Thursday, October 10, 2013

Apartment prices in Israel

Yair Assaf-Shapira

The average price of a four room apartment in Israel is NIS 1.18 Million for a 2nd hand apartment, and NIS 1.26 M for a new one. Data refer to the second quartile of 2013 (April to June), and were compared with the second quartile of 2012. While prices of used four room apartments showed a small descent (-0.6%) over the year, prices of new apartments rose by 1.9%.

The prices represent a combination of supply and demand, which differ from city to city, and between areas in the country. In Jerusalem the prices of used and new apartments are higher (NIS 1.69 M and NIS 1.93 M respectively), and the price trends are opposite than the national ones. The used apartments' price in Jerusalem rose slightly (by 0.4%) compared to the second quartile of 2012, while the new apartments lost 3.6% of their price. Interesting to note that in Tel Aviv the prices of used four room apartments lost 12%, while in the ultra orthodox cities of Modiin Illit and Betar Illit near Jerusalem, they rose by 10%-11%.

Looking at the three room apartments (only used apartments on this market), one can observe that in most localities their prices are on the rise. In Jerusalem they rose by 3.1% during the year (compared to 0.4% in the four room apartments). Dramatic rises were recorded in Bet Shemesh (13%) and Modiin Illit (12%), as well as in various other localities. On average the prices of these apartments rose by 2.6% (compared to -0.6% in the four room market). While no three room apartments are being constructed (mainly because the profit for the entrepreneur is lower on them), it looks like the demand for them is large.

Data source: ministry of construction and housing, department of information and economic analysis

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Summer Heat

Michal Korach

August – Summer camps have just ended, outdoor temperatures are sweltering, leisure and recreation sites are overflowing, and simultaneously Ben-Gurion Airport is filled with throngs of departing passengers. At times it seems that everyone is flying abroad.

It is interesting, therefore, to examine where Israelis chose to spend their summer vacation last year. 

The data indicate that about 562,000 Israelis travelled abroad in August 2012. Yet evidently a greater number of Israelis chose to spend August in Israel: 732,600 Israeli guests registered in hotels within Israel (in cities, kibbutzim, and moshavim; excluding rural hospitality, youth hostels, and field schools). 

Where did they choose to spend their vacation time? Eilat, the city of eternal sunshine, is the preferred destination of Israelis the year round, and especially in August. A total of 236,100 guests stayed at hotels during August, constituting 32% of all hotel guests in Israel for this month. Two additional destinations of choice for Israelis were the Dead Sea (79,300 – 11%) and Tiberias (73,000 – 10%). Apparently, the high temperatures characteristic of these places in general and during August in particular did not deter the multitudes of visitors who swarmed to these sites. It should be noted that Jerusalem also draws many Israelis and that some 69,000 Israeli guests stayed at the city’s hotels (9%).

Israel’s hotels also hosted tourists from abroad during August, but their numbers were significantly lower than the figures for Israelis – 232,000 overseas guests versus 732,600 Israeli guests. The preferences of tourists differ from those of Israelis, though, with Jerusalem being their first choice. A total of 65,200 overseas guests stayed at Jerusalem’s hotels during August, constituting 30% of the total number of overseas guests in Israel’s hotels. The second-most popular destination was Tel Aviv – 57,600 visitors from abroad (26%), and the third was Tiberias – 16,700 visitors from abroad (7%).

Source: Quarterly Statistical Report on Tourism and Hospitality Services, Central Bureau of Statistics

Computer Use in Jerusalem

Yair Assaf-Shapira

In accordance with world trends, computer use in Israel rises every year. In 2011, for example, 72% of the population aged 20 and over in Israel reported using a computer, compared to 58% who reported using one only five years before, in 2006. A similar positive trend was recorded in Jerusalem, although the city lags behind Israel with a substantial gap. Computer use in Jerusalem rose from 51% in 2006, to only 59% in 2011.

Within the Jewish population in Israel, one of the factors that is connected to computer use, is the nature of the religious identity. Computer use rate among the Jewish population in Israel stood at 77% in 2011, but it was lower among ultra-orthodox (58%) and among the religious or traditional-religious (70%), and higher among the secular or non-religious traditional (82%).

In Jerusalem, the three different groups do not show the same trend compared to the country. Use rate among the Jewish population in Jerusalem was lower than in Israel, and stood at 72% in 2011. The datum for the ultra-orthodox use of computer for the same year (63%), though exceptionally high compared to previous years (50% and 46% in 2010 and 2009 respectively), was still the lowest of the three groups, but it was higher than the figure for the ultra-orthodox in Israel (as stated, 58%). The same trend applies also to the religious or traditional-religious in Jerusalem, a higher percentage of whom (74%) reported using the computer compared to Israel. Among the secular or non-religious traditional in Jerusalem the use rate (78%) was the highest of the three groups, but lower than the figure for Israel.

Over recent years, it looks like all religious groups' computer use is growing, but while two of them show similar figures in Jerusalem and in Israel, the third keeps a steady advantage of Jerusalemites over the rest of the country. These are the religious or traditional-religious in Jerusalem, having a computer use rate higher than that of their likes in Israel by 8%-12% over the last five years (see diagram in which bi-annual averages are used to decrease inaccuracies).

Data Source: the social survey by the central bureau of statistics for appropriate years.