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Data on sales of new homes shows Netanya is Israel’s fastest-growing city

Meanwhile, evidence is mounting that fewer people are buying homes in today’s market, although building continues apace

An aerial view of a construction site in Netanya during a cloudy sunrise, March 2019. (edb3_16 via iStock by Getty Images)
An aerial view of a construction site in Netanya during a cloudy sunrise, March 2019. (edb3_16 via iStock by Getty Images)

Netanya has become Israel’s leading city in terms of sales of new homes, according to data released Thurday by the Central Bureau for Statistics covering the three months from March to May 2022. Figures showed 664 apartments were sold in the central coastal city during that time, compared to 644 in Ashkelon, 577 in Ramat Gan, 550 in Tel Aviv-Yafo and 506 in Jerusalem.

But the data also showed the number of apartments being sold was slowing, which is consistent with other indicators. Between March and May 2022, a total of approximately 11,770 new apartments were sold, nearly 27 percent of those with a government subsidy (through one of the state discount schemes designed to help people buy a home), according to CBS data.

Only 5.7% of the new apartments were built specifically for rentals, and more than half of those were in Tel Aviv and the central district, where the pressure for affordable long-term rental apartments is greatest.

The CBS detected a slowdown of 3.3% in the rate of sales in May compared to the previous month (April) and a seasonally adjusted decrease in purchases of 5.4% compared to the previous three-month period (December 2021 to February 2022). It said that demand for new homes has decreased steadily since October 2021 at a rate of 5.1% per month, after an increase of 4.1% per month from May 2020.

Construction starts on the other hand are continuing to rise. The government has aimed to add 500,000 new homes by 2025.

Last month, the rate of increase in prices started to slow as a result of fewer buyers on the market, although it remains well ahead of general inflation. What impact the continuing purchase slowdown may have in the longer term on housing prices remains to be seen. Further surveys should become available soon.

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