The Israel Land Authority decided to extend the Mehir Lemishtaken program through the end of 2020. For buyers who qualify, this could mean saving between 19% and 25%, which translates into significant savings. Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon pushed the program as a means to benefit young couples and less privileged sectors of society. The hope was that the program would minimize the upward trend in housing costs, thereby making it easier for Israelis to purchase homes.
Although many point out the issues with the program, a mid-November report by the Central Bureau of Statistics demonstrated a 58% increase in new home sales in the first nine months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. This drastic rise is seemingly due to the Mehir Lemishtaken program, which held lotteries a few years ago, and the homes are only now ready for purchase. Most new acquisitions were in Harish, followed by Jerusalem, Ramat Gan, and Tel Aviv.