Israelis took a record NIS 116.1 billion in mortgages in 2021, according to preliminary data published by the Bank of Israel. This is 50% more than the NIS 78 billion in mortgages taken in 2020 and up from NIS 67.7 billion taken in 2019, before the Covid crisis – both were record years.
Mortgage taking in December in Israel totaled an all-time record monthly figure of NIS 12.2 billion, up 50% from NIS 8.1 billion in December 2020. The previous record monthly figure for mortgage taking was NIS 11.9 billion in August 2021.
Over the past year, Israelis have been taking advantage of the continuing low interest rates and relaxations by the Bank of Israel that have allowed homebuyers more flexible terms in choosing interest rate options. Record mortgage taking has been the engine pushing record home sales and price rises of more than 10% in the past year.
The high mortgage taking in December came even after the government hiked purchase tax at the end of November for those buying second homes or more for investment. 2,000 homes for investment were purchased in November and it seems likely that most buyers in December were first-time buyers or people buying larger homes or downsizing.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on January 11, 2022.
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