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Renting For Members

Where in Switzerland rent prices are highest and lowest right now

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Where in Switzerland rent prices are highest and lowest right now
Geneva rents are the highest in Switzerland. Photo: Pixabay

Various surveys have shown that the supply of affordable housing in Switzerland is becoming much scarcer, while the number of more expensive apartments is increasing.

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From October, about 1 million Swiss households — all those whose leases are based on the reference rate — will be hit with a 5-percent rent hike, a situation that Swiss Tenants Association (ASLOCA) calls a “social time bomb.”

In fact, this development had already sparked social unrest earlier this year, when more than 1,000 people took to the streets of Zurich to demonstrate against the shortage of affordable housing in Switzerland’s most expensive city.

READ ALSO: How Zurich’s housing shortage sparked massive rioting

What rents can you expect to pay today in various Swiss regions?

Let’s start with the most expensive areas.

A new analysis from real estate consultancy IAZI-CIFI has evaluated all rental accommodation offers on Swiss internet portals – 94,700 in all since the beginning of 2023.

The company found that a typical monthly rent for a 100-square-metre flat was the highest in Geneva (3,433 francs), followed by Zug (3,167), and Zurich in the third place (2,817).

This finding is not exactly a surprise, as these are regions where many international companies and high-income people live, who drive the prices of housing upward.

Next are Vaud (2,625 francs), Basel-City (2,483), and Schwyz (2,458).

Vaud and Basel also have a high proportion of both international companies and residents, while some of Switzerland’s wealthiest people live in Schwyz.

The take-away message here is that unless you earn much more than the median Swiss wage of  6,665 francs a month, your income may not suffice to cover these rents and have enough money left over for other expenses.

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Where are the rents more affordable?

Your chances of finding less expensive dwellings will be better in regions that are less populated with international residents and companies.

For instance, rented accommodations of 100-square-metres for under 2,000 francs can be found in these cantons, according to IAZI-CIFI’s analysis: Fribourg and St. Gallen (1,992 francs), Uri (1,958) and Thurgau (1,908).

In Neuchâtel, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Glarus and Schaffhausen, you can find apartments of this size for under 1900 francs, but the cheapest canton is Jura, where you can rent a 100-square-metre flat for 1,500 francs a month.

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What is the forecast for Switzerland’s housing market (and rents) in coming years?

It depends on who you listen to.

Avenir Suisse, a think-tank focusing on Switzerland’s political, economic, and social future, doesn’t believe the country is facing a housing crisis. 

As a matter of fact, its analysis indicates that the situation is not as dire as many predict, pointing out the housing market is “still functioning”.

Also, rents have not risen “disproportionately” over the years, but only in parallel with income, the think-tank said.

Others, on the other hand, are less optimistic.

“By 2026, rent increases of more than 15 percent are possible,” said Martin Tschirren, head of the Federal Housing Office, who expects the gap between supply and demand to widen and rents to climb accordingly.

READ ALSO: Why rents in some parts of Switzerland are now set to increase sharply

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