Tent camp rises in Tel Aviv to protest home costs
July 17, 2011 11:05 am EDT
Economy, Business And Finance, Construction And Property, Real Estate, Social Issue
The tent city got underway to a slow start last Thursday afternoon, but by the evening it was growing, with tents sprouting and carpets laid out on Tel Aviv’s Habima Square down the central meridian on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard. Guitars were playing, and impromptu dance parties coalesced. Food and even clothing were brought in by sympathizers. By the weekend it had turned into a political and media phenomenon.
The atmosphere was Woodstock and the participants decidedly young, including large numbers of university students, but the issue they came to protest was a decidedly middle-aged, middle class one: The high cost of housing and the perceived failure of the government to do anything about it.
“These are people who came here because they identified with my suffering,” Dafni Leef, a 25-year-old who started it all on a Facebook page, said after she was evicted from her rented Tel Aviv apartment. “Everyone should be able to over their heads. I’m not leaving, whether it takes a year or two years, until it’s solved. I’m here,” she told the Y-net news portal.
The housing protest, which organizers say is spreading to other cities, comes on the heels of a successful, Facebook-driven, mass movement to bring down the price of cottage cheese. By comparison, however, housing prices are a much bigger and complicated problem, both for ordinary Israelis, who are finding themselves priced out of a home of their own, and for the government, which has struggled to bring them under control.
Home prices have jumped more than 60 percent in the past two-and-half years and more than 15 percent in the 12 months through May. Knight Frank, a British real estate consulting firm, said Israeli housing prices showed the fourth-largest year-on-year increase among 50 countries surveyed, behind Hong Kong, India and Taiwan.
Israel’s economy is growing quickly, with gross domestic product expanding at a preliminary 4.6 percent annual rate in the first half of this year. The unemployment rate is under 6 percent, among the lowest in the Western world. Interest rates are low, making mortgages cheap. But many Israelis, including first-time buyers, can’t take advantage of the situation.
Even as the economy booms, wages have stagnated. A survey published last week by the Globes financial daily and Azimuth Advertising found Israelis had just about reached their limit. People’s willingness to pay more for a home had been rising steadily since early 2009, but in the first half of this year the average price people said they were prepared to pay barely changed at all, to 1.252 million shekels ($365,000).
“It’s definitely a problem for home buyers. Real wages have dropped since 2008 and prices have gone up 63 percent– it’s pretty easy to do the math,” Jonathan Katz, an Israel-based macro-economist for the London-based bank HSBC, told The Media Line. “I think any market that goes up over 60 percent in two-and-a-half years is a bit frothier. I’d say it’s bubbly.”
Israel suffers a chronic housing shortage, but prices only began taking off after the Bank of Israel slashed its lending rates in 2008 in order to prevent Israel from sliding into the recession then gripping the world. Mortgage rates followed, falling to record low levels even as Israel’s economy never experienced a deep financial crisis and economic downturn. Consumers rushed to the banks to take advantage of cheap home loans, spurring demand.
Since the end of 2010, the government has taken steps to alleviate the demand pressure. The Bank of Israel has raised its base lending rate five times in the past year and has imposed restrictions on mortgage borrowers. The Finance Ministry has done its part by imposing tax rules that discourage buying, especially by investors rather than real homeowners.
The central bank has good reason to clamp down on housing because it threatens to unleash an inflation Pandora’s Box. But the government has good reason, too, because housing prices – not unlike the prices for cottage cheese – could easily turn into an election issue.
It was no wonder then the Rothschild tent camp was host to a steady stream of visiting politicians, not all of who were greeted respectively. Assar Zamir, a Tel Aviv deputy mayor, was pelted with eggs while Miri Regev, a lawmaker for the ruling Likud Party and a former brigadier general was booed, prompting her to call the protestors extreme leftists.
Netanyahu himself felt compelled to address the issue before Sunday’s cabinet meeting. "The government is doing things to fix this disease, which has been plaguing us for many years. We are a small country, demand is high and there just aren't enough apartments," he said.
Bringing down the price of housing isn’t the same as bringing down the price of cottage cheese. The market is much bigger and more complicated. Mistaken policy changes can reverberate throughout the economy, most dangerously cause a collapse of home prices, said HSBC’s Katz. Stanley Fischer, the Bank of Israel’s governor, warned of the dangers of rushing headlong into an assault on home prices.
"If there's something like a bubble, you don't want to take a heavy hammer and explode the whole thing. We have consciously taken serious measures...to try and slow the rate of increase and not kill the market completely," he told an investors conference in London July 7.
In fact, just as the tents are being erected on Rothschild there are early signs that the housing market may be stabilizing.
