Global Property Guide’s quarterly survey of house prices ranked Israel number 23
out of 36 nations on Monday, as the data showed that the global downturn
Israeli house prices fell 0.72 percent quarter-on-quarter
and 4.94% year-on-year in inflation-adjusted terms in the first quarter of 2012,
in contrast with a 9.55% annualized increase in the corresponding period the
previous year, the guide reported. It said the local market was hit by worldwide
uncertainty and by cooling measures taken by the government and the Bank of
House prices fell in 24 of the 36 countries for which quarterly
house-price statistics are available, with Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain –
the four nations whose economic troubles have become the focus of world
attention – affected most severely. Irish house prices fell 19.95% year-on-year
in the first quarter, contrasting with a decline of 13.12% during the same
period last year.
In nominal terms, Israel was one of 16 countries to
experience house-price falls in the first quarter, with a quarter-on-quarter
decrease of 0.63% and an annualized decrease of 3.21%. But unlike
real-estate agents, the Global Property Guide tells its readers to take more
notice of its inflation-adjusted figures, which it says gives “a more realistic
picture” of house prices.
Global Property Guide (GPG) is an American
website popular with residential property investors who want to buy houses or
apartments in other countries. It bases its quarterly and yearly surveys on data
collected from central banks and national statistical institutes. Most of
the nations included in its survey are members of the OECD group of developed
GPG ranked Israel in the top third for house-price increases
in each of its previous surveys over the past four years. Israel was ranked No.
3 as recently as 12 months ago, behind only Brazil and Hong Kong and ahead of
Norway and India (whose data are based on New Delhi prices
According to a survey published last week by the Israeli branch of
global accounting firm Deloitte, local real-estate executives expect house
prices to fall up to 20% by the end of this year. Seven percent of respondents
said they expect prices to decrease 10% to 20% this year, 41% expect prices to
decrease up to 10%, 37% expect the market to remain unchanged, and 15% forecast
that prices would increase up to 10%.
Although a majority of executives
said they expect housing prices in Tel Aviv to fall, 43% of them predicted that
rental prices would rise and 44% predicted they would remain
unchanged. In contrast, only 29% of respondents said they expected rental
prices to rise when Deloitte published the previous version of its biannual
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