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How much do you need to earn to buy a property in Switzerland?

Sandra Sparrowhawk
Sandra Sparrowhawk - [email protected]
How much do you need to earn to buy a property in Switzerland?
Property prices continue to rise in Switzerland. Image by Julian Hacker from Pixabay.

Properties are expensive in Switzerland and out of reach for most families. Recent figures study reveal just how much you need to earn to turn a dream of home ownership into reality.


According to Zurich-based real estate consulting firm lazi, the cost of owning a home in Switzerland has risen by around 4.9 percent in the past twelve months.

The price increase is largely fuelled by population growth and the influx of foreign skilled workers, while at the same time property supply remains scarce throughout the country.

At the end of August 2023, as per data from the State Secretariat for Migration, there was a cumulative net number of 60,000 newcomers, roughly corresponding to the resident population of the city of Lugano. This alone generates a need for around 30,000 additional residential apartments.

READ MORE: The cheapest towns to purchase property in Switzerland right now

Immigration into the permanent foreign resident population increased by 10.5 percent in September 2023 compared to the same month last year. This number was expected to keep growing.

So how much should you earn to be able to buy a house?

Iazi has calculated the purchase prices for an average, 140-square metre single-family home in good condition and good construction quality in large Swiss cities.

Not surprisingly, future property owners in Zurich will need to fork out the most money to secure a house with an average single-family home costing around 3.19 million Swiss francs.

In order to get a mortgage from a Swiss bank, a buyer must be able to prove that they are financially secure and can afford to pay the monthly instalments.

This means that in addition to the usual 20 percent in equity, a buyer would require an annual income of 525,000 Swiss francs in order to purchase a home. Iazi expects a loan-to-value of 80 percent, an imputed interest rate of 4.5 percent and 1 percent in additional costs.

If you’re looking to purchase a home in a large Swiss city, then Bern will be your cheapest – though still a pricey – option at 1.87 million Swiss francs. This means that a household in Bern would need an annual income of over 300,000 Swiss francs to buy their own property.

The cities of Geneva (2.94 million), Basel (2.25 million) and Lausanne (1.96 million) fall in the middle.


The Swiss median wage is 80,000  francs per year, however, which means that even if both people living in a two-person household work full-time (160,000 Swiss francs), they would still not qualify for a mortgage in Bern unless their equity far surpasses the required 20 percent.

While this spells a dark reality for most hopeful buyers, you may still be able to afford a house outside of Switzerland’s main cities – provided you are willing to commute and compromise on location.

However, even outside the larger Swiss cities an annual income of at least 100,000 will be required to secure a mortgage.

READ MORE: Why not paying off your mortgage in Switzerland can save you money


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