Construction Activity in Israel Reaches Highest Level Since 1997

Construction starts declined sharply in the central region and Jerusalem, dropping by 27.3% and 24.1%, respectively

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The number of new homes under construction reached 97,700 at the end of September, its highest level since 1997, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Wednesday.

The pace of building should come as a relief to a government fighting to rein in rising home prices, even though the number of housing starts in the first nine months of the year was up only 3.6% – to 35,850 units – from the same period in 2014, the bureau said.

Construction starts declined sharply in the central region and Jerusalem, dropping by 27.3% and 24.1%, respectively. They were also down 5% in West Bank settlements. But in Tel Aviv they were up 27% on the year and 58.5% in the Negev.