There was an increase in the number of housing starts each year in the country between 2009 and 2016, with the number reaching an all-time high of 55,900 in 2016. Interestingly, the number of housing starts dropped to 52,900 in 2017 and data published recently show that there was further decline in 2018, to 47,400 housing starts.

In Jerusalem, however, the trend was exactly the opposite. After several years of decline in the number of housing starts in the city, numbers began rising in 2017 and in 2018 there were 2,880 housing starts,which constituted 6.1% of all construction starts in Israel for that year. Among all of the large cities, Jerusalem had the most housing starts in 2018, taking the lead from Tel Aviv, which had the highest number in 2017.

Does this mean that we will soon see lots of young people streaming into Jerusalem? That’s still an unknown. Even though the number of Jerusalem housing starts grew in 2018, this figure still did not exceed the average of the previous five years: 2,950 housing starts. Considering housing starts by regionin Israel, the Jerusalem area accounts for 7.3% of all housing starts throughout the country in 2018. In addition, some 4.4% of housing starts in Judea and Samaria were located in the Jerusalem region,bringing the total to 5,530 construction starts altogether. Still, this statistic is extremely low compared with numbers in central Israel and the greater Tel Aviv area in 2018, which at 21,850 apartments, comprised 46% of the building starts in Israel. In other words, the scope of new housing options available in central Israel is still much higher than in the rest of the country, including in Jerusalem.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.