In 2011 construction was completed on 1,360 housing units in Jerusalem, A construction completion always marks the end of a long, multi-stage process that includes construction entrepreneuring, developing a detailed plan and securing its authorization, acquiring a permit and initiating the construction, and the construction process itself. Given the length of time between the start of a construction enterprise and its completion, all stages of the process should be examined; a change in policy today might have a long-term effect on the number of housing units.

During the same year construction was initiated on 2,160 housing units, exceeding the number of housing units that were completed. This figure could conceivably indicate that the number of housing units to be completed in the future is expected to increase, but a review of past trends in fact reveals that during every year since 2005 the number of housing units initiated has exceeded the number completed (except in 2008). In all, since 2005 construction of 14,950 housing units was initiated in Jerusalem, but the number of units completed, including units initiated before 2005, was only 12,960. The difference (1,990 housing units) results from suspension or extension of some construction projects. This gap is not unique to Jerusalem. In Israel as a whole it stood at 24,430 housing units since 2005. In all Administrative districts, excluding the District of Judea and Samaria, the number of housing units initiated was larger than the number of units completed.
Before construction begins there is the planning stage, which can entail long periods of waiting for approval of the plan. In 2011 in Jerusalem plans were approved for 4, 765 housing units. Presumably not all of these planned units will be actualized, and the percentage implemented will be significantly lower than that of units whose construction is underway.
By comparison on a national level, Jerusalem’s portion of all completed housing units in Israel is 4%, and the city’s portion of housing units initiated in Israel is 5%, yet the housing units approved in Jerusalem in 2011 represent 16% of the total number of approved units for Israel. 
Data sources: Construction Data – Central Bureau of Statistics, Planning Yearbook – Planning Authority, Ministry of Interior Affairs