The Central Bureau of Statistics found that house prices rose in March and April at a monthly rate of 1.5 percent, nearly double the pace in February–March. However, the value of new mortgages granted in June fell 15 percent to NIS 4.08 billion from NIS 4.81 billion in May, which was close to the all-time high of NIS 4.82 billion a year ago. The number of new homes sold by private sector contractors fell 6 percent in May while the number of homes for sale rose 2 percent, which means the supply of unsold homes grew for the first time since 2009.
Gil Vinik, a realtor based in the Tel Aviv suburb of Kfar Saba, said he already sees signs of the market cooling down.
“It got to such a situation that young couples simply disappeared. The Herzilya and Kfar Saba areas have become virtually impossible for them -- 1.3 million and 1.4 million shekels for a three-room apartment with balcony,” he told The Media Line. “The number of phone calls from buyers has fallen in the last few months.”
Copyright © 2011 TML - All rights reserved.Content including text, photos, videos, audio, graphics and logos may not be used for commercial purposes, reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium without permission and license from CNS.
[ Close ]
When publishing articles from AHN we require that you follow several simple rules and that you abide by our Terms and Conditions.
Use and display the provided article text on a website or blog.
Under the following conditions:
You may not republish the article(s) wholesale, automatically or systematically; articles must be republished individually.
You may not sell license or redistribute the content without specific permission. Email us if you’d like to.
You must display and attribute the article in the manner specified by AHN (but not in any way that suggests that we endorse you or your use of the work).
You may not remove ads, logos or tracking information from the article.
You may display the article on a website, but you may not use the article for any other commercial purposes.
You may not alter, rewrite, transform, or build upon the article.
Copy and paste the following into your blog entry or the HTML on your page. It will automatically deliver the article as the page loads.
<< Return to script page
THE WORK (AS DEFINED BELOW) IS PROVIDED UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS LICENSE ("LICENSE"). THE WORK IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT AND/OR OTHER APPLICABLE
LAW. ANY USE OF THE WORK OTHER THAN AS AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS LICENSE OR COPYRIGHT LAW IS PROHIBITED.
BY EXERCISING ANY RIGHTS TO THE WORK PROVIDED HERE, YOU ACCEPT AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS LICENSE. TO THE EXTENT THIS LICENSE
MAY BE CONSIDERED TO BE A CONTRACT, THE LICENSOR GRANTS YOU THE RIGHTS CONTAINED HERE IN CONSIDERATION OF YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH TERMS AND
"Collective Work" means a work, such as a periodical issue, anthology or encyclopedia, in which the Work in its entirety in
unmodified form, along with one or more other contributions, constituting separate and independent works in themselves, are assembled into a
collective whole. A work that constitutes a Collective Work will not be considered a Derivative Work (as defined below) for the purposes of this
"Derivative Work" means a work based upon the Work or upon the Work and other pre-existing works, such as a translation,
musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any
other form in which the Work may be recast, transformed, or adapted, except that a work that constitutes a Collective Work will not be considered a
Derivative Work for the purpose of this License. For the avoidance of doubt, where the Work is a musical composition or sound recording, the
synchronization of the Work in timed-relation with a moving image ("synching") will be considered a Derivative Work for the purpose of this License.
"Licensor" means the individual, individuals, entity or entities that offers the Work under the terms of this License.
"Original Author" means the individual, individuals, entity or entities who created the Work.
"Work" means the copyrightable work of authorship offered under the terms of this License.
"You" means an individual or entity exercising rights under this License who has not previously violated the terms of this
License with respect to the Work, or who has received express permission from the Licensor to exercise rights under this License despite a previous
2. Fair Use Rights. Nothing in this license is intended to reduce, limit, or restrict any rights arising from fair use, first
sale or other limitations on the exclusive rights of the copyright owner under copyright law or other applicable laws.
3. License Grant. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, non-exclusive,
revocable (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to exercise the rights in the Work as stated below:
to reproduce the Work, to incorporate the Work into one or more Collective Works;
The above rights may be exercised on freely and openly accessible web media formats . The above rights include the right to make such
modifications as are technically necessary to exercise the rights in other media and formats, but otherwise you have no rights to make any alterations
or Derivative Works. All rights not expressly granted by Licensor are hereby reserved, including but not limited to the rights set forth in
Sections 4(d) and 4(e).
4. Restrictions.The license granted in Section 3 above is expressly made subject to and limited by the following restrictions:
You may publicly display the Work only under the terms of this License, and You must include a copy of, or the Uniform Resource Identifier
for, this License with every copy of the Work You publicly display. You may not offer or impose any terms on the Work that restrict the terms of this
License or the ability of a recipient of the Work to exercise the rights granted to that recipient under the terms of the License. You may not
sublicense the Work. You must keep intact all notices that refer to this License and to the disclaimer of warranties. When You publicly display the
Work, You may not impose any technological measures on the Work that restrict the ability of a recipient of the Work from You to exercise the rights
granted to that recipient under the terms of the License. This Section 4(a) applies to the Work as incorporated in a Collective Work, but this does
not require the Collective Work apart from the Work itself to be made subject to the terms of this License. If You create a Collective Work, upon
notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Collective Work any credit as required by Section 4(c), as demanded.
