Property prices in Switzerland set to become (slightly) more affordable

The Local Switzerland
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Property prices in Switzerland set to become (slightly) more affordable
Owning is set to become cheaper than renting. Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Home ownership in Switzerland is out of reach for most people, but there are changes afoot — at least in some regions - that could make it possible for more people to buy.


At times, being a property owner in Switzerland is cheaper than renting, and at other times it is the opposite.

For instance, if mortgage interest rates are low and rents high, then buying a home makes better financial sense than being a tenant.

What is the current situation?

In the first three months of 2024, home owners have had a heavier financial burden than tenants of similar properties, according to a UBS study.

It shows that the annual cost for an owned apartment of four and a half rooms and 110 square metres of living space was 32,500 francs a year between January and end of March, while the annual rent for for a similar size flat amounted to 30,500 francs.

That is especially the case for owners who took out a long-term fixed mortgage when rates were at their highest, that is, well over 2 percent. 

For instance, a person who took out a long-term mortgage during this period would have to bear cumulative additional costs of almost 50,000 francs by 2033.


What lies ahead in terms of property prices?

Better news for prospective property owners.

Thanks to falling mortgage interest rates — due mostly to two key rate cuts still expected from the Swiss National Bank (SNB) — mortgages are now significantly lower than they were at this time in 2023.

Many are now below 2 percent and they are expected to drop further by the beginning of 2025, according to UBS’s forecast.

This is already the case in cantons of Bern, Solothurn, Aargau, Schaffhausen and Thurgau, as well as in certain areas of Vaud, Fribourg and Valais, where buying a home is also already cheaper than renting.

On the other hand, mountain regions will continue to be more expensive than most other parts of the country.

READ ALSO: Why luxury Swiss mountain resorts are becoming 'lifeless' 



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