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Swiss home-hunters face five-month search

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Swiss home-hunters face five-month search
Photo: Caroline Bishop
13:59 CET+01:00
House-hunters in Switzerland take on average five months to find somewhere to live, according to a survey published on Monday by an online comparison site.

The survey analyzed the responses of 2,000 house-hunters during 2012 and 2013 across Switzerland.

The results, reported by L'Express, found that prospective tenants view on average nine apartments over the course of five months before finding somewhere to live.

Around 31 percent pay more than a quarter of their monthly salary on rent, while 33 percent end up paying more than they wish for an apartment.

The survey also found Zurich and Lausanne to be the most competitive places for house-hunters in Switzerland

The news comes after Zurichsee Zeitung last week reported on a change in the housing market in Zurich sparked by fewer companies offering accommodation subsidies to expat workers relocating to Switzerland from abroad.

Last summer 24 Heures reported on a housing crisis in Lausanne, with few quality properties available and more expats apartment-hunting independently, with no help from their employers.

Stanislas Roux from relocation agency La Côte Relocation in Nyon told The Local on Tuesday: "If someone is looking on their own, it doesn't shock me to count five months to find somewhere. If you employ a relocation company with good contacts then you can reduce that a bit."

"For two years now the Lausanne market has been very crowded and people unfortunately have to look away from the city centre because rents have gone up, so it's quite difficult to find something," he said.

The situation is no more difficult for foreigners than for Swiss people, said Roux. "The difficulties are the same. Even Swiss people don't have the time to do all the research. It's really a full time job."

The recent yes vote against mass immigration may have an effect on the market in years to come, he told The Local.

"It's clear that with fewer hunters from abroad there will be less of a shortage and maybe more apartments available and perhaps prices will go down a bit in a few years. But that depends on the politics."

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