Housing Har 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
New home prices fell in April as the real estate market cooled, the Finance
Ministry said in its monthly survey of the economy, published Monday.
median price of new homes dropped 0.8 percent in April compared to the previous
month, the ministry said, adding that “prices fell in all districts, except for
a 2.4% rise in Haifa, and in Beersheba, where prices were unchanged.”
addition, the ministry found that 30.6% fewer apartments were purchased in April
than in March, thanks to a 35% drop in the purchase of new apartments and a 29%
drop in the purchase of second-hand apartments. The fall was particularly
noticeable in Tel Aviv, where 42% fewer apartments were purchased in April than
The Red Lights survey, which covers all the major angles of the
economy including the real estate market, foreign trade, the labor market and
taxation, was released just ahead of the Central Bureau of Statistics
publication of its own data on home prices on Wednesday.
For many months,
the figures published by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bureau of
Statistics have flatly contradicted each other. Almost every month, the Ministry
of Finance has reported that home prices fell, while the Central Bureau of
Statistics has reported a steady rise in home prices for the past two
The survey also observed that exports dropped in dollar terms,
reversing three consecutive months of increases. The drop was felt mainly in the
areas of technology and incoming tourism, it said, while in the opposite
direction there was a noticeable increase in imports, “so that the trade deficit
widened to a record level.”
It added, “The growth in imports reflects,
among other things, the increase in oil prices and growth in the import of
export products. In addition to these developments, another re-evaluation was
recorded in the value of the shekel in real terms.”
Other warning signs
for the Israeli economy include the continuing stagnation of the US economy, the
deepening of the debt crisis in the euro-zone and the continuing inflationary
pressures in European countries, the ministry said.
“The IMF’s world
growth forecasts, which were published this month, emphasize the division of the
global economy between the developed countries, which are expected to see slow
economic growth, and the developing economies which are expected to grow at a
rapid rate.”Globes contributed to this report.