Swiss mortgage rates hit new historic lows
Mortgage rates have fallen to a new historic low in Switzerland, according to latest figures issued this week.
The reference rate for ten-year terms dropped to 1.8 percent at the end of December from 2.7 percent at the beginning of the year, the consumer information and advice site Comparis.ch, reported on Tuesday.
Property owners were even able to obtain rates as low as 1.2 percent in the last quarter for shorter terms, Comparis reported.
Rates for five-year terms fell to 1.3 percent last month from 1.8 percent in January 2014.
Although short-term rates are lower, most home owners are opting for longer term mortgages, Comparis said.
The percentage of fixed-term mortgages from seven to 15 years increased to 85 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 from 63 percent at the beginning of the year, the website said.
Around 14 percent of mortgages agreed in the last quarter were for medium terms (four to six years) while only one percent were for short terms (one to three years), Comparis said.
Low interest rates are continuing to maintain lofty prices for housing in Switzerland, with prices for apartments up an average of five percent last year, according to website homes.ch.
Prices for villas have remained stable, except in the Lake Geneva region, where they have fallen by up to five percent, homes.ch said.