign residents' interest in buying apartments in Israel, due to the rise in antisemitism worldwide and harassment of Jews, following the war in Gaza. There are indeed signs that more Jews are showing interest in immigrating to Israel and perhaps even purchasing an apartment here, but from here to the actual purchase of apartments, the distance is great.

In November, foreign residents bought only 77 apartments, 48% down from November 2022. As revealed by Globes, a large portion of foreign residents have purchased apartments in Israel Canada's "Midtown Jerusalem" project, as part of Haredi groups that organized for this purpose, regardless of the war, since the wave of purchases began before October.

On the other hand, the chief economist reports that foreign residents also sold 39 apartments in November, so their overall net purchases amounted to only 38 - not something that can be attributed to a change in trend.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on January 11, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Netanya's Ir Amim credit: Shutterstock
Netanya's Ir Amim credit: Shutterstock
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