Q4 home construction permits rise sharply

The number of new homes under construction in Switzerland rose to 75,600 units in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 12.5 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Q4 home construction permits rise sharply
Photo: Credit Suisse

Figures released by the federal statistics office on Monday also showed that the number of permits for new homes in the final three months of last year jumped 71 percent to 22,260 from the fourth quarter of 2011.

That rate is significantly higher than for the past four years.

By  contrast, the actual number of homes completed in the fourth quarter of 2012 declined by 12 percent to 12,250 from a year earlier.

For the full year, the number of homes built dropped five percent to 43,980 units from the previous year.

Geneva (up 37 percent) and Basel (up nine percent) were the only major metropolitan areas to see more homes completed.

The number of home permits issued for 2012 rose 17.5 percent to 66,140 units.

The majority of the growth came in municipalities with populations under 10,000, the statistics office said.

Of the country’s five largest cities, only Lausanne and Basel saw increases in permits, according to the federal figures.

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In which Swiss canton can you find a rental bargain?

The cost of renting an apartment in Switzerland varies largely from canton to canton. Here's where you might find a bargain.

In which Swiss canton can you find a rental bargain?
Sign on this Swiss building says "for rent." Photo: FRED DUFOUR / AFP

Rented accommodations are most expensive in the Swiss canton of Zug, according to a study by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

Average monthly rents for a three-to-four room property in the tiny canton, which is home to dozens of multinational companies, is 1,883 francs.

Due to its low tax rate, Zug is a major target for millionaires – with the most per capita in Switzerland.

READ MORE: Which Swiss canton has the most millionaires?

Average monthly rents for a three to four room property in the two cantons ranged between 1,486 and 1,508 francs in 2019.

In the second place is the canton of Zurich (1,663 francs per month), followed by Schwyz (1,612 francs) and Nidwalden (1,553 francs).

Geneva and Vaud are next on the list, with average monthly rents of 1,508 francs and 1,486 francs, respectively.

Where can I find a cheap rental deal?

In contrast, the same size apartment in Jura costs 967 francs — the lowest rate in Switzerland — and 1,000 in Neuchâtel.

The Swiss average for a three to four-room dwelling is 1,362 francs, the OFS reported.

READ MORE: Reader question: How do I challenge my rent in Switzerland? 

This chart shows how your canton rates in terms of rents.

For most tenants in Switzerland — 62 percent — the monthly rent ranged between 1,000 and 1,999 francs, while a quarter of households paid a monthly rent of less than 1,000 francs.

Switzerland had 2.3 million tenants in 2019, while 1.4 million people owned their homes.

An earlier study showed that residential property prices continue to climb in Switzerland despite the pandemic, having increased by 2.5 percent in 2020.

Both owned and rented housing is most expensive in the Lake Geneva region, which encompasses cantons of Geneva and Vaud.