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New Israeli record: 13,800 apartments sold in June

CM 05/09/2021

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Some 13,800 apartments were sold in June, the highest level in six years, the Finance Ministry said Sunday. That continues a trend that has been rising since the beginning of the year.
The total was 26 percent higher than the number of apartments sold in June 2020.
During the second quarter, a total of 37,000 apartments were sold, beating the previous record of 36,000 set in the second quarter of 2015 ahead of a purchase tax increase then.

In June, 2,900 of the apartments were bought by investors, 126% higher than a year earlier. That continues a trend that has been growing since the second quarter of 2020 when then-Finance Minister Israel Katz cut the purchase tax on investment properties from 8% to 5%. However, the Finance Ministry noted, investors also sold 2,900 apartments during the month, so the total supply of housing was essentially unaffected by investor purchases.
The Finance Ministry is said to be considering raising the purchase tax for investors again as part of its plan to rein in rising property values.
Some 9,100 of the sales in the month were second-hand apartments, and 5,900 were purchased by young couples, the Finance Ministry said.
Despite the high price of homes in Israel, demand continues to soar. Real estate prices have already risen an average of nearly 8% in the past year, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

MEN PRAY outside the Ramot Polin Apartments in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood last month. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)MEN PRAY outside the Ramot Polin Apartments in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood last month. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

A survey released last week by money.co.uk found that Israeli home prices rose 345.7 percent over the last decade, the highest rate of increase in the world. That was during a period when wages increased by 17.5% and inflation rose by an average of only 0.92% per year.
Prices are rising mainly because of the lack of housing available in the country, among other factors. The government has made lowering housing costs and increasing affordable housing options among its key goals for the coalition.
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said last week that a comprehensive plan for increasing the supply of apartments will be released after the September holiday season, although most believe that housing prices will continue to rise even after such a plan could be launched. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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