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Rise in home prices starts to slow down


By Adi Ben-Israel

GLOBES

Home prices are rising at a slower rate, according to data released Sunday by the Government Assessor. Home prices rose just 0.3 percent in the third quarter in comparison with the second quarter.

In six cities there were even falls in prices, including in Tel Aviv, where the price of a four-room apartment fell 2% to NIS 2.7 million. 

The government Assessor’s survey examine prices on four-room apartments only, since these are the properties in highest demand in the Israeli housing market. “In the surveyed period, the trend of moderate price rises that has characterized the past year slowed to the point of halting altogether,” the Government Assessor’s report said. “At the end of March, the government’s decision on measures to bring down housing prices was published, among them the “target price” program and the plan for 0% VAT.

“In the surveyed period, these programs had not yet been implemented. Moreover, Operation Protective Edge took place in this period. These two factors led to a sharp fall in the number of transactions during the summer months, which was partly corrected during September, when there was rise in the number of transactions in comparison with previous months”

In Haifa, the price of four-room apartment fell 1% in the third quarter to NIS 1,277,000. In comparison with the third quarter of 2013, a rise of 3% was recorded. For the Jerusalem, there was a third-quarter rise of 4% to NIS 1,936,000 and a 12- month rise of 10%. In Modi’in, prices remained stable in the third quarter at 1,627,000 up 5% over the third quarter of 2013. In Herzliya, prices fell 2% in the third quarter to NIS 1,990,000 up 3% compared with 2013. In Netanay, prices rose 2% in the third quarter, up 4% compared with 2013.

According to Ministry of Construction and Housing data, the stock of unsold new housing units rose to 26,920 in the third quarter.

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The plan for 0% VAT on new homes of up to NIS 600,000 for those who don’t perform national service has been slammed.


The maximum price for which a VAT exemption will be granted to those who have not served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) or civilian national service, it is believed, will change from NIS 600,000, as the Ministry of Finance announced yesterday, to a larger amount. This follows the stubborn objections of Minister of Construction and Housing Uri Ariel, and comments by the Minister of Justice, and the Attorney General that if there are insufficient new apartments in this price range then the price will change.

It appears that Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni is also demanding explanations about the compromise. Livni instructed Ministry of Justice Land Appraisals Council chairperson Tal Aldrussi to check whether the data presented to the Ministry of Justice in the discussions of the zero-VAT agreement are correct and accurately reflect the reality in the market.

According to Livni, if the data are not in line with reality, “There will be no escaping changing the relevant clause.” She further said that “Encouraging and rewarding young people who bettered their country by serving in the IDF or national civilian service, is a worthy process, and is our duty. If it becomes clear that the figures presented to the Ministry of Justice, based upon which the Attorney General made his recommendation to the government, are inaccurate, and are not in line with reality, there will be no choice but to adjust the amount at which the benefit is given, without harming the benefits given those who served their country.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on May 12, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014