Renting now ‘cheaper than buying’ in Switzerland
Rising interest rates fuelled by economic uncertainty has meant renting a home is cheaper than buying in Switzerland for the first time in 15 years, a new study has found, although there is a pretty important catch.
High property prices and the need for a 20 percent deposit can make the costs of buying a house in Switzerland prohibitive, leading many to choose renting as a cheaper option.
However, economic uncertainty - such as the fallout from Russia's Ukraine invasion and the lingering impacts of the Covid pandemic - can put upward pressure on interest rates.
A Credit Suisse study from 2022 found that for the first time in 13 years, renting was actually a cheaper option than buying in the longer term, due mainly to a rise in interest rates.
According to the researchers "the first time in a long time, buyers or owners of a condominium have to pay more than for a comparable rental apartment".
The researchers compared advertised property prices and rents, comparing rental expenses with the costs of a five-year fixed mortgage on a 4.5-room apartment.
Renting was a cheaper option than buying due to a 45 percent increase in mortgage interest since the beginning of 2021.
On a one-to-one comparison, the study found that paying a mortgage on a 4.5-room apartment would cost you CHF23,128 per year, compared to CHF22,440 per year to rent.
Of course, in the longer term those who buy a house will own some or the whole home as opposed to those who rent.
Economic uncertainty fuels change in Switzerland
This represents a change in Switzerland, where low interest rates had made purchasing a property actually cheaper over the long term.
A report from 2020 found that buying a house in Switzerland can save you a considerable amount of cash over time - particularly for families.
The report, prepared by Switzerland’s Raiffeisen Bank, showed that despite rising house prices - it was still considerably cheaper to buy in the long term when living in Switzerland.
Average rental payments for a 3 to 4.5-room apartment in Switzerland - when compared to mortgage repayment costs - are 20 percent higher than buying a house of the same size on average.
More information about renting and buying property in Switzerland can be found at the following link.