Last week, the Ministry of Finance released housing figures for August, which showed that portion of buyers purchasing an additional property was at a low of 15% -- compared to 25%-30% until recently -- though the volume of transactions remained nearly steady, with a decrease of 3%.
Several days later, the Central Bureau of Statistics released its September figures, which showed a slowdown in the amount of new homes purchased -- down to 2,332 units from 2,973 in the previous month.
However, the price index of apartments listed on the Homeless board shows sellers are hardly panicking; not a single area registered a decrease in October.
On the other hand, four areas saw prices rise for all types of apartments: Tel Aviv, Rishon Lezion, Netanya, and Modi'in. The asking price for a 4-room apartment in the White City once again passed the NIS 3 million mark.
Alongside the escalation in the security situation during October, the slowdown in the housing market in the past few weeks has also been attributed to measures undertaken by the Ministry of Finance -- spearheaded by the new "price-for-tenant" tenders, in which contractors have agreed to sell apartments discounted by hundreds of thousands of shekels.
If the ministry's new steps lower the demand among those seeking apartments, who choose to wait for the discounted homes -- and given that the investors left the market after the acquisition tax was raised to 8% -- then the price level may finally change.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 9, 2015
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