The availability or shortage of flats for rent is driven by the development of new housing units, Raiffeisen’s report noted.
In areas where a lot of construction is underway, there are more rental options, while the opposite is true in regions where there is no, or little, building activity.
The average Swiss vacancy rate is 2.76 percent, but some cantons exceed that number.
For instance, while large urban centres around the Lake Geneva, as well as the Zurich and Basel regions don’t have much vacant housing, others have difficulty finding tenants for their apartments.
Among them are Solothurn, where the vacancy rate is 6.5 percent, Valais (5.4 percent,) and Appenzell Innerrhoden (5.3 percent).
In medium-sized cities “the number of empty dwellings has increased by almost 2.5 times over the past 10 years and the trend is still rising sharply,” Raiffeisen reported.
“What is worrying is that the vacancy rate is increasing where there are already a lot of empty homes,” said Martin Neff, Raiffeisen’s chief economist.
On the other hand, the demand for private housing is increasing across the country, according to Raiffeisen.
This can be explained by a limited supply of properties for sale combined with a high demand driven by low mortgage rates.
Regional differences exist, however. In Valais and Jura, vacancy rates are 1 percent, while they are higher in Ticino, Aargau, Vaud and Glarus.
On the other hand, there is much less availability of properties for sale in Geneva, Zurich, and Basel — a situation that is similar to the rental market.