Despite the disengagement that saw 10,000 Jews uprooted from their homes in Gaza and northern Samaria, the flow of Jews into Judea and Samaria has accelerated to record levels in recent months.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), new home purchases in Judea and Samaria have surged by 38% from January to June 2005, as compared to the same period last year. The rate was even higher in Jerusalem, an area that was battered by terrorist attacks since the start of the Oslo war in September 2000, with sales of new homes rising by 52.5%.
Israel’s real estate sector was hard hit by the Oslo war which sent the economy into a tailspin. But unlike the general economy, the real estate market has only recently begun to recover from the impact of that war.
Ironically, the areas hardest hit by terrorism from the Oslo War, Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, are reporting the biggest boon in real estate activity. Sales of new homes in Judea and Samaria have reached an all time high in 2005, making up 5.3% of all new home purchases nationwide.
The figures for Judea and Samaria contrast sharply with the rest of the country which witnessed an 8% overall rise in new home purchases in the period from March to July 2005.
Interestingly, locations formerly considered highly desirable by new home buyers, in Tel Aviv and the center of the country, have been beleaguered by falling home sales. Purchases of new homes in Tel Aviv have dropped by 19% so far this year, followed by an 18% decline in the center of the country.
Home purchases in the North, a more peripheral area, also fell by 17%.
Twently-nine percent of all unsold new homes are located in Tel Aviv, with only 5.6% in Jerusalem, despite Jerusalem’s larger population. The supply of unsold homes in Judea and Samaria stands at only 1.5% of the national total, down from 2.5% last year.
The lack of new housing starts has kept the supply of unsold new homes at low levels nationally. The CBS estimates that Israel has only 11,969 unsold apartments, barely a year’s supply. That quantity is eroding rapidly in Jerusalem which has only a seven month supply of new apartments. In relative terms, the Negev has the largest supply, enough to last 16 months.