1,318 new apartments were sold during May 2014, the lowest figure for sales by contractors since October 2011, according to figures published today by the Central Bureau of Statistics. This was 20% fewer than the number of new apartments sold in April 2014 and 45% fewer than the number sold in May 2013. The fall in sales can be attributed to Finance Minister Yair Lapid's 0% VAT plan for first time homebuyers.
The Central Bureau of Statistics reported that new apartment sales dropped 9% in April, in comparison with March, and that total apartment sales had fallen 20% since February. Figures published last week by the Ministry of Finance also showed a steep drop in the volume of transactions in both April and the first quarter of the year.
The Central Bureau of Statistics also publishes figures for the demand for new apartments; these figures include both sales of new apartments by contractors and new apartments that are not for sale (Build-Your-Own-House plan, groups of purchasers, rental construction, and an estimate of illegal construction). This figure also shows a significant decrease from 3,228 apartments in April to 2,572 in May, a 20% drop, and a 34% slide, compared with the corresponding month last year.
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