Zurich property prices have almost doubled since 2007

A new report shows the increase in the cost of buying apartments in Switzerland over the last 11 years, with the country’s largest city affected by the largest increases.

Zurich property prices have almost doubled since 2007
Zurich's old town at night. Photo credit: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The price comparison firm Comparis and ETH Zurich have released a report showing the difference in Swiss property prices compared to 2007. In Zurich, it now costs almost double (a 97% increase) to buy an apartment, with the price per square metre now setting property owners back an average of 13,000 Swiss francs.

The analysis shows that there has been a lot of variation between different parts of Switzerland, but the areas with the biggest spikes tended to be near to lakes. Nine of the ten largest increases were seen in lake regions.

After Zurich, the biggest changes were experienced by Horgen district (+89%), the canton of Nidwalden (+82%) and the city of Neuchatel (+80%). The only place where prices fell was the district of Goms in Canton Valais, southern Switzerland (-2%).

The report also shows the difference in overall prices between different parts of Switzerland. At the other end of the spectrum from Zurich is Le Locle in Canton Neuchatel, where one square metre costs an average of 3,250 francs.

Over the last 12 months, the rate of increase has slowed, with several districts and municipalities recording lower prices than one year ago. It is unclear whether this deceleration will represent a long-term trend.


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‘3,000 francs a month?’: Zurich to vote on trying universal basic income

On Sunday September 25th, while the Swiss will decide on three national issues in a national referendum, Zurich voters will weigh in on a pilot project involving the recurring issue of universal basic income.

'3,000 francs a month?': Zurich to vote on trying universal basic income

The idea of the government handing out a set amount of money to its citizens is not a novel concept in Switzerland: in 2016, a referendum made Switzerland the first country in the world to vote at national level on this issue.

But 76.9 percent of voters rejected this initiative because they could not see how it could be funded without increasing taxes.

Some left-leaning districts in Zurich, however, voted in favour of the universal basic income (UBI), and while nothing came of it on the national level at the time, the city will re-vote on this issue on Sunday.

READ MORE: Zurich to roll out universal basic income pilot project

While the exact details are still muddy, voters will decide whether to offer “free” money on monthly basis to 500 residents chosen for the pilot project.

Though the amount is not yet determined, it could likely be between 2,500 and 3,000 francs a month.

Contrary to what had been proposed at the federal level in 2016, the part paid by the city government will vary according to income from work.

For the political left, which launched the proposal, UBI “represents a possible answer to current challenges such as automation, poverty and the climate crisis”, the group says on its website.

Among the opponents, the municipal council “believes that paid work is the most important element to ensure the livelihood of individuals and at the same time create social prosperity”.

Does this proposal have a chance of success?

Based on the outcome of the national vote, probably not.

On a municipal level too, such initiatives have already failed in Bern and Lucerne.

However, as Swiss media points out, “Zurich is very left”, so perhaps UBI can get more of a boost there.

As far as the national referendum on September 25th is concerned, this article explains what issues will be voted on:

Pensions, farming and tax: What issues will the Swiss vote on this month?