Kahlon: We Don’t Want Housing Prices to Decline Significantly

Finance minister says he wants apartments to be more affordable, but not to cause a dramatic decline in prices

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon briefing reporters at the Knesset on Monday.
Lior Mizrahi

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said in a radio interview that while he wants apartments to be more affordable, he does not want to cause a dramatic decline in prices.

“We’re flooding the market with land and offers, to provide a solution for young couples who had no chance of attaining an apartment. And they’ll have an apartment! They’ll get a check for 200,000 - 300,000 shekels from the government,” said Kahlon, in an interview on Thursday with Army Radio.

Asked whether it’s true that the politicians don’t want housing prices to decline by 30-50 percent, because then the Israeli economy will collapse, Kahlon responded: “It’s true. We don’t want to create crises in any area. We want a normal economy. We want Israeli citizens to go to the supermarket and buy a shopping cart [filled with goods] for a reasonable price, take out insurance at a reasonable price and buy an apartment at a reasonable price. Nothing will be the same as it was 10 years ago. What if someone buys an apartment for a million dollars, and then there’s an economic crisis, God forbid? The moment we put an end to speculation in land, we put an end to making money at the expense of our sons and daughters.”

Kahlon did not reject the possibility that the next state budget will be biannual: “It’s not good economically, but I’m committed to it by coalition agreements. I’ll fight over this issue and try to prevail.” According to Kahlon, “There’s no country in the world that has a biannual budget — we’re a light unto the nations, but not to that extent.”

Kahlon was asked whether Netanyahu is the most suitable person to be Israel’s prime minister, and replied: “He’s a prime minister who functions and was elected.”