A laborer works on an apartment building under construction in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
For the second consecutive year, Jerusalem leads the county’s major metropolitan areas in housing starts, despite a construction recession affecting much of the nation, according to a Central Bureau of Statistics report released Sunday.
Construction on 3,006 new housing units broke ground in the capital from January to September, followed by 1,633 in Rosh Ha’ayin; 1,559 in Tel Aviv; 1,189 in Petah Tikva; and 1,063 in Ramat Gan. Haifa came in 13th with 496 new apartments.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat lauded the announcement as a leading indicator of the city’s anemic economy’s turnaround.
“Jerusalem’s construction boom is one of the key tasks we set for the development of the city,” the mayor said in a statement. “Promoting the construction of thousands of housing units in the city is an important development and integrates economic and business development.”
“In the past two years, Jerusalem is gaining building momentum, and cranes have become an integral part of the urban landscape,” he continued.
Moreover, Barkat, who has launched an ambitious plan to create a world-class business hub in the capital, said the housing gains will aid in creating “tens of thousands of jobs.”
The mayor, who hopes to create over a hundred thousand new jobs in the city by investing hundreds of millions of shekels into building a sprawling business center near the city’s western entrance, said he also intends to provide affordable apartments to attract younger families to the city.