Chareidi Housing Shortage in Eretz Yisroel Worsening


yerushalayim-apartmentFollowing a High Court ruling, the Defense Ministry decided two weeks ago to hand over to the residents of the West Bank village of Bilin 185 acres which they claimed had been expropriated from them, a move leading to a possible new route separation fence route. The direct result of the ministry’s decision is that a project including 1,100 housing units for the chareidi public in Modiin Illit’s Matisyahu neighborhood is slated to be canceled. “This may worsen the housing shortage in the charedi sector, which has yet to receive a constitutional response,” says Dr. Rina Degani, research director and managing director at Geocartography, which recently examined the situation of the haredi housing market.

According to the findings of a Geocartography survey, the growth rate in the charedi sector creates a fixed demand for some 6,500 housing deals a year – about 6.5% of all deals in the residential real estate field carried out in the past two years.

Modiin illit has some 40,000 residents due to the comfortable housing prices and the communal fabric, which meets the target audience’s demands.

According to a study carried out by Geocartography’s economic division, the demand for apartments in the charedi sector requires the construction of at least 4,000new apratments every year, in addition to some 2,500 second-hand apartments.

According to Geocartography, the charedi public in Israel is comprised of some 700,000 people, which make up about 130,000 households. Some 75% of the demands for apartments in the charedi sector – about 4,800 housing units – are made by young couples.

While about two-thirds of the secular sector purchase second-hand apartments, only one-quarter of the charedi sector buy second-hand apartments. Most prefer to purchase a new apartment from a contractor.

It’s hard to find a second-hand apartment in the charedi market due to families’ low turnover rates. The strong natural increase in charedi families makes it difficult for households to move to larger apartment often due to the economic limit, and thus they are forced to live in great crowdedness.

The crowdedness problem leads to solutions such as partial expansions of existing apartments, taking advantage of the apartment height by placing children’s beds in floors, and making efficient use of every niche as a storage area.

Degani says that the charedim are interested in purchasing an apartment of 3.8 rooms on average, for some NIS 700,000 (about $ 169,900). According to her, some 40% of charedim can afford to purchase an apartment for a lower sum which does not exceed NIS 500,000 ($121,361).

Dgani stresses that the desired price for an apartment in the charedi market is much lower than the desired price in the secular sector, which stands at some NIS 800-900,000 ($195-219,000) on average.

“The housing distress in the charedi sector is a time bomb and its dimensions are getting increasingly worse. Therefore, the decision makers must address this matter immediately and come up with concrete solutions,” Degani says.

Although Bnei Brak is considered the most prominent stronghold of the charedi sector, the most desired community by charedi apartment buyers is Yerushalayim(40%). Some 20% of the charedim prefer Bnei Brak, but will settle for religious communities like Elad, Beit Shemesh, Beitar Illit, Petach Tikvah and others.

Degani adds that it is important to develop housing solutions for the charedi population in large communities where a local infrastructure of employment sources can be found.

In addition, as the charedi public’s motorization level is low compared to the secular public, it must be provided with accessible mobility and transportation means besides the communal services characterizing every charedi neighborhood.

{Yair Israel/Ynet/Geocartography}


  1. There are tons of areas between Yerushayalim and Maale Adumim, let us get the political leaders ready to demand housings and in new areas.