Young couples are dominating the housing market in Israel, accounting for 53% of the 9,200 housing units purchased in January 2019, according to a survey by the Ministry of Finance chief economist.
Total housing purchases in January continued the rising trend that began in October 2018. Purchases were far greater than the monthly averages in 2017 and 2018, although falling 14% short of the number of purchases in December 2018.
Young couples purchased 4,900 housing units in January 2019, one quarter of which (1,200) were in the framework of the Buyer Fixed Price Plan. This number was 10% less than in December 2018, in which housing purchases by young couples peaked, but 8% more than in January 2018.
Investors were a surprise in January 2019, buying 1,100 housing units, 12% of total sales, including 80 foreign investors, after being almost totally absent from the Israeli housing market. 44% of the units purchased by foreign residents were in Jerusalem, the same proportion as in 2018 as a whole. January purchases by foreign residents in Jerusalem were still only 3% of total purchases, but housing purchases for investment purposes accounted for 38% of total housing purchases in Jerusalem in January 2019.
Foreign residents accounted for 12% of all housing purchases in the Tel Aviv region in January 2019.
Housing purchases by foreign residents in Jerusalem in November-December 2018 were 33% higher than in the corresponding period in 2017, while purchases by foreign residents in Tel Aviv fell in November-December 2018.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 12, 2019
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