The number of transactions in the Israeli housing market increased by 9% in the third quarter of 2012 as compared to the previous quarter (about 27,000 apartments), similar to the increase in the second quarter of the year, a report released by the Treasury reveals.
BOI fears housing prices may soar again / Avital Lahav
Members of Bank of Israel's Monetary Committee concerned over sharp rise in apartment purchasing, mortgage lending
As compared to the low recorded in the third quarter of 2011, following the social unrest, the increase in the number of deals reaches up to 36%. The first three quarters of 2012 recorded a total rise of 9%.
The Finance Ministry is thus admitting that the real estate bubble is alive and kicking: Buyers are undeterred and apartments are being sold at a brisk pace despite the high prices. The Shfela region leads the increase in the number of transactions.
The first three quarters of the year recorded a 14% rise in the number of apartments purchased by young couples. In the Tel Aviv region, the number of flats bought by young couple increased by just 4%.
Investors were involved in 23.4% of transactions in the third quarter, a 1% rise compared to the previous quarter. The increase in investors' activity may as a result of the exemption from betterment tax for those selling an additional apartment.