As a whole, Switzerland is a country that currently has a small amount of land available for housing, with space tending to be a bit smaller than other neighboring European countries. On a mass scale, around 30% of the population own homes, with a percentage even lower than this in urban areas cities such as Stockholm.
When looking to rent, bear in mind that prices are high and the market is tight, particularly in urban areas. Realtors and real estate agents control 95 % or the rental market, and manage properties for owners. Unlike how other countries’ housing markets operate, there is limited to no contact between tenants and owner, with most of the process conducted through the real estate agent.
In terms of the Swiss rental market, demand is higher generally much higher than the supply. In turn, this affects the price and the overall number of available properties. If you happen to be looking for a rental property, the best time to look is between April and early July, as this is a prime time families relocate during summer vacation or holidays.
Similar to other countries that have a fairly organized infrastructure, certain areas in Switzerland are more desirable than others. When buying in Switzerland, be sure to consider important factors such as taxes, access to schools, surrounding area and access to nature as you are looking for a new place to live.
Choosing what factors are most important to you will be reflected in the certain price or tax level you choose to pay.
As houses are small in nature, when looking for a home please bear in mind that more than four bedrooms are unusual, but there may be a large basement used as an extra room. In the outskirts of cities and various urban areas people are more inclined to find larger or even sometimes detached homes, allowing for increased space.
The question of whether or not buying/renting is the better option for you is wholly dependent on the specific length of time. Many researchers and other studies have shown that buying is actually more cost-efficient for some. Regardless of what you decide, be sure to keep these tips in mind during the process:
- Mortgages can extend up to 100 years
- Similar to the majority of other countries, property ownership is subject to taxation, so it is important to consult a professional to help you sort this through
- A minimum 20% deposit is required and a mortgage broker can assist in this process
Even investing in other countries within Europe, be sure to remember to conduct a bit of research in order to learn about the real estate system, the country’s culture and the various rules or regulations that shape the current financial environment. Understanding all these factors will make it far easier to navigate the market during its ups and downs in the coming years.