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House prices in Switzerland set to fall in 2018

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House prices in Switzerland set to fall in 2018
Photo: elxenelze/Depositphotos
11:39 CET+01:00
Home ownership in Switzerland is becoming more affordable as the cost of houses and apartments continues to fall.

Over the past year the cost of residential apartments fell by 4 percent, according to the Swiss Real Estate Offer Index.

The cost of single-family houses also fell, but by a more moderate 0.8 percent.

Property prices reached their lowest level in December, the index shows.

An apartment in Switzerland cost 6,900 francs per square meter in December, down from 7,350 francs in July.

According to Martin Waeber, the director of real estate company ImmoScout24 that compiles the index, the falling prices are explained in part by low interest rates and a high level of vacant properties.

Waeber said these factors would continue to play an important role in the first few months of 2018.

But Waeber was sceptical that the falling prices would lead to a big jump in property ownership as banks continue to set the bar high when it comes to mortgages.

Rental property prices also fell in 2017, according to the index.

The 1.2 percent drop in rental prices brought them to a level last seen in August 2015.

But price developments in the rental market varied considerably depending on the region, the index shows.

In the Lake Geneva region prices rose by 1 percent and in Zurich they increased by 0.4 percent over the year.

In central Switzerland rental prices fell by an above average 1.6 percent, and in Ticino there was a 2.8 percent decrease.

“Less immigration and increased construction could continue to benefit renters,” Waeber said.

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