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Property Prices

Switzerland - Property Prices

Although home-ownership has not been a trend in the past, Switzerland is now seeing a boom in house purchases. This has been brought about by low interest rates, high economic growth, an influx of foreign workers, and the better value that home-ownership represents in comparison to renting. Prices are increasing and are predicted to continue to rise for some time. Supply is also rising to meet demand, however, so property should be less scarce than it has been in the past.

At the present time, property is expensive but likely to represent a good investment if kept for a number of years. Bear in mind that mortgage repayments will rise with interest rates, which are at an all-time low and only set to increase, and also that property gains will be taxed.

Provided they are otherwise eligible to buy property in Switzerland, the Swiss system doesn't discriminate against foreign buyers, who simply have to be the first to offer the asking price. If the property doesn't sell quickly, there may be room for negotiation, but again the buyer willing to make the best offer will be the successful one. The only issue that may arise for the expat is that the most desirable properties tend to be sold quickly in private sales or off-plan, and it can be difficult for an expat to stay ahead of the game without having the right local connections.

Prices in Switzerland are generally high but affordability varies greatly depending on the location. Central city locations and the most desirable suburbs will command the highest asking prices, with property in communities along Lake Geneva, Lake Zurich and Lake Zug also particularly expensive. Prices are more reasonable in rural areas, but rise again in the more exclusive alpine resorts.

In summer 2011, the following prices were representative of some properties being advertised via online property search services. Note that the room number quoted uses the Swiss system of counting rooms, and does not include the kitchen or main bathroom. A 4 room house may have 2 bedrooms, a living room and a dining room, for example, or it may have 3 bedrooms and one living room.

3 Room Apartment, size 50-75 m2

CHF 380,000 -- 1st floor apartment with balcony and parking, outskirts of Zurich
CHF 396,000 -- Renovated apartment on mezzanine floor, central Basel
CHF 450,000 -- Apartment in historic town building, central Basel
CHF 675,000 -- Apartment in quiet residential district of Zurich city
CHF 690,000 -- Renovated apartment in central Geneva
CHF 920,000 -- 2nd floor apartment in 1960s block, near Geneva centre

4 Room House, size 100-150 m2

CHF 260,000 -- Farmhouse in need of renovation, Bern (canton)
CHF 320,000 -- Townhouse in need of renovation, Vaud
CHF 360,000 -- Modern house in centre of rural village, Ticino
CHF 420,000 -- Small, modern house in rural Bern (canton)
CHF 449,000 -- Terraced house with garden in village centre, Zurich (canton)
CHF 499,000 -- Small renovated cottage (described as gingerbread house), Aargau
CHF 530,000 -- Historic wooden chalet, Valais
CHF 600,000 -- Historic farmhouse in need of renovation on good-sized plot, Vaud
CHF 855,000 -- Detached villa with marble floors and garden, in village near Lake Zurich
CHF 1,360,000 -- House with new kitchen, in Zurich city

6 Room House, size 150-200 m2

CHF 350,000 -- Apartment in duplex with garage, cellar, and mountain view, Valais
CHF 589,000 -- Brand new house to buy off-plan, rural location, Solothurn
CHF 650,000 -- House with good-sized garden and view, Aargau
CHF 690,000 -- Modern villa to buy off-plan, Fribourg
CHF 745,000 -- Modern, energy efficient new build, Aargau
CHF 1,015,900 -- New-build house to buy off-plan, near Zurich airport
CHF 1,490,000 -- New-build with cellar and double garage in suburb of Geneva
CHF 1,500,000 -- Villa and garden with view in desirable suburb of Zurich
CHF 2,480,000 -- House with swimming pool next to Geneva airport

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