Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Housing Stage

Yair Assaf-Shapira

In 2011 construction was completed on 1,360 housing units in Jerusalem, A construction completion always marks the end of a long, multi-stage process that includes construction entrepreneuring, developing a detailed plan and securing its authorization, acquiring a permit and initiating the construction, and the construction process itself. Given the length of time between the start of a construction enterprise and its completion, all stages of the process should be examined; a change in policy today might have a long-term effect on the number of housing units.

During the same year construction was initiated on 2,160 housing units, exceeding the number of housing units that were completed. This figure could conceivably indicate that the number of housing units to be completed in the future is expected to increase, but a review of past trends in fact reveals that during every year since 2005 the number of housing units initiated has exceeded the number completed (except in 2008). In all, since 2005 construction of 14,950 housing units was initiated in Jerusalem, but the number of units completed, including units initiated before 2005, was only 12,960. The difference (1,990 housing units) results from suspension or extension of some construction projects. This gap is not unique to Jerusalem. In Israel as a whole it stood at 24,430 housing units since 2005. In all Administrative districts, excluding the District of Judea and Samaria, the number of housing units initiated was larger than the number of units completed.

Before construction begins there is the planning stage, which can entail long periods of waiting for approval of the plan. In 2011 in Jerusalem plans were approved for 4, 765 housing units. Presumably not all of these planned units will be actualized, and the percentage implemented will be significantly lower than that of units whose construction is underway.

By comparison on a national level, Jerusalem’s portion of all completed housing units in Israel is 4%, and the city’s portion of housing units initiated in Israel is 5%, yet the housing units approved in Jerusalem in 2011 represent 16% of the total number of approved units for Israel. 

Data sources: Construction Data – Central Bureau of Statistics, Planning Yearbook – Planning Authority, Ministry of Interior Affairs 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How Do Jerusalemites Spend Their Money?

Aviel Yelinek 

The Central Bureau of Statistics recently published new data regarding the breakdown of monthly expenditures of households in Israel’s cities. The breakdown of monthly expenditures is one of the indices used in assessing the socio-economic standing of cities’ residents.

In 2011 the average expenditure for household consumption in Jerusalem stood at NIS 13,100 per month, which was lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (15,400) and Rishon LeZion (14,900) but higher than the figure for Haifa (12,100) and Ashdod (12,500). But these figures do not give the full picture. An average Jerusalem household comprises 3.9 persons, which is the highest number among the major cities. A more accurate picture therefore requires us to examine the total average expenditure per person. Accordingly, the statistics put Jerusalem in the last place among the major cities – the average expenditure per person in Jerusalem stood at NIS 3,300, which was lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (NIS 6,800), Haifa (NIS 5,100), Rishon LeZion (NIS 4,800), and Ashdod (NIS 3,700).

The greatest expenditure of Jerusalem’s households, like that of the households in most of Israel’s major cities, is housing. Jerusalem’s residents expended some NIS 3,650 monthly on housing, and this figure constituted 28% of their total monthly expenditures. Other major expenditures included food (16%), transportation and communication (16%), education, culture, and entertainment (13%), and maintenance of the home and household (10%). Haifa residents were the exception in this context, as they expended more on transportation and communication (23%) than on housing (22%).

The amount of expenditures on food is relatively consistent across the major cities, but there are differences in taste. For example, in 2010 the average Jerusalem household expended about NIS 340 per month on bread, grains, and bread products, as compared to NIS 230 in Tel Aviv and NIS 240 in Haifa. The average Jerusalem household expended about NIS 400 per month on meat and poultry, as compared to only NIS 225 in Tel Aviv and Haifa. In contrast, the average monthly expenditure of Jerusalem households for meals outside the home stood at NIS 240, significantly lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (NIS 690) and Haifa (NIS 330). 

Source: Analysis of data from the Central Bureau of Statistics