Home sales drop 24 percent in April

During April, 6,899 homes were bought, down 24% from March, 8.4% more than April 2009 and down 6% compared with April 2008.

By SHARON WROBEL
June 14, 2010 09:26
1 minute read.
Arched windows highlight the home's provenance.

Emek refayim house real estate 311. (photo credit: Uriel Messa)

 
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The number of home purchases dropped 24 percent in April compared with March, the Finance Ministry reported Sunday.

“Preliminary figures for May point to an additional decline in the purchase of new homes compared with April,” the report said. “In May, the number of home deals continued to fall, led by a sharp drop of 30 percent in the number of new apartment sales compared with the same period last year. Second-hand home purchases in May rose significantly compared with April and at a moderate rate compared with May last year.”

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During April, 6,899 homes were bought, down 24% from March, 8.4% more than April 2009 and down 6% compared with April 2008.

“There was a sharp decline in new home sales over the past two months [April to May] and an increase in second- hand home purchases [compared with the same period last year], which is due partly to the high prices of new homes, leading to a partial shift in demand for cheaper apartments or second-hand apartments,” the report said.


“The change was caused by a drop in sales of apartments for investment purposes.”

Property prices have risen 22% over the past year and 30% over the past two years, while demand for real estate, especially for investment purposes, has increased.

The decline in home purchases follows last month’s announcement by the Bank of Israel of directives to cool down the real-estate market.



The new regulations for mortgages make loans more expensive for home buyers seeking a mortgage of more than 60% of the value of an apartment.

Prices for new homes during April fell 0.8% compared with March. The drop in prices was widespread, with the notable exception of Netanya.

Since the beginning of the year, real-estate prices for new homes have declined 1.4%.

However, they were still 16% higher in April than in April 2009.

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