Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Brand New Apartment

Yair Assaf-Shapira

The sale of newly constructed apartments serves as an indication of activity in the construction and real estate sector, in terms of both supply and demand. For the most part these apartments are sold “on paper,” that is, before construction is completed. The data below relate to apartments built through private initiatives, not at the initiative of the Ministry of Construction and Housing.

During the first half of 2011, a total of 380 new apartments that had been built through private construction were sold. This figure represents a decrease in the sale of such apartments in comparison to the second half of 2010, during which 630 new apartments were sold within the city. The number of new apartments sold in Jerusalem is also low in comparison to other cities in Israel. During the first half of 2011, for example, 770, 590, and 540 apartments were sold in Petah-Tikva, Netanya, and Ashkelon respectively.

Despite the low figure for the first half of 2011, there has actually been an increase in the sale of new apartments in Jerusalem. During the period from the beginning of 2009 until June 2011 (5 half-year periods), a total of 2,360 privately constructed apartments were sold in Jerusalem – 650 more than during the preceding period of the same duration (July 2006 through the end of 2008).

Similarly, increasing trends were recorded in other cities, foremost among them Petah Tikva and Ashkelon, where apartment sales during this period rose by 1,680 and 1,440 respectively. The opposite trend was recorded in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Holon, and Rishon LeZion, where apartment sales decreased during this period in comparison to the preceding period.

Compared to other districts in Israel, the apartments sold in the Jerusalem District (including the city of Jerusalem and additional localities) during the first half of 2011 had been on the market a relatively long period of time, measuring from the start of construction until their sale. These apartments remained on the market approximately 7 months (median value), compared to 1.7 months for the national median. For the purposes of comparison, during 2010 apartments in the Jerusalem district were “snatched up” within only 1.3 months, compared to 2.5 months for the national median.

 

Sources: Survey of New Dwellings for Sale under Private Construction (for the years noted), Central Bureau of Statistics; Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem, 2011.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Physical Exercise

Michal Korach

The Central Bureau of Statistics recently published the findings of a health survey that it had conducted for the purpose of providing data in the areas of health, use of healthcare services, health-related habits, and health insurance, as well as measuring changes in these indicators over time.

One of the survey questions addressed the issue of physical exercise. Physical exercise has important implications in terms of both physical and mental health. Engaging in physical exercise is important not only for losing weight and maintaining physical fitness, but also for improving one’s overall physical condition, reducing the likelihood of chronic illnesses, and improving wellbeing and mental health.

The survey indicates that during 2009, 20% of Israel’s population aged 20 and above engaged in physical exercise (a cumulative total of at least 30 minutes during the day) at least three times a week. The percentage of Jews and others (23%) who engaged in physical exercise was significantly higher than the percentage of Arabs (6%). Within the Jewish population there are significant differences in the level of engagement in physical exercise in accordance with place of birth: the highest percentage of those aged 20 and above who engaged in physical exercise was recorded among people born in Europe and America (25%), followed by those born in Israel (24%), Asia (21%), and Africa (16%).

The data indicate that a correlation exists between years of education and engagement in physical activity. As the years of education received increases, the percentage of people engaged in physical activity increases: among those with 0-8 years of education, 8% engaged in physical activity, compared to 23% among those with 13-15 years of education and 29% among those with 16 or more years of education.

The percentage of people who engage in physical exercise in Jerusalem is lower than in the other major cities. In Jerusalem approximately 19% of those aged 20 and above engaged in physical exercise, compared to 26% in Tel Aviv and Haifa and 23% in Rishon LeZion. As the graph indicates, the percentage of men who engage in physical exercise is generally higher than the percentage of women. The percentages of men and women who engage in physical exercise in Jerusalem are close, measuring 20% and 18%, respectively.