JERUSALEM (AP) When it came to buying the newest furniture, the average Israeli buyer expected to pay a whopping 40 percent less than they would in the U.S. But in Israel, where the average household earns about $50,000 a year, a much lower price tag can mean a big savings.
And that’s one reason why many Israeli families are choosing to buy smaller homes in the Middle East.
The country has been one of the world’s fastest-growing homeownership markets, with new home sales hitting an all-time high of 8.8 million in 2015, according to data from real estate research firm CoreLogic.
With prices soaring in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where Palestinians have been barred from building new homes, the number of people buying homes has exploded, said Amos Gilboa, a senior analyst at CoreLogics.
“In many cases, you can buy something that will be affordable and not cost too much money, and it will fit into your budget,” Gilboa said.
“In Israel, that’s exactly what you’re seeing.”
In a country that is often called the land of opportunity, Israel has the highest home prices in the world.
But for the average Israelite, a home can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000.
Gilboa said he believes Israeli families will pay a higher price for a smaller home than American families do, especially in cities where the population has grown to about 2 million people.
Israel’s home prices have soared by 40 percent since 2006, according of CoreLogis data, as new-home sales have hit an all time high.
In the United States, prices have gone up by 40.6 percent since 2007, according the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank.
A New York Times analysis of median house prices in metro New York found that median prices rose by 24 percent between 2010 and 2020.
For Americans who live in places like the suburbs and rural areas, the difference is even more dramatic.
Prices have gone from $40,000 in 2010 to more than $180,000 today, according a report from the National Association of Realtors.
In Israel’s biggest cities, where people commute by bus and car, prices are still far below what Americans pay in the United State, and the gap is even wider in more remote towns like Kiryat Arba.
The average home price in Tel Aviv is $190,000, according CoreLogistics data.
The median home price for Tel Aviv’s capital, Haifa, is about $250,000 and in the nearby settlement of Beit Shemesh, the price is about half that.
In Tel Aviv, most homes are built with a wooden frame, and they’re typically small enough that people can sit at the kitchen table or take the kids out for a walk.
That makes them very comfortable for extended stays.
In Kiryatt Arba, where houses are built mostly out of cement and concrete, people often stay in them for years at a time.
The median price of a typical Israeli home is now about $1.1 million, CoreLoges data shows.
But even in Tel Ami, where most houses are made of wood, the median home is about 15 times that price.
In some ways, Israeli homes have become a cheaper alternative to American homes.
“There’s no shortage of American-made furniture, appliances and other home accessories in Israel,” said Gilboa.
But there are also significant differences between Israelis and Americans.
For one, Israeli people tend to live in rural areas.
For example, an average Israeli family spends about two-thirds of its income on housing.
And many Israeli workers have the opportunity to earn about $20,000 annually, whereas most Americans have to earn a minimum of $70,000 per year to afford a standard home.
The lack of an affordable housing market means that the median American home price is $1 million.
And Americans pay about half of that price for housing, according research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Gilboa expects to see a similar trend in Israel’s housing market.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to build a house in the middle of the desert,” Gilba said.
And for the first time, there’s more competition for buyers in the housing market in Israel than there are in America.
Last year, the U,S.
government approved more than 8,000 homes for sale in Israel.
And while prices have dropped in recent years, prices in Tel Marz, a suburb of Tel Aviv with a population of about 20,000 people, are still at or near record highs.
At the time, some Israelis were skeptical about the move.
“We’re just a small country,” said Yitzhak Dov, the head of