Housing prices in Israel nearly doubled in past 8 years

GMT 12:20 2015 Monday ,04 May

Arab Today, arab today Housing prices in Israel nearly doubled in past 8 years

Housing in Israel
Jerusalem - XINHUA

Official Bank of Israel figures indicate that the housing prices nearly doubled in the country since 2007, the Israeli economic Globes daily reported Sunday.

Bank of Israel (BoI) Governor Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg presented the figures during a convention helt at the Tel Hai College in northern Israel, the economic daily reported.

Among others, she showed that housing prices rose by 97.3 percent in the recent eight years, where renting costs rose by 46 percent during that period.

The rate of increment in the prices has hit an average of 9.6 percent annually; in comparison to other western countries, Israeli housing prices rose more quickly in recent years than in the United States, Japan and Ireland, but slower than in Canada, Sweden and the U.K. according to Baudot-Trajtenberg, the economic daily reported.

Israel's State Comptroller Yoseph Shapira issued a harsh report in February regarding the government's actions amid the housing crisis in Israel, charging recent governments have failed to spot the looming crisis and did little to curb the skyrocketing prices.

The 294-page study referring to the period between 2009 and 2013 found housing prices jumped at that time by 55 percent. Whilst in January 2008 Israelis needed 103 monthly salaries to purchase an apartment, by the end of 2013 that figure stood at 137 salaries. At the same time, the average monthly rent rose by 30 percent, whereas the average salary decreased by 1.1 percent.

"The burden of housing expenditure may have far-reaching implications for the life and well-being of the individual, and his economic robustness," Shapira wrote in the report.

In 2011, hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest the soaring housing prices and high costs of living. In response to the wave of protests, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set up a committee, yet the government failed to implement its recommendations.

The housing crisis was on the agenda on the last March 17 elections, with center politician Moshe Kahlon, who is set to take over the position of the Finance Minister once a new government is finalized, promised to make far-reaching reforms in the housing market in order to fight the high costs of living.

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