The average mortgage amount reached a peak of NIS 975,000 in March - 15.5% increase

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by Ifi Reporter Category:Real Estate May 1, 2022

The average mortgage amount reached a peak of NIS 975,000 in March - another step up in mortgage activity, which reflects the increase in apartment prices and the leverage of bank customers, in light of the rise in apartment prices. This, without a corresponding increase in the equity of apartment buyers.
Investors finance the increase in total mortgages by increasing repayments and increasing the average duration of the mortgage repayment. Data from the Bank of Israel show that 13,780 mortgages were taken out in March - an increase of 15.5% compared with February, which mainly reflects the increase in the purchase of apartments. The total number of mortgages jumped by 20% compared to February, to NIS 13.43 billion.
A surprising statistic published by the Bank of Israel is the renewed increase in the amount of credit and the number of loans to apartment investors. Despite the tax increase on investors and reports of a tens of percent decrease in the purchase of investment apartments, the total credit for investment apartments returned to the level before the tax increase, and it even exceeded that given to investors in November 2021, on the eve of the tax increase.
Data from the Bank of Israel show that credit for investment apartments amounted to NIS 1.547 billion in March, compared with NIS 1.546 billion in November. However, the number of loans taken by investors in March amounted to only 1,711 - an increase of 6% compared to February, but 14% lower than November 2021. The figure indicates the transition of investors to purchase more expensive apartments.
The share of investors in the mortgage market is lower than their share in housing purchases, since the rate of leverage allowed to them is limited to 50%, and many of them do not even take full advantage of the leverage allowed. Data from the Bank of Israel indicate a renewed upward trend in the number of apartments purchased by investors despite the tax increase. The Ministry of Finance is currently considering a further increase in the purchase tax on buyers of expensive apartments. This decision is not expected to have an impact on the primary market of popular apartments.
Another surprising statistic is a jump in the total number of mortgages for luxury apartments, worth more than NIS 5 million. The total amount of mortgages for these apartments jumped by 28% in March compared to the previous month, and amounted to NIS 1.11 billion

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