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.