How Much Does a House Cost in Switzerland?

The homeownership rate in Switzerland is one of the lowest in the world. So not many people buy properties there. If you are thinking of buying property in one of the most expensive countries on the planet, you must be aware of housing markets current prices. You might purchase real estate in Switzerland as a long-term investment or for personal living.

The average purchasing price of a single-family home in Switzerland is around 1,050,000 CHF, about 3,040,000 CHF in Zurich (almost three times more expensive), and 2,823,000 CHF in Geneva. The average price per square meter for an apartment was 7,400 CHF in 2020 across the country.

Property prices in Switzerland are higher than in many places in Europe, but mortgages from Swiss national banks have very low-interest rates. Also, the demand has been rising substantially over the past few years. If you are thinking about buying a home in the wealthiest country in the world, here are some Swiss real estate market figures. Shortly, it’s not cheap at all. To learn about rental prices in Switzerland, check out this guide.

Also, see the best places to buy a house in Switzerland in this article.

Housing Prices Switzerland in 2022

Source: Federal statistics office

The typical house price in Switzerland is around 1,050,000 CHF. On average, people spend about 6,100 CHF per square meter when buying a house.

The regional price differences are very significant, yet the average cost of a square meter is 6,100 CHF for a house. Apartments are more expensive, with 7,400 CHF per m² on average. The Geneva region is the most expensive area to buy a single-family home, with average prices of 10,500 CHF per m².

In the Zurich region, housing markets in the urban centers are still well below the 10,000 CHF and 8,100 CHF mark.

According to analysts, of the housing market trends, prices in Switzerland have risen by 7% in the past 12 months and, despite the pandemic, show no signs of slowing down. Demand is greater than supply, partly due to Swiss laws banning the construction of dwellings in green space.

The cost of a house in Switzerland depends these fundamental factors:

  • Kanton (region)
  • City
  • The neighborhood
  • Mortgage loans plans
  • Size of the home and land
  • Age of the construction

What is the best place to buy a home in Switzerland? Read here.

Some cities and regions have higher demand while others have less. A home in a high-demand city can be 3-4 times stretched valuations than in a less-demanded place.

Besides, purchasing a property in Switzerland costs more than the initial house price. There are some additional costs buyers should count in the price, including:

  • Real estate agent commission (if applicable)
  • Notary and registry costs
  • Land transfer tax (if applicable)
  • Real estate tax
  • Security letter fee
  • Ongoing maintenance costs

Switzerland is a confederation of 26 autonomous cantons – fees and taxes vary from canton to canton, and the cost is usually borne by the purchaser but can be shared with the seller. Thus, check related sites on taxes and fees in your canton before buying real estate.

https://russianvagabond.com/best-place-to-buy-a-house-in-switzerland/

What are the Typical Costs for a House in Switzerland?

1. Agent’s fee

Homebuyers who use the services of a real estate agent usually have to pay the agent a commission. Both seller and buyer pay the broker fee in total between 1,5% and 3% of the property price. But the amount can be negotiable.

2. Notary costs

The notary can charge different amounts, generally between 0,1% and 0,5% of the purchase price.

3. Handänderungssteuer (taxes)

The real estate tax is between 1,5% and 3,3% of the purchase price. Plus registry fee is between 0,1% and 0,5%. 

4. Security letter for a bank

If you take out a mortgage, a special security letter must be written for the bank. Buyers pay a fee of 0,1%-0,3% to issue such paper.

For example, to calculate interest rate and additional costs, assume you buy a house in canton Bern for 1,000,000 CHF, where the bank lent 80%. Therefore, a buyer pays around 7,300 CHF in fees.

Can a foreigner buy real estate in Switzerland?

Now you know about prices for Swiss properties, but can you buy one given the global trend?

There are strict rules in place in Switzerland regarding foreign ownership. Foreigners may only buy property in a tourist area. Foreigners are allowed to purchase chalets and apartments in most Swiss ski resorts as these are in tourist areas. In general, you may only buy residential property out if you.

