New-home sales decline 35%

Housing demand totaled 2,195 apartments in September, 18% less than in August and 30% less than in September last year.

By EINAT PAZ-FRANKEL/GLOBES
November 9, 2011 07:21
1 minute read.
Tel Aviv apartment

Tel Aviv apartment 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

New-home sales declined to 1,052 in September, down 10 percent from August and 35% compared with September 2010, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Tuesday.

The High Holy Days fell entirely in September last year but mostly in October this year.

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Housing demand totaled 2,195 apartments in September, 18% less than in August and 30% less than in September last year.

New-home sales in September rose 29% to 148 apartments in the Haifa area, 9% in the central region and 18% in the North. They fell 43% to 129 apartments in the Tel Aviv area and 50% to 78 apartments in Jerusalem.

The housing inventory rose to 18,474 apartments in September, enough for 13 months at the current rate of sales, from 18,075 apartments in August. The September inventory was 23% higher than a year earlier. Forty percent of the housing inventory is in the central region, 20% in the South and 14% is in the Tel Aviv area.

The housing inventory in September was 87% greater than a year earlier. It rose 34% in the Haifa area and was down 2% in the Tel Aviv area.

“The housing inventory continues to rise rapidly and should effect the continued slowing in demand and fall in home prices,” Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias said. “Buyers and builders alike have realized that the supply of apartments and land for residences is greater, and prices are more reasonable.”



But Association of Contractors and Builders in Israel president Nissim Bublil said: “The need for homes exists. The drop is sales is due to buyers’ expectations of a change in the market. But just as the Bank of Israel reported [Monday], the drop in sales has not yet had an effect on home prices.”

“Housing starts began to fall in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, due to shortage of credit and skilled workers,” he added.

“When demand recovers, as we saw after the crisis in early 2009, buyers will again see falling inventory, which will result in rising prices.”


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