The housing cabinet, headed by Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon, today convened for its second session, and approved the proposals on its agenda. After deciding in its first meeting on structural change in the real estate sector and the transfer of authority to the Ministry of Finance, the current cabinet dealt with a number of proposals on the first actions planned by the Minister of Finance.
Among other things, it was decided that all state land tenders would utilize the buyer fixed price method (mehir lamishtaken). It was also decided to allow construction on open spaces in cities, to convert office buildings to residences, to promote a housing solution for minorities, and to streamline industrialization of construction and promote urban renewal.
The cabinet also heard the state's marketing targets for land zoned for residential construction and a target for approved transactions. According to the figures presented, the 2015 marketing target is 45,000 housing units, of which 25,000 are in high-demand areas and 2,000 in minority communities. The target for approved transactions given to the Israel Land Authority (ILA) is 30,000 housing units, 20,000 of which are to be in high-demand areas.
The targets for approved transactions are similar to what the ILA achieved in 2014 (29,200 housing units) and 2013 (30,000 housing units). In the discussion about these targets, Minister of Agriculture and former Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel argued that the targets were too low, but the decision on the targets passed, despite his opposition.
During the cabinet meeting, the minister heard a review of the approved buyer fixed price plan by Minister of Finance deputy budget director with special responsibility for real estate Eran Nitzan. The buyer fixed price proposal is that all state tenders until 2017 be marketed as part of this plan. Those entitled to buy a cheap apartment under the plan are couples without housing and single people over age 35.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 22, 2015
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