Qualifications of a foreigner who can buy a house in Switzerland

Swiss property laws are highly regulated. A non-resident may buy a holiday home in Switzerland upon approval from the canton where the property is located. Foreigners are really only permitted to buy in tourist areas and not in the cities.

https://russianvagabond.com/what-is-a-good-salary-in-switzerland/

Average Swiss house prices in Switzerland

Source: Statista

As of January 2022, the average price per square meter for a house in Switzerland is 6,242 CHF, with the range covering between 3,100 CHF – 12,443 CHF. The median price for a house is 1,100,000 CHF.

For privately owned apartments, the average cost per square meter is 6,879 CHF, with a range of 4,272 CHF – 14,290 CHF. Apartments’ median price is 717,793 CHF. 

If you rent, you will pay between an average of 1,500 CHF and 2,500 CHF for a rental property per month in Swiss cities; in many cases, it’s a higher rate than an average mortgage repayment. 

Average prices of apartments 

Average prices for apartments in different locations (2020):

LocationProperty prices, CHF /m²
Switzerland average 7,400
Basel9,750
Bern7,850
Geneva14,290
Lausanne10,290
Zurich13,490

Average house prices in Switzerland as of November 2022:

CantonHouse price/m2Apartment price/m2
Geneva13,50713,587
Zug14,33314,389
Schwyz10,27710,465
Basel-city9,8899,780
Zurich8,8508,942
Waadt8,2358,101
Nidwalden7,6178,500
Obwalden7,2507,258
Luzern6,9776,923
Basel-area6,8867,969
Uri6,6009,068
Aargau6,2986,389
Thurgau6,0385,914
St. Gallen6,0375,933
Freiburg5,9245,714
Appenzell5,5936,348
Solothurn5,5265,222
Bern5,4625,827
Tessin5,4107,438
Neuenburg5,2785,283
Wallis5,2485,313
Schaffhausen4,9536,170
Graubünden4,7679,286
Glarus3,7445,629
Jura3,2504,304
Switzerland average 7,3788,354
Source: realadvisor.ch

Generally, cantons Zug and Geneva have the highest property prices in Switzerland.

According to Realadvisor, average prices for properties in Switzerland are as follows:

Property typeAverage price
House: 4 roomsCHF 820k
House: 5 roomsCHF 995k
House: 6 roomsCHF 1.27m
House: 7 roomsCHF 1.49m
House: 8 roomsCHF 1.9m
Property typeAverage price
StudioCHF 485k
Apartment: 2 roomsCHF 420k
Apartment: 3 roomsCHF 625k
Apartment: 4 roomsCHF 815k
Apartment: 5 roomsCHF 1.15m

Read about rent prices in Switzerland in our guide.

https://russianvagabond.com/housing-in-switzerland-rent-prices/

How much do you need to earn per month to enter the Swiss real estate market?

Real Estate 

Theoretically, a gross salary of 5,000 CHF per month is enough to buy your own home in Switzerland. The monthly mortgage payment should be less than 33% of your monthly income. Yet, your ability to take a mortgage will depend on the house’s price and loan amount.

To finance your single-family home, regardless of whether it is a prefabricated or new construction, you need at least 20% of the purchase price from your own funds in order to obtain the remaining 80% as a mortgage from the bank.

Swiss central banks lend up to 80% of the cost of the property, so let’s say your purchase is 1 million CHF, you could pay a deposit of 200,000 CHF and borrow 800,000 CHF. Hence, you will need to have 200,000 CHF saved.

Moreover, Swiss interest rates are among the cheapest in Europe, with about 1% variable and 1,5% fixed for long-term rate payments.

Swiss banks use a 4.5% rate to assess whether you can afford the mortgage, regardless of actual interest rates. So your annual interest on the 800,000 CHF loan is 8,000 CHF. So taking a mortgage makes sense.

The average salary for Swiss workers in 2022 is 6,538 CHF per month. Earning between 6K CHF and 9K CHF per month is considered a good income, you can afford rent, bills, restaurants, and weekends away.

Banks will give you a loan with a term if you pay between 25-33% of your after-tax salary on mortgage repayments. So expect to pay up to 40% from a salary of 6,538 CHF when earning the average. That comes to around 2,066 CHF maximum in monthly repayments when deducting all taxes.

