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12.01.2013

ISRAELI HOME PRICES CONTINUED TO RISE IN 2012

Israeli home prices continued their steady rise that started in 2007, with a further 4% nominal rise in 2012, leading to questions being asked about the sustainability of the continued rises.

Since 2007  Israeli residential real estate has increased in value by nearly 30% in real terms. This period followed a lengthy period of relative stagnation in the real terms value of property between 1990 and 2007. This was more pronounced in the Tel Aviv real estate market.

While in the past 40 years real terms house prices have nearly exactly doubled in Israel, the fact that such a large proportion of the price inflation has occurred in just five years, and at a steeper rate than in the past, has many pundits predicting a leveling off of prices in the coming years.

The Bank of Israel under the leadership of Stanley Fischer has been attempting to control the market by limiting the mortgage options of purchasers, restraining most buyers to 60 or 70% leverage. While first time buyers are entitled to slightly more, foreign investors looking to buy property as an investment or as vacation homes in Israel are limited to taking 50% of the value of the property as a mortgage. What kind of cooling effect these new regulations - implemented in October 2012 will have on the market remain to be seen.

By Saul Sadka

 

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