Israeli’s spend nearly 50% of income on housing

The tent protests of summer which were tolerated for months by government and police are now coming to a close.  The largest countrywide demonstration in Israeli history took place over last weekend with over 400,000 coming out to protest the high cost of living; specifically housing.

After watching the rise of rental prices in early spring to their subsequent fall in August, it has become plain to me that Israeli’s are simply saying “we will not pay”.  I have seen properties who would not budge on their rental price sit on the market for months, while owners who are serious about renting have had to lower their prices to secure a tenant. The adage of “just because they are asking doesn’t mean they are getting” has proved true as the same properties continue to recycle on popular web advert sites. To the converse, those who are priced attractively, particularly in Tel Aviv,  have lines of people willing to take their properties.

In the meantime Israeli buyers are standing on the sidelines hoping all the flux in world economies that are most closely related to here, such as Europe and North America, will help to lower purchase prices as well.

According to Haaretz not just the poor but all classes of economic society here are spending the same on housing.  As Israeli’s are standing on the side hoping for prices to decline, the core problems of housing shortage remain as the country’s young population continues to grow well above the replacement rate for a country. This scenario will probably continue to keep prices relatively high even if there are slight market fluctuations.

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