Thursday, March 21, 2013

The High Cost of Housing

Eitan Bluer 

One of the most significant expenditures per household in Israel’s major cities is the expense of housing. The average Jerusalem household spent about NIS 3,650 monthly on housing in 2011; this amount constituted about 28% of all household expenses. The percentage of expenditures that went towards housing in Jerusalem was higher than the average for Israel (where 25% of total household expenditures was spent on housing) and Haifa (22%), but lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (31%). In recent years there has been a steady increase in household expenditures for housing. In the last five years, housing costs for Jerusalem households increased by 44%, from an average cost of NIS 2,537 per month in 2006 to NIS 3,648 per month in 2011. The rate of increase in Jerusalem (44%) was lower than the figure for Israel – where housing expenditures rose by 47% during the same period – and higher than the figure for Tel Aviv (41%) and Haifa (36%). 

The supply of apartments, as well as their size and number of rooms, also affects the expense of housing for renters. In 2011 the average monthly expense for renting an apartment in Jerusalem was NIS 2,613 for a 2.9-room apartment. That is, the average cost per room was NIS 901 per month. This price is higher than the average for Israel (NIS 837 per room), Haifa (NIS 626), and Be’er Sheva (NIS 380) but lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (NIS 1,420), Ramat Gan (NIS 1,120), and Rishon LeZion (NIS 985). 

An examination of the average cost per room as valued for homeowners’ apartments reveals the discrepancy in pricing between cities in the center of the country and in the periphery. The average value of an apartment in Jerusalem for the homeowner in 2011 was NIS 1,727,000 for an apartment with an average of 3.9 rooms (NIS 442,820 per room). The cost per average room in Jerusalem was higher than the figure for Israel (NIS 345,365 per room), Haifa (NIS 293,846), Be’er Sheva (NIS 205,609), and Rishon LeZion (NIS 379, 047), yet lower than the figure for Ramat Gan (NIS 532,571) and Tel Aviv (NIS 647,297). 



Source: Press Release for 2011 Survey of Expenses, Central Bureau of Statistics 



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