Yet the study by Comparis.ch, published on Thursday, showed that Geneva has the smallest apartments, making them the most expensive per square metre.
The study analyzed average monthly rents on apartments of 3 and 3.5 rooms in Switzerland’s 15 biggest cities.
At 2,324 francs ($2,381), Zurich was the most expensive Swiss city for rents, followed by Geneva (1,995 francs), Lausanne (1,850 francs).
At the other end of the scale, watchmaking town La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel had the cheapest average price, of 1,120 francs ($1,147), while rents averaged around 1,300 francs in St Gallen, Schaffhausen and Biel/Bienne.
In a statement housing expert Michael Kohlas said the prices “reflect the strained situation in the housing market in Zurich and Geneva. In these cities it’s extremely difficult to find an affordable apartment”.
At least your money buys you more space in Zurich, however. According to the study the city has the largest apartments, with an average of 80 metres square for a 3 or 3.5 room apartment, along with those in Chur and Lucerne.
In Geneva, however, the average is just 60 metres square, significantly below the Swiss average (76m2), making it the most expensive place in Switzerland per square metre.
“These big differences in price per metre square can be explained by factors including the level of facilities, the year of construction, the location of the apartment as well as the purchasing power, which varies according to the region,” said Kohlas.
The best price-space ratio is to be found in the eastern Swiss city of Chur, where 3.5 room apartments cost around 1,570 francs a month, working out at 20 francs per square metre compared with 33 francs in Geneva.
While housing prices in Switzerland remain high, in October real estate specialists Wuest and Partner predicted they would come down in some areas of the country in 2016.
Rents in the Lake Geneva area should drop by 0.6 percent on average this year, said the firm, however there will be no respite for renters in Zurich and the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, where rents were set to rise once again.
An August study said that low interest rates in Switzerland meant buying a house was cheaper than renting an equivalent apartment.