Yesterday May 1st, 2017, we would have liked to ponder on Israel’s current housing situation. The idea was spurred by Al Jazeera that on April 28th had on their show animated by one of their sharpest Mehdi Hassan looking at the very topic but in a different way asked Israeli diplomat Dani Dayan “ Have settlements killed the two-state solution? “
This latter did not waste time defending settlement building and / or housing units development as undertaken and / or allowed by the Israeli government despite all the noise that this is engendering. This made one wonder if all of the above was the result of what is presently on-going in not far from the West Bank territories where most of those above developments usually take place, but as it were in Israel proper. According to a RealtyToday citing a recent Bloomberg report on the matter and like for all countries developed and developing alike, lack of sufficient and / or suitable housing as elaborated on in this article sounded as if coming as a surprise of some sort to all.
Here it is with thanks to the authors and publishers :
Israel is facing a housing crisis with home prices continuing in the upward trend and home inventory lacking 100,000 apartments.
As reported by Bloomberg, the housing market could determine how the Israeli politicians would fare in the upcoming election in the country. The publication noted that while the country is home to top scientists and engineers, the housing problem can seem to be solved.
House prices, which have more than doubled in less than a decade, resulted in a mass protest back in 2011. Last year, Israel’s home prices rose 7.8 percent, largely driven by the government’s low benchmark rate. The average home price in the country stands at $360,000.
There is a need to increase the country’s housing supply, but building data doesn’t seem good. Last year, housing starts rose 3.9 percent, but completion rate dropped 2.8 percent.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has some measures to introduce but analysts are skeptical they would generated results in the near future. While waiting for the long-term policies to bring results, Kahlon introduced some short-term measures such as the increase in taxes for investors. These, however, fail to address the core issues, said Michael Sarel, a former Finance Ministry chief economist.
“Raising taxes on investors simply reduces the number of rental apartments, which hurts the middle and lower classes as well,” he told Bloomberg.
The government recently issued a call for bids from foreign construction companies. According to Globes, six firms will be chosen and each will be allowed to bring up to 1,000 workers to Israel. The call aims to boost construction of residential properties in the country and consequently close the gap between supply and demand. The shortage in housing supply has been driving housing prices in recent years.