Nine-Year Low in Apartment Sales

Sales drop by 32% as potential buyers hope for change. In central Israel, sales drop by over 60%.

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Maayana Miskin,

Israel news photo: Flash 90

The number of apartment sales per month continues to drop, and hit a nine-year low in August, according to Finance Ministry data released Sunday. In total, fewer than 6,000 apartments were sold nationwide in August.

Analysts have suggested that many potential buyers prefer to wait in hopes that the government will come through with promised new building projects that will lower prices.

Demand for housing in August 2011 was down by 32.5% compared to August 2010, and by 25% compared to July. The drop in sales was sharpest in Tel Aviv and the central district, which saw a 55% and 68% decrease in purchases respectively.

Both would-be first-time home owners and investors were less likely to buy, the ministry found. Sales of apartments for investment purposes were down by 22% compared to July, and by 40% compared to August of last year.

Only one region, the Tiberias area, was immune to the drop in sales. Housing in the Tiberias region remains much cheaper than that available in central Israel or the Jerusalem area.