That appears to have created a chilling effect on housing, as young families who haven’t won subsidies wait rather than buying a home. Kahlon is not expected to return as head of finance, meaning a new finance minister is likely to come in and shake up Israel’s housing market, a crucial part of the economy.
Greenfield said that “if Blue and White wins, they have a plan to build new projects and focus on long term rents rather than home purchases. That could chill the housing market further.”
BlueStar’s Schoenfeld agreed the Israeli housing market presents uncertainties to investors. But he worries more about one area of Israel’s economic expansion: China.
“Israel is under some pressure to limit its ties with China by the U.S.,” he said.
Schoenfeld said that if Netanyahu wins re-election, he’s already experienced enough to convince the United States to give Israel’s growing economic ties with China room to grow. A new prime minister may have to take a wait-and-see approach before expanding trade with a country that has drawn the ire of Washington.
Another area that has boomed under the leadership of Netanyahu is the jobs market. The labor force has seen significant gains from the ultra-Orthodox sector of Israel’s population, which now counts 53 percent of its men as employed.
Much of the male part of Israel’s fast-growing, ultra-Orthodox community doesn’t engage in paid work and enjoys government assistance. Employment for ultra-Orthodox women has leaped in the last decade, from 50 percent up to 80 percent.
Arab Israelis have also seen significantly improving labor participation rates, up to the 80 percent mark.
The ultra-Orthodox and Arab communities in Israel have both experienced low workforce participation levels traditionally.