Gilo construction (file)
Gilo construction (file)Israel news photo: Flash 90

When the media and government discuss the issue of building in Jerusalem, they tend to focus on building authorizations, or “building starts,” where contractors get the green light to break ground and start construction. But not every start gets finished, according to a new study by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, a think tank for research & ideas on Jerusalem, environmental and innovational policy in Israel.

The report says that while contractors in Jerusalem received a healthy number of permits to build, the numbers of completed apartments was significantly less than would have been expected.

The study showed that, relative to the rest of Jerusalem, the number of completed apartments in contractor-build projects has fallen consistently over the past several years. In 2008, 13.9% of the completed apartments in Israel were in Jerusalem. In 2010, that number had fallen to 9%, while by the first quarter of 2012, the figure was 7.8% This, despite the fact that the percentage of building starts granted to Jerusalem contractors remained constant during the three years previous to the years studied for building construction – a time frame chosen, the Institute said, in order to give contractors “full credit” for completion of projects, after construction, infrastructure development, and so on, all of which can take several years.

The percentages are borne out by the raw numbers as well, the report said. In 2005, building starts were issued for construction of some 730 apartments in the city, with similar numbers of permits granted in subsequent years. But between 2006-2009, only 400 of those permits were actualized annually, with the number falling to 300 in 2010 and 2011.