Latest figures show that home ownership is even more expensive.

Existing tenants pay less. The dream of your own four walls - still widespread in Switzerland. If you have enough equity, you can profit. But he has to dig deeper and deeper into his pockets.According to the latest figures from real estate appraiser IAZI, residential property prices rose by 0.8 percent last year. More impressive is the price trend for property over the past ten years. In Zurich, prices rose by 71 percent."With an average household income of a family, you can forget Zurich, Basel, Berne, Geneva and Lausanne," commented IAZI boss Donato Scognamiglio the situation.In times of low mortgage rates, many still opt for home ownership despite hefty surcharges. There are risks when interest rates start to rise. Owners come to their limit. If the housing bubble bursts and the prices for property fall on it, banks can demand additional payments.When it comes to the question of whether one can still afford a house or a flat, but personal circumstances play an even greater role, says IAZI CEO Donato Scognamiglio: "A supergau is usually not the interest rate increase, but a divorce."

Lower rents - except in the centers

60 percent of the Swiss population are tenants. Many of them can not afford home ownership. For this they can benefit from rent reductions - especially tenants who have been living in the same apartment for a long time and do not intend to move. Their rents, the existing rents, have been falling steadily since 2010.

The asking rents, ie rents for advertised apartments, have been falling slightly across Switzerland since 2017, but not everywhere. "There are more and more offers, but not in the centers and the cities," says Donato Scognamiglio.

Falling prices in the holiday regions

If you can afford it, you also buy home ownership in the mountains. Although prices are generally down year-on-year, as IAZI figures for 2018 show. Mostly in Davos (-5.6%) and in the Upper Engadine (-3.7%). The offer of apartments is still large - even six years after the adoption of the second home initiative. Property owners have some unrealistic price expectations. Luxury apartments are becoming increasingly difficult to sell, as the "ECO" report shows. Apartments in Brigels are for sale for up to 1.5 million francs, in Silvaplana even for 6 million. Another reason housing prices are falling in the holiday regions is that overseas buyers stayed away, says Donato Scognamiglio. This for various reasons. One of these is the automatic exchange of information intended to prevent tax evasion: "Today you can no longer park your money untaxed in the Swiss mountains".

But because the limitation of holiday apartments in Switzerland is required by law, Scognamiglio expects that prices in snow-sure regions will rise again in the medium term.

Autor: Harry Stitzel (SRF DRS)