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Swiss luxury home market turns downward

Malcolm Curtis · 20 Aug 2013, 00:21

Published: 20 Aug 2013 00:21 GMT+02:00

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The 11-room house, with seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, a pool and tennis courts, is ensconced in a 17,000-square metre estate in Begnins, a village between Geneva and Lausanne, with a view over Lake Geneva and the Alps.

Collins and his ex-partner lived there until their divorce in 2006.

The home, previously owned by British Formula One racing star Jackie Stewart, was put on the market last summer at double the price Collins paid for it.

But the market for such high-end homes is suffering from a lack of demand and too many properties for sale, French-language daily Le Matin reported this week.

The Collins’ residence was just one example of luxury estates in the Lake Geneva area that are not fetching the prices sought by vendors.

“The demand is less strong these last few months,” Cyril Aellen, chairman of the Geneva real estate chamber, is quoted as saying by Le Matin.

“This market (for luxury homes) is a niche market and I think it is still difficult to draw conclusions.”

However, in the upscale Geneva municipality of Cologny, no fewer than 20 mansions are for sale.

And Le Matin notes that the luxury market has faced a sharp slowdown in activity over the past 10 months.

“The crisis is striking hard for properties starting at four million (francs),” real estate agent and former swimming champion Dano Halsall of lagen.se told the newspaper.

“It is affecting also the foreign clientele, the English notably,” Halsall said, adding that it should be said that a lot of upscale homes were put on the market in a speculative way.

But some mansions are proving a tough sell.

The chateau of Allaman, with its 33-hectare estate in the canton of Vaud, has gone unsold for three years with an asking price of 120 million francs.

In the Geneva municipality of Genthod, the highest-priced home in the canton is up for sale for 71 million francs.

Story continues below…

So far, the sprawling lakefront property is finding no bidders, although it attracted the attention of British newspaper Daily Mail earlier this month.

The paper published a lavish spread of photos with intimate views of the modernistic 13-room home with its cathedral ceilings, indoor swimming pool, Turkish baths, spa, glass elevator and other amenities.

The name of the home’s owner has not been disclosed but the Tribune de Genève reported that he has published a book about the house in a bid to boost interest in its sale.

View of the highest priced home on the market in the canton of Geneva, overlooking Lake Geneva in Genthod. Photo: De Rham Sotheby's

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

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