You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward
commercial advantage or private monetary compensation. The exchange of the Work for other copyrighted works by means of digital file-sharing or
otherwise shall not be considered to be intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation, provided there is no
payment of any monetary compensation in connection with the exchange of copyrighted works.
If You publicly display the Work (as defined in Section 1 above) or Collective Works (as defined in Section 1 above), You must, unless a
request has been made pursuant to Section 4(a), keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and provide, reasonable to the medium or means You are
utilizing: (i) the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied, and/or (ii) if the Original Author and/or Licensor
designate another party or parties (e.g. a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for attribution ("Attribution Parties") in Licensor's
copyright notice, terms of service or by other reasonable means, the name of such party or parties; the title of the Work if supplied; to the extent
reasonably practicable, the Uniform Resource Identifier, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated with the Work, unless such URI does not
refer to the copyright notice or licensing information for the Work. The credit required by this Section 4(c) may be implemented in any reasonable
manner; provided, however, that in the case of a Collective Work, at a minimum such credit will appear, if a credit for all contributing authors of
the Collective Work appears, then as part of these credits and in a manner at least as prominent as the credits for the other contributing authors.
For the avoidance of doubt, You may only use the credit required by this clause for the purpose of attribution in the manner set out above and, by
exercising Your rights under this License, You may not implicitly or explicitly assert or imply any connection with, sponsorship or endorsement by
the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties, as appropriate, of You or Your use of the Work, without the separate, express prior written
permission of the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties.
5. Representations, Warranties and Disclaimer
UNLESS OTHERWISE MUTUALLY AGREED TO BY THE PARTIES IN WRITING, LICENSOR OFFERS THE WORK AS-IS AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF ANY
RIGHTS HELD IN THE LICENSED WORK BY THE LICENSOR. THE LICENSOR MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND CONCERNING THE WORK, EXPRESS,
IMPLIED, STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF TITLE, MARKETABILITY, MERCHANTIBILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE,
NONINFRINGEMENT, OR THE ABSENCE OF LATENT OR OTHER DEFECTS, ACCURACY, OR THE PRESENCE OF ABSENCE OF ERRORS, WHETHER OR NOT DISCOVERABLE. SOME
JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES, SO SUCH EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
6. Limitation on Liability.
EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL LICENSOR BE LIABLE TO YOU ON ANY
LEGAL THEORY FOR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THIS LICENSE OR THE USE OF THE WORK, EVEN IF
LICENSOR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
This License and the rights granted hereunder will terminate automatically upon any breach by You of the terms of this License. Individuals
or entities who have received Collective Works (as defined in Section 1 above) from You under this License, however, will not have their licenses
terminated provided such individuals or entities remain in full compliance with those licenses. Sections 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8 will survive any
termination of this License.
Subject to the above terms and conditions, the license granted here is perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright in the Work).
Notwithstanding the above, Licensor reserves the right to release the Work under different license terms or to stop distributing the Work at any
time; provided, however that any such election will not serve to withdraw this License (or any other license that has been, or is required to be,
granted under the terms of this License), and this License will continue in full force and effect unless terminated as stated above.
Each time You distribute or publicly digitally perform the Work (as defined in Section 1 above) or a Collective Work (as defined in Section
1 above), the Licensor offers to the recipient a license to the Work on the same terms and conditions as the license granted to You under this
If any provision of this License is invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, it shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the
remainder of the terms of this License, and without further action by the parties to this agreement, such provision shall be reformed to the minimum
extent necessary to make such provision valid and enforceable.
No term or provision of this License shall be deemed waived and no breach consented to unless such waiver or consent shall be in writing and
signed by the party to be charged with such waiver or consent.
This License constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the Work licensed here. There are no understandings,
agreements or representations with respect to the Work not specified here. Licensor shall not be bound by any additional provisions that may appear
in any communication from You. This License may not be modified without the mutual written agreement of the Licensor and You.
There are no third-party beneficiaries to this Licesnse.
You waive any right to jury trial in connection with any action or litigation in any way arising out of or related to this License. You
agree to pay all reasonable attorney fees and other costs incurred by Your breach of this license.
This agreement will be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of
the State of Florida without regard to its conflicts of law provisions. You agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of the state and
federal courts located in Palm Beach County in the State of Florida, and any cause of action which arise from use of this web site or from
interpretation of these terms and conditions must be filed in the state and federal courts located in Palm Beach County, State of Florida. If
any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this
agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. Any remaining provisions shall be given effect to
the fullest extent possible.
