Posted in Switzerland forum
Can anyone give ms some indication about the housing prices in Switzerland? How much do I have to expect to pay for a 2room/60sqm apartment? Thanks
posted by in Switzerland forum
To get an overview of current rental prices in Switzerland check out
The site lists about 30,000 current listings of available rentals in Switzerland and you can filter by price or size. This way you should get an easy overview over typical rental prices in the different cities.
Hope this helps,
posted by in Switzerland forum
Actually it' depends on where your friends wants to go living! In Zürich and Geneva for example it's very difficult (or impossible) to find a cheap appartement in the city center! it gets more easy if you are looking in the surounding places for example. But in Basel for example the prices are lot lower on the other hand the taxes are higher than in Zürich. So it depends on where his working place is and how much time he wants to sacrifiy for going to work (I know people working in Zurich but leaving in Baden which is 20 min by train from Zurich for example)
posted by in Switzerland forum
For a simple studio without any special view, the minimum price is around SFR 100,000; for a good three-room flat with a good view, you'll pay around SFR 400,000. The best locations usually command prices in excess of SFR 800,000. Keep in mind that Swiss buildings are built to last centuries and that you can resell later.
I also found an article on the Swiss property market which might be interesting for you:
The Swiss housing market experienced a minor recovery from 2001 to 2003, after a house price crash in the the 1990s. From 2004 onwards, the housing market experienced gradual price increases.
The price index for single-family homes was up by 2.06% (1.4% in real terms) y-o-y in 2007, lower than the 2.5% price increase (1.4% in real terms) in 2006.
Other residential units followed a similar pattern; the price index for owner-occupied apartments was up by around 2.5% (1.8% in real terms) y-o-y to end-2007, while the index for ‘rental apartments’ (i.e., apartments built for renting) increased by 2.55% (1.85% in real terms).
Figures for the first quarter of 2008 show that no dramatic price hikes are ongoing. The price index of single family homes rose 0.45% from a year earlier, owner-occupied apartments by 2.95% and rental apartments by 2.98%.
With the economy slowing down and interest rates rising, real estate prices are expected to go up by as little as 0.5% y-o-y for single family homes in 2008. Apartment prices may go up by about 2%.
From 2001 to 2007, the price index of rental apartment in Switzerland has risen only 21.5% (15.6% in real terms); while owner occupied apartment prices were up 25% (18.75% in real terms) and single family homes by 16.6% (11% in real terms).
The 1990s - a crashing decade
During the late 1980s, Swiss apartment prices rose by an average annual rate of 8.8%. The house price boom continued in the early 1990s, in particular, apartment prices rose 18% in 1990 and 12% in 1991.
To tame what it saw as run-away house price inflation, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) increased interest rates. Mortgage rates rose to 7.9% in October 1992, up from 4.9% in January 1989.
Since most Swiss mortgages then were a variable rate (about 76% of all loans in 1994), the impact was severe. Apartment prices fell by 9% in 1993, followed by another 9% in 1994, and 8.3% in 1996. From 1993 to 2000, apartment prices fell by an average of 6% yearly.
By 2000, apartment prices were back to their 1987 level. The crash had wiped out a decade’s gains.
The partial recovery of the housing market was mainly due to low interest rates. Mortgage rates dropped from an average of 4.3% in 2000-2001 to an average of 3% - 3.2% from 2003 to 2006. In mid-2007, mortgage rates started inching up to 3.35% in March 2008.
The effect of interest rate hikes on house price changes will not be as severe as in other countries such as Ireland or Spain, because most mortgages have fixed interest rates. In 2004, 74% of mortgages had fixed interest rates.
Low owner-occupancy rate
Switzerland has one of the lowest owner-occupancy rates in Europe at 35% (2000), while around 64% of all households rent. One reason for this is the extremely pro-tenant workings of the rental market. Rent increases must be justified by the landlord’s cost increases. Tenants are also protected against eviction.
Owner-occupancy is also discouraged by taxation; property is treated as an asset subject to both wealth and income tax for imputed rental income. Income tax rates in Switzerland can easily exceed 50%, among the highest in the world. Capital gains are also subject to income tax at the cantonal level, with rates differing by duration of ownership. (see Taxes and Cost section)
Owner-occupancy, however, is slowly gaining popularity. Home ownership rate reached 36.5% in 2005, up from 31% in 1990, mainly due to an increase in condominium-style apartment ownership. Changes in pension laws have helped - funds can now be withdrawn for house purchases from all pension accounts, both mandatory and voluntary.
Restricted foreign access
The Swiss have for a long time restricted the sale of property to foreigners. Now the Federal government has set an annual quota of permits for non-resident foreigners seeking to acquire property in Switzerland. In addition, cantonal authorization is needed before gaining title. Each canton has slightly different rules and the rules even vary from commune to commune within the canton.
Generally speaking, foreigners have the largest choice of properties in French-speaking cantons. The most liberal canton is Vaud, which includes mountain resorts such as Villars, where foreigners can buy virtually any property and resell immediately.
However by 2010 each canton will have the responsibility for its own foreign property acquisition laws, which may result to faster transfer of property titles as opposed to the current delays. This is expected to increase demand from foreign buyers.
Not for buy-to-let investment
Even with the gradual opening of the real estate market, the buy-to-let market is still off-limits to foreigners except for subsidized housing. The acquisition of residential real estate by foreigners for rental “requires prior authorization and is prohibited because there are no grounds for granting authorization,“ according to the Federal Office of Justice.
A foreigner may be granted authorization to acquire a rental unit if he will construct subsidized housing, i.e. for the building of accommodation with a rent which is low and reasonable compared with similar premises in the same locality, or to acquire newly built housing of the same type when there is a local housing shortage. This reason for authorization applies only in cantons Fribourg, Geneva, Grisons, Jura, Neuchâtel, Ticino, Vaud and Valais.
Rental yields Switzerland’s major cities are quite low, at 3.8% to 5%.
Apartments in Geneva, home to various international organizations such as the ILO, WHO, WTO, and the Red Cross, have gross yields of 4.1% - 4.9% In Zurich, Switzerland’s biggest city and the financial capital, apartments have gross yields of 3.8%–5.1%.
Vacancy rates are very low by international standards, at 1.07% in 2007, up from 0.99% in 2005 to. The low vacancy rate reflects a severe housing shortage, to which the market is responding.