Real Estate in Judea and Samaria as the Basis for the Solution to Lower Housing Prices
Israel is suffering from a severe shortage of properties in the areas in demand, and is having a difficult time “convincing” its citizens to move to cities on the periphery that are far from the central regions and places of employment. This phenomenon is one of the most significant factors causing the rise in housing prices in Israel, which continues to break records.
Real estate in Judea and Samaria, especially land that has already been officially declared state land, could be the quickest and best solution to this problem.
The Real Estate Potential in Judea and Samaria – Hundreds of Thousands of Housing Units
- The area of Judea and Samaria is approximately 5,700 km2. Of this, approximately 129 km2 is privately owned by Jews and officially registered today, and at least 1,600 km2 are state land that belong to Israel.
- The remaining area, approximately 4,000 km2 (70%), has not yet undergone the process of land regulation, and includes land owned privately by Jews and Arabs, as well as potential state lands (formerly owned by the Jordanian government).
- The total area of Judea and Samaria is approximately 25% of the size of the entire State of Israel. As aforementioned, over 1.6 million dunams (1,600 km2) of the land is already regulated as state land, meaning that it possesses construction potential (from a legal standpoint). This means an addition of approximately 14% to the state’s developed residential land.
- Mass construction on land already declared as state land would enable the public to purchase hundreds of thousands of housing units at relatively reasonable prices, adjacent to the hottest in-demand regions – in the area between Hadera and Gedera.
Not Just an Increase in Supply – The Economic Significance of Mass Construction in Judea and Samaria
Advancement of large-scale building plans in Judea and Samaria would benefit all populations, as they would benefit from the real estate’s true value:
- The Jewish population: Today, the value of real estate in the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria ranges between a few hundred thousand shekels to a few million shekels per dunam of land. These figures are calculated based on the construction style common in these regions – detached housing construction, and are lower than the prices for dense construction and commercial land. The state of constant insecurity regarding the status of the land prevents investors and large developers from entering this region. In the event that mass construction plans are approved, the value of the land would increase tremendously.
- The Arab population: The unstable economic situation of some of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria is related to the fact that they cannot register the land on their names, and therefore do not receive loans for purchasing. The ability to register land in the Land Registry is one of the most important catalysts of growth in the world, enabling the receipt of large loans and mortgaging of properties for other purposes. Regulating these lands for construction would solve this problematic situation.
Conclusion: Mass construction in Judea and Samaria, on lands already regulated as state land, bears significant potential toward lowering housing prices in Israel, and would be beneficial for all of the region’s residents.
 Talia Sason, Interim Opinion regarding Unauthorized Outposts, 2005, http://www.pmo.gov.il/SiteCollectionDocuments/PMO/Communication/Spokesman/sason2.pdf  Calculation of size of the Israeli area according to CBS report, 2017, http://www.cbs.gov.il/www/publications/isr_in_n16h.pdf  Platform, Zehut political party, https://zehut.org.il/%D7%9B%D7%9C%D7%9B%D7%9C%D7%94/  Eran Bar-Tal, “Ribonut” – Political Journal, 2017, http://www.ribonut.co.il/BlogPostID.aspx?BlogPostId=16&lang=1