Need more news? visit FeedSyndicate for all of your content needs
This is a BETA service and subject to change or cancellation.
Most Popular Stories
CBS analyst David Feherty joins The Golf Channel
Scarlett Johansson hurt by soon-to-be ex-husband Ryan Reynold's rumored romance with Sandra Bullock
Cuba registering first lung cancer vaccine in South America
Drug cartel murders hurting Acapulco's tourist industry
Britney Spears Single "Hold It Against Me" #1 On iTunes Everywhere
Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes to skip Oscars because of Anne Hathaway
Mass turtle dove death linked to overeating, indigestion
Owen Wilson and girlfriend Jade Duell expecting a baby
LSU football coach Les Miles mulls Michigan move, returns to Tigers
Study links prescription drugs with violent behavior
Most Popular Comments
[ CLOSE ]
[ CLOSE ]
[ CLOSE ]
[ CLOSE ]
Submit News |
Contact Us |
News and Content Feeds |
Follow AHN on Twitter
AHN Social News connects you with friends and the news
© 2011 AHN All Rights Reserved | Hosted on the NewsBahn™
Other News on Sunday, 17 July 2011
Venezuela's ailing Chavez delegates some powers
Greek PM says time for Europe to wake up: report
Venezuela anti-Chavez leader rejects graft case
Israeli police clash with ultra-Orthodox protesters
Soderling, Ferrer to settle Swedish Open title; Ferrero in All-Spanish final in Stuttgart
German prize cancelled after Putin choice criticized
Darren's Day: Clarke uses ball-striking clinic to take Open Championship lead
Vanendert wins Stage 14 as Tour contenders launch attacks; Voeckler still leads
Rain Man Rickie: Fowler climbs Open leaderboard with third round 68
Harry Potter magic with record $92.1 million
Jane Fonda jabs at QVC over canceled TV appearance
Syrian opposition forms council to counter Assad
Tunisian police fire in air to disperse rioters
Ty Dillon scores fifth ARCA win of season
Brian Shaw says Lakers didn't tell him Brown got coaching gig
Venezuela's Chavez heads to Cuba for chemotherapy
Matt Crafton wins Iowa Truck race
Kyle Busch gets 100th NASCAR victory
Egypt PM picks two deputies ahead of cabinet change
CC Sabathia wins major league best 14th as Yankees beat Blue Jays
President Obama meets Dalai Lama as China reacts with anger
Three more North Korean women soccer players fail anti-dope tests
Wagner keeps lead, Romo moves closer at American Century celebrity golf
Florida youth wins Holland sailing event
Samsung LED files complaint to bar Osram LED imports to U.S
J.Lo, Anthony fans tweet their feelings over split
Heavy casualties reported in Libya
Afghan transition begins with a whimper amid attack
Yemen army, tribes in offensive on militants in south
Egypt changes finance minister in reshuffle
Bahrain's main opposition quits national dialogue
Israel forest fire forces Holocaust memorial evacuation
Two Russian coal miners missing, one trapped in accident
Open Mania: mad dogs, Englishman and Tom Watson's hole-in-one
German priest arrested on abuse suspicion: report
Niger fears takeover by militants in neighbor Libya
Tent camp rises in Tel Aviv to protest home costs
Bachmann officially left church before launching campaign
Show stolen from Egyptian superstar in anti-Mubarak drive
Al-Shabaab offer Somalis kinder, gentler face
News of the World editor Brooks arrested Sunday
Woman shoots husband dead, but says she was aiming at pit bull
Blue Jackets forward Huselius out 4-6 months with torn chest muscle
MLS: Red Bulls newest signee Frank Rost debuts in draw with Chivas USA
Friars bats come alive: San Diego clobber Zito, Giants to snap skid
Misrata youth goes from Playstation to front line
'Harry Potter' rings up record $168 mln box office
Lisa Kudrow dishes out some Web Therapy
Swiss police arrest 21 at Montreux festival
Greece at new risk of being pushed off euro
Bodies of missing Tenn. mom, Jo Ann Bain, and daughter found
Female Breasts Are Bigger Than Ever
AMD Trinity Accelerated Processing Units Now in Volume Production
The Avengers (2012 film), made the second biggest opening- and single-day gross of all-time
AMD to Start Production of piledriver
Ivy Bridge Quad-Core, Four-Thread Desktop CPUs
Islamists Protest Lady Gaga's Concert in Indonesia
Japan Successfully Broadcasts an 8K Signal Over the Air
ECB boosts loans to 1 trillion Euro to stop credit crunch
Egypt : Mohammed Morsi won with 52 percent
What do you call 100,000 Frenchmen with their hands up
AMD Launches AMD Embedded R-Series APU Platform
Fed Should not Ignore Emerging Market Crisis
Fed casts shadow over India, emerging markets
Why are Chinese tourists so rude? A few insights