FOR MEMBERS

Rent: Swiss cantons ranked from cheapest to most expensive

Rent: Swiss cantons ranked from cheapest to most expensive
Apartments in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo by Vincent Dörig on Unsplash
Looking for somewhere to live or an investment opportunity? Here’s each of Switzerland’s 26 cantons ranked in rent prices.

Renting in Switzerland is never cheap, but the amount you will pay differs significantly from canton to canton. 

This is due to a variety of factors, but the most obvious is demand. 

Cantons like Zurich and Geneva have high prices due simply to the amount of people who want to live there. 

READ MORE: Top ten tips for finding an apartment in Switzerland

Other factors play a part, such as competitive tax rates. Cantons like Zug and Schwyz have among the highest average rents, as their low tax rates make them a target for high earners. 

The figures for the ranking are from 2019, which are the last official figures available. Keep in mind that this may have changed since then, not least due to the impact of the pandemic. 

Given the wide variety of house and apartment types, price can vary significantly, for instance on the basis of how many rooms there are. 

Therefore, this summary takes into account larger properties, i.e. two to three bedrooms. For a full list of all property types – and for more information on the summary – check out the following official link.

What do we know about renting in Switzerland? 

One major factor to consider in the Swiss property market is that renting is more common here than anywhere else in Europe. 

Approximately 59 percent of Swiss people rent – making it the highest percentage of renters anywhere in Europe. 

In fact, Switzerland is the only country in Europe where more than half of the people rent rather than own their home. 

On the one had this means there is more competition for rentals, but on the other hand this means that the laws tend to be drawn in favour of renters rather than owners. 

For more information on this phenomenon, check out the following link. 

READ MORE: Why do so many Swiss prefer to rent rather than buy their own home?

Where is the most expensive canton to rent in Switzerland? 

Rented accommodations are most expensive in the Swiss canton of Zug, according to a study by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

Average monthly rents for a three-to-four room property in the tiny canton, which is home to dozens of multinational companies, is 1,887 francs.

Due to its low tax rate, Zug is a major target for millionaires – with the most per capita in Switzerland.

READ MORE: Which Swiss canton has the most millionaires?

Rents have increased by 36.28 percent in Zug since 2000. This makes it the canton with the highest rent increase over the past 20 years in actual Swiss francs, with rents having gone up by 489 on average. 

Valais is the canton with the highest percentage rent increase, with rents going up by 37.10 percent on average since 2000. 

Zurich is in second place with 1,550, with a 26.32 percent increase since 2000. 

Schwyz – another major target for millionaires – is in third place with an average rent of CHF1,546, or a 33.16 percent increase. 

Rounding out the top five are the small canton of Nidwalden 1,469 (21.5 percent increase) and Geneva CHF1,416 (27.11 percent increase). 

In which cantons is it cheapest to rent?

Down the other end of the spectrum, Jura costs an average of CHF907 per month – which is an increase of 18.41 percent since 2000. 

READ MORE: In which Swiss canton can you find a rental bargain?

The only other canton where you might find a monthly deal under CHF1000 on average is Neuchâtel, where average rents are CHF907 per month (or 27.70 percent). 

Glarus is third cheapest with CHF1,122 (21.82 percent increase), followed by Valais at CHF1,127 (37.10 percent increase) and Appenzell Innerrhoden at CHF1,131. 

Appenzell Innerrhoden has seen the lowest increase over this period of time, with prices rising by 13.67 percent since 2000. 

How does this compare to the country as a whole?

Switzerland itself has seen a strong increase in rental prices over that time. The average rent in Switzerland as a whole is 1,329 francs per month, which is an increase of 270 euros or 25.50 percent. 

Anyone who lives in Switzerland – or works in Switzerland and lives abroad – will tell you that prices only tell half the story.

In order to properly understand how expensive a canton is, you need to take into account work opportunities, transit costs, etc. 

The following summary looks at where is cheap to live based purely on cost of living. 

Cost of living: Which parts of Switzerland are actually cheap to live in?

The following table, produced by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, shows the comparative rent from canton to canton. 

Comparative rents in Switzerland. Photo: Switzerland Federal Statistical Office.

Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.