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Property in Switzerland roundup: How will the Chinese real estate shock affect the Swiss market?

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 23 Sep, 2021 Updated Thu 23 Sep 2021 09:54 CEST
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Stay up-to-date on the latest Swiss property news with The Local's weekly roundup.


Will the Chinese real estate shock affect Switzerland?

Swiss media reported that China's second largest real estate developer, Evergrande, is on the brink of bankruptcy. The situation is so dire that global markets are impacted.

In Switzerland, the Swiss Market Index (SMI) dropped 1.42 percent due to this event. 

Can this epic failure impact Switzerland’s property market as well?

Martin Neff, chief economist at Raiffeisen Switzerland, doesn’t expect this crisis to reach the Swiss housing market, though "a little nervousness  cannot be ruled out”, he said.

The Swiss property market, like here in Zurich, is not expected to be impacted by Chinese real estate crisis. Apartments in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo by Vincent Dörig on Unsplash


Can you obtain a subsidy for making your house environmentally friendly?

The new law on CO2, drafted last week by the Federal Council. includes financial aid to replace old oil or gas heaters.

But for the moment, the administrative procedures for homeowners who wish to obtain a financial help to make their house more sustainable are complex, discouraging many individuals to complete their procedures, according to RTS public broadcaster.

Two parallel steps are necessary: ​​one to obtain a possible subsidy, and the other to obtain a building permit. Add to it the bureaucracy at municipal, cantonal and federal levels — all of which are involved in the process.

“In the end, we end up with 23 forms for a request for authorisation to install solar panels, and that is unacceptable”, said Stéphane Genoud, professor of energy management at the HES-SO Valais.

"They all have roughly the same tendency not to accelerate this energy transition", he added.


How many “rooms” can you expect in a Swiss apartment?

People looking for rental housing in Switzerland are often confused by the number of rooms advertised for a given flat.

This is how it works: All “living” rooms such as living rooms and bedrooms are considered to be actual rooms. But kitchens, bathrooms, showers, toilets, corridors, or verandas / balconies are not. And neither are separate laundry rooms or storage spaces.

So if you see an advert for a three-room apartment, this typically means a living room and two bedrooms.

Did you know?

Most Swiss lenders don’t accept mortgage requests from non-residents.

There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Some lenders will grant mortgages to non-residents if the mortgaged property is located in Switzerland.

READ MORE: Can foreigners buy property in Switzerland?

And a number of Swiss banks will also provide mortgages for properties in border regions of neighbouring countries, if you earn your income in Switzerland.

Useful links

Looking for a house or an apartment in Switzerland or just want a little more information about the property market, then check out the following links. 

Buying property versus renting in Switzerland: What is actually cheaper

Rent: Swiss cantons ranked from cheapest to most expensive

Top ten tips for finding an apartment in Switzerland

The property roundup is a weekly feature and we’d welcome any feedback or suggestions for areas it should cover. Please email us at [email protected]




Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2021/09/23 09:54

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