Apartment purchases drop 6.8% in October

Apartment purchases drop

Economic indicators point to a continued recovery in the third quarter of the year, while activity in the real-estate market slowed down in October, the Finance Ministry reported Tuesday. "We are seeing a downward trend in the real-estate market as the number of apartment purchases continued to fall during October, but at a slower pace than the sharp drop in September," the Finance Ministry said in its monthly economic survey. "An analysis of home buyers' income in 2009 shows that the sharp increase in the number of transactions from the end of the second quarter through September was mostly due to a rise in apartment purchases by low-income earners, possibly due to concerns that apartment prices would continue to leap." The number of apartment purchases fell 6.8 percent in October compared with September, while housing prices remained steady, the report said. There was a sharp drop of 10% in the purchase of apartments for investment, especially in the Beersheba area. "National account figures for the third quarter point to a gradual continuation in the recovery of the economy," the report said. "Growth in the economy was led by a rise in exports of goods and a strong increase in private consumption and investment. For the first time this year, gross domestic product per capita rose, but at a very moderate rate. In addition, the sales index of consumer chains increased in October. Meanwhile, the trade and services revenue index fell in September." The economy expanded at a 2.2% annualized rate in seasonally adjusted terms in the July-September period, after growing 1% in the second quarter and contracting 3.2% in the first quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported last week. Exports of goods grew 6.9% in dollar terms in October compared with September, led by hi-tech products, the Finance Ministry report said. Imports of goods, especially raw materials, dropped 4%, while trade and services proceeds fell 0.4%. The Consumer Confidence Index fell 0.5% in October, and newly registered unemployment claims rose 1.3%. The total volume of tax receipts dropped as collection of indirect taxes fell 4.3%, while receipts of direct taxes increased 0.8%, the report said.