The Bank of Israel today published the figures for mortgages in August, showing that mortgages taken in August totaled NIS 5.5 billion, slightly less than the NS 5.58 billion total for July 2016 and down sharply in comparison with the NIS 6.23 billion total for August 2015.
NIS 2.93 billion of the mortgages taken in August were at variable interest rates, and NIS 2.57 billion were at fixed interest rates.
The housing market continues to attract the politicians' attention, with the Ministry of Finance trying to eliminate the government appraiser's housing prices index, leaving the Central Bureau of Statistics as the sole source of data.
Meanwhile Knesset House Committee chairman MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) is trying to split off a number of sections from the Economic Arrangements bill, among them the tax on a third housing unit, one of Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon's main programs for lowering housing prices. Kisch asserts that this section and others require a regular legislative process, and should not be passed as part of the Economic Arrangements bill.
In effect, Kisch is opening up another front against Kahlon, who is strongly promoting exactly those sections that Kisch is trying to remove from the Economic Arrangements Bill. For example, Kahlon has been determined for several weeks to tax owners of three or more housing units starting in the beginning of 2017 up to NIS 18,000 for each housing unit (starting with the third). The tax rate will be 1% of the value of the third housing unit according to the government appraiser's price list and tables.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 22, 2016
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016
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