Where in Switzerland you can buy cheaper properties
You probably don’t think of Swiss housing market as being ‘cheap’, because it is not. But from time to time, it is possible to find a reasonably priced property - if you are not too picky about the location.
Houses and apartments are notoriously expensive in Switzerland, and out of reach for most low and middle-class people.
One major reason for high real estate costs is scarcity of land.
Switzerland is a small country with little land left to be developed and the development of whatever land is available is strictly regulated; for instance, agricultural land can’t easily be used for construction.
And as Switzerland’s land is not expandable, “residential real estate will continue to appreciate in value”, according to Stefan Fahrländer, chairman of the board of Fahrländer Partner, a real estate consultancy firm in Zurich.
There is also another reason for the shortage of homes — immigration.
“There are more and more people in the country”, said Roman Ballmer from Zurich property firm Lazi.
“Even in 2020, the year of the pandemic, immigration increased and fewer people left the country”, he said. “For the few homes for sale, there are more and more auctions, with properties selling well above the original asking price”.
However, there are places in Switzerland where cheaper options are available right now.
The priciest housing is typically in urban centres like Geneva, Zurich, and Basel, or locations with a high concentration of multinational companies and residents, such as Zug and Lausanne.
But if you are willing to venture farther afield, you can find small municipalities where real estate prices have been dropping, even while they continue to soar in larger conglomerations mentioned above.
The real estate consultancy Wüest Partner has identified 20 municipalities where the prices of condominiums and single-family houses have fallen the most.
Here are some examples:
While properties in Vaud, especially close to the Lake Geneva region, are expensive and rising, the small municipality of Ollon is bucking this trend.
Prices of properties in this small town composed of 23 villages with a total population of 8,440 people, are 14 percent cheaper than a decade ago. Plus, if a city vibe is more your thing than a laid-back ambience of small towns, you can be in Lausanne in about 45 minutes via the A9 motorway.
Both municipalities are small — population 2,100 and 4,800, respectively — but are located less than an hour from the capital of Sion. The price of properties there, especially condominiums, fell by 5 percent in recent years.
If you are in the market for a secondary residence, you are in luck: prices in some tourist municipalities are also decreasing.
For instance, a single-family house in Klosters (Graubünden) costs 12.3 percent less than in prior years, and in Davos (also in Graubünden) prices dropped by 9.6 percent.
READ MORE: How can I buy a second home in Switzerland?
What if you have your heart set on a big city?
As stated above, real estate prices are through the roof (no pun intended) is Switzerland’s largest cities.
However, there is a bit of good news: while prices in some urban areas have not fallen, they have not increases much either.
This is the case of Geneva districts of Bellevue, Bradonnex, and Meinier, where cost of real estate went up very slightly by 0.2 and 0.3 percent respectively.
You can see all the prices here.