Housing Prices Up 5% for 2013, Led Upward by Israel's North

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Housing prices in several outlying cities, particularly in the north of the country, began catching up those in other regions during the first nine months of this year.

Carmiel registered the sharpest gain, with prices jumping 17% to an average NIS 1.01 million for a 4-room apartment. It was followed by Acre, with an 11% increase for an average unit of the same size to NIS 791,000, and Be'er Sheva, where prices rose 8% since the beginning of the year to an average NIS 832,000 – according to a joint survey performed by TheMarker and the Yad2 Internet board for classified ads.

Prices in most cities were up by as much as 5% in the first three quarters, a significant rise but moderate compared to the last three quarters of 2012.

Bat Yam led the Tel Aviv metro area, with prices climbing 7.7% since last December, lifting the cost of an average 4-room apartment to NIS 1.56 million. In Tel Aviv itself and Holon, prices gained 5% to reach NIS 2.7 million and NIS 1.67 respectively for a 4-room home. In other nearby cities, prices rose by 2% to 3% – except for Ramat Gan, where prices actually dipped by 1%, and Herzliya, where prices remained unchanged this year after soaring 9% in the last quarter of 2012. The cost of an average 4-room apartment in both cities at the end of September was NIS 2.1 million.

Hod Hasharon stood out in the outer ring of suburbs, with a 5% gain in the first nine months of 2013 to reach NIS 1.65 million for an average 4-room home. Prices in Modi'in-Maccabim-Reut also rose 5% during the same period, reaching NIS 1.52 million on average for the same sized home.

Ramle, where prices climbed 6%, outshone neighboring Lod, which registered a 2% price hike since the beginning of the year. Prices of 4-room homes in these cities reached NIS 1.12 million and NIS 937,000 respectively. In Kfar Sava, housing prices registered a robust 6% gain during the first nine months of the year, reaching NIS 1.6 million for a 4-room apartment.

In Ashdod, Netanya, and Hadera, where prices have risen substantially in recent years, the trend slowed down considerably this year. Prices in Ashdod gained 2%, to an average of NIS 1.15 million for a 4-room home. In Netanya, prices rose 3% during the first nine months, to an average of NIS 1.37 million for a similar home, while in Hadera they edged up 1% to an average NIS 981,000.

The Haifa area continued showing relatively high price increases. In the city itself and neighboring Kiryat Ata, prices rose 7% in the first three quarters to reach an average NIS 1.09 million and NIS 808,000 respectively for a 4-room apartment.

Carmiel is a predominantly Jewish city in an area with a large Arab population. Credit: Yaron Kaminsky

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