Housing demand in the Jewish sector is expected to slow down gradually in the
next decade as the number of youths joining the adult population declines, the
Bank of Israel said in a report Wednesday.
The annual increase in
dwellings needed to meet the Jewish population’s demographic needs dropped from
48,000 in the year 2000 to 40,000 in 2010, according to the central bank. It
estimated that this number would drop to 35,000- 36,000 by the year
Interest in this data has grown in recent years, in correlation
with an increase in housing prices, the report said. It pointed out that a
relative shortage in housing supply is seen as one factor – along with low
interest rates – for this increase.
The bank made its forecast by
distinguishing between demographic processes that create a need for homes, such
as young people joining the adult population and immigration, and those that
cause dwellings to be vacated, such as mortality and emigration. The difference
between the two is the net annual need for more homes. The bank creates
estimates relating to the Jewish sector only, due to data limitations on
construction in the Arab sector.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Israel’s currency
department released its annual report Wednesday, announcing that the amount of
currency in circulation rose about 9 percent to NIS 49 billion in
The increase was caused by population growth and by expansion of
economic activity. This matched last year’s 9% increase but fell short of the
increases in 2008 and 2009, when the amount of currency grew by 19% and 21%
Banknotes constituted 97%, or NIS 47.4b., of the total
value of money in circulation, and coins accounted for 3%, or NIS 1.6b. The
proportion of NIS 200 banknotes increased again last year, by 18%, due to their
broader distribution in automated teller machines. The average ATM withdrawal
was NIS 616 in 2011, a 5% increase from the previous year.
coins, used mainly for change on public transport, accounted for 59% of the
coins in circulation. One-shekel coins, used mainly in parking meters and
vending machines, accounted for 24%.
Fifty-agorot coins, which went out
of fashion when the Egged and Dan bus companies changed their one-trip fares to
NIS 6.40 this year, accounted for 8%. The two-shekel coin, which came into
circulation in 2007, accounted for 3%. The five shekel and 10-shekel coins
accounted for the remaining 6%.