Banks raised interest rates rapidly in early 2022 a family of four will now need to earn a net salary of at least 9,000 CHF per month to service an average loan and pay their way to live well in Switzerland and this meant property values declined 

The central bank warned of an impending slump through  that would lead to a Swiss house prices drop in the third quarter and fourth quarter of 2022

To be truly viable, your total repayments need to represent less than a third of your income.Read about Swiss salaries in our detailed article.

https://russianvagabond.com/what-is-a-good-salary-in-switzerland/#:~:text=Switzerland’s%20salary%20ranges%20from%2031%2C300,4%2C748%20EUR).

Most people pay roughly 2,000 CHF to 3,000 CHF monthly as rent outside of the city centers, but rental prices vary widely, as do property prices. Hence, in most cases, your monthly loan repayment will be lower than your rent.

Geneva and Zurich being the most expensive cities, aren’t open to foreign investment, so expats are likely to rent in these cities.

Property prices in Switzerland in 2022

As of January 2022, the average property market price per m² for an apartment across the country is 6,474 CHF, and 6,000 CHF for a house.

For example, a detached house with five rooms and around 160 m² of living space would cost between 1,5 – 2,3 million CHF in Geneva or Zurich/Zug, versus 550,000 CHF to 750,000 CHF in Valais, according to this source.

Even in Geneva, there are significant price differences between areas outside the city (Bernex, Confignon, Chancy, and neighboring Vaud) and the city itself. Even the rental properties vary in price depending on an areas’ population growth and what the market environment suggests.

House prices in different cantons:

House prices in the largest Swiss cities:

Source: immomapper.ch

Residential real estate prices get very high if you want to live close to a large city. Zurich is by far the most expensive place to buy real estate in Switzerland.

Furthermore, estimated housing prices are usually significantly more expensive in places with low taxes and vice versa.

Therefore, an apartment price in Zug would allow you to buy a house of significant size with a large garden in another region (with higher taxes).

The Swiss housing market is largely differentiated region wise. From historical data in  real estate monitoring  areas with rising prices attract more real estate investors.

Over the past two decades property values have been falling globally. From the data compiled, unless countries tackle inflation, home ownership remains a pipe dream as the world emerges from the ruins of the record low pandemic impact.

Why in Switzerland do most people rent instead of buying?

The homeownership rate in Switzerland is one of the lowest in the world, at 41.6% in 2019. More than 60,000 people emigrate to Switzerland each year. 

Most of them rent accommodations that are more expensive than repayments on an average loan. Yet, many people cannot afford the 20% minimum deposit on a property.

That’s also the main reason why most foreign residents and non-resident foreigners rent homes in Switzerland instead of buying. You can rent reasonably decent Swiss single family homes.

The Swiss housing market has had a challenge of rising interest rates on Swiss mortgage and high transaction prices. The unavailability of cheap credit and elevated prices have discouraged many new entrants into the rental apartments market environments.

Privately owned apartments rose in cost while the rental apartment market affected the country’s property market positively.

Moreover, many people don’t want to give up their lifestyle in order to pay monthly margate payments and take responsibility for the property.

In Switzerland, you can also rent a family home. Renting gives greater flexibility, less work, and fewer responsibilities.

https://russianvagabond.com/housing-in-switzerland-rent-prices/

How much does it cost to build a house in Switzerland?

Whether you decide to buy or build a house depends on your personal needs and the amount of money you are able to invest.

Building a home in Switzerland is fairly expensive, starting at around 150 CHF per m² and rising to over 2,000 CHF per m². The average cost is about 350 CHF per m². Additionally, you will need to pay construction costs.

Add around 100,000 CHF for the attachment of the electrical and water grid, a driveway, and all the other tasks outside the house itself.

Cost of land

a large piece of land

You will also need land to build a house on. The price of the ground varies significantly in Switzerland. Many cantons have strict rules regarding how much living space you can have on which amount of land.

In other words, you can not build as close to the border as usual in many parts of the USA or Germany.

You can get a piece of land enough for a free-standing house, including “Handänderungssteuer” and such, for around 100,000 CHF and up or several million CHF.

In some cantons, it can be 280 CHF per m², a small piece of land of around 400 m² will cost at least 120,000 CHF. Therefore, you can build a small house in the rural part of Switzerland for approximately 500,000 CHF. It will be cheaper than buying it.

https://russianvagabond.com/best-place-to-buy-a-house-in-switzerland/

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