Building activity in the municipal areas of Palestine during 1931 showed an increase of more than 11% over the previous year, according to a report just received from Rehabiah Lewin-Epstein, director of the Tel-Aviv Bureau of the American Economic Committee for Palestine. A total of 5,002 permits were issued during 1931 for buildings of an approximate value of Â£2,720,678 as compared with 5,052 permits in 1930 valued at Â£2,448,670.
The principal sources of the increase were Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. Tel-Aviv erected 1,095 buildings valued at Â£310,000 in 1931 as compared with 705 buildings valued at Â£175,000 in 1930. In Jerusalem 849 buildings valued at Â£1,948,170 were constructed in 1931. In Haifa the sum of Â£213,000 was invested in buildings in 1931, an increase of Â£20,500 over the previous year. Among the more important buildings which were completed in Haifa last year are that of the Law Courts. Large apartment houses of 3 and 4 stories are now under construction in Haifa.
While figures for 1932 construction in Jerusalem and Haifa are not yet available, Mr. Lewin-Epstein reports that during the first six months of this year a total of 476 permits were issued in Tel-Aviv for buildings of an estimated valuation of Â£190,000, or at a rate of Â£380,000 per annum, which is far in excess of 1931, the previous record year. Tel-Aviv is the only all-Jewish city in the world. Although it was founded less than twenty-five years ago on what was then regarded as sandy waste land, it now has a population of over 50,000 and is growing very rapidly.
The increase in building activity in Palestine becomes especially notable when compared with the investments in buildings erected in other years, to wit: Â£1,741,687 in 1929, Â£692,462 in 1928, and Â£770,064 in 1927.