How are homes in Israel measured?

Homes in Israel are measured in a number of different ways that may or may not include certain areas such as balconies, parking spaces, or the internal walls of the structure. So, for example, the area of an apartment recognized by a local authority for the purpose of collecting municipal taxes (arnona) may differ from the size of the apartment registered in the land registry, or from the area recorded in a building permit. For marketing purposes, a homeowner may use the “gross area” of the apartment, which adds to the area of the apartment the areas of balconies, parking spaces, storage rooms, and the relative share of the common areas in the building.

At the beginning of 2021, the state decided to create order in the mess and appointed a government committee headed by the Ministry of Justice to determine a uniform method of calculation that would be used for all records.  Unfortunately, the committee has not completed its work.

Standard 9 for new apartments – “Pladelet”

However, when it comes to purchasing new apartments, the rules have become clearer in recent years, thanks to an amendment to the Sales Law that requires developers to present buyers with the area of the apartment in accordance with Standard 9 of the Real Estate Appraisers Council. This measurement includes the entire area enclosed between the walls of the apartment, while including half of the area of the shared walls with neighboring apartments, and the inclusion of the area of the external wall in its entirety.  This standard calculation is known in the industry as “Pladelet”, after a well-known brand of doors.

Balconies, storage rooms, and parking spots

The area of the balconies, which is fully included in the apartment using the “gross” method, does not appear at all in the “net” method and is only partially included according to the standard calculation. Storage rooms and parking spaces are to be considered part of the area of the apartment according to the “gross” method, but according to the standard method they are “associated areas”, and not included as part of the area of the apartment.

With the obligation on developers to present apartment sizes according to the standard, this method also extends to the second-hand market. Although homes are often measured by real estate agents using the “gross” method, even in such cases one may request that the area of the apartment be provided in accordance with Standard 9. With regard to municipalities, not only are their calculations not made in accordance with the standard, but there is no uniformity among the more than 250 local authorities themselves, and each has a separate policy regarding the inclusion of balconies, parking spaces, and common areas in the area of the apartment.

This guide is intended to provide the reader with general information and not to serve as legal or other professional advice. Readers are advised to obtain advice from qualified professionals before entering into any real estate transaction.

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