After an upside trend which lasted four consecutive quarters, the first quarter of 2013 recorded an 11% decline from the previous quarter in the number of real estate deals in Israel, according to a report released by the Finance Ministry this week.
The Treasury figures point to a 7% drop in the number of apartments purchased by young couple, following a 2% drop in the previous quarter. For the first time since the fourth quarter of 2011, a drop was also recorded in the number of apartments purchased by "home improvers."
The first quarter recorded a sharp drop of 21% in the number of apartments purchased by investors, after an upside trend in the last four quarters. Tel Aviv is the only city which registered an increase in investors' transactions.
A total of 25,500 apartments were purchased in the first quarter. The periphery areas recorded a significant decline in the number of transactions compared to the decline recorded in central Israel and the Jerusalem area.
Some 10,100 apartments were purchased by young couples in the first quarter of the year. According to the Treasury, the ongoing decline in young couples' purchases also stems from stricter mortgage conditions applied by the Bank of Israel in October.
The number of apartments purchased by home improvers in the first quarter of 2013 totaled 9,900, a 9% drop compared to the previous quarter. A geographical breakdown points to sharp declines in purchases by home improvers in the Rehovot and Beersheba area. The central and Jerusalem districts remained stable, while a moderate decline in the Sharon region.
Some 19,500 second-hand apartments were purchased in the first quarter, a 12% decline compared to the previous quarter. The number of second-hand apartments bought by investors in the first quarter totaled 4,300, a 21% drop compared to the previous quarter. New apartment purchases fell 6%.