Over the year ending 31 March 2017, apartment prices across Switzerland dropped by 6.8%, according to a property price report published by the Zurich-based research and consulting firm Fahrländer Partner FPRE. Close to half of the decline (-3.2%) occurred in the first quarter of 2017.
Mid-range apartments hardest hit
Across the year, the price of mid-range apartments fell most (-9.4%), followed by high-end ones (-6.3%) and smaller lower cost ones (-0.9%). The largest annual regional falls in apartment prices were in the Alps (-9.3%), the southern Ticino region (-8.8%), Lake Geneva (-8.3%), Jura (-7.7%), Central (-5.4%), eastern Switzerland (-5.0%), Zurich (-4.2%) and Basel (2.6%) – regions shown below.
Much of the recent annual decline came in the first quarter of 2017. The largest drops in apartment prices in the first quarter of 2017 were in the southern Ticino region (-4.6%) and Alps (-4.2%), as the price declines recorded in the last three quarters of 2016 accelerated in these parts of Switzerland.
Annual decline in single family homes highest in Geneva
Single family home prices fared little better dropping 5.7% annually, and 3.9% in the first quarter of 2017 across Switzerland. Higher-end single family dwellings dropped most (-6.4%), followed by middle (-5.7%) and lower-end ones (-3.9%). The largest year-on-year decline in the price of single family dwellings was in the Lake Geneva region (-8.5%), followed by the Alps (-7.5%), the southern Ticino region (-7.4%), Jura (-6.3%), Central (-4.6%), the eastern region (-3.3%), Zurich (-3.2%), and Basel (3.1%). The biggest quarterly price declines for single family homes were in the southern region (-4.9%), Basel (-4.6%) and Zurich (-4.5%), undoing gains made in Basel and Zurich in the second quarter of 2016.
Over five years, prices of single family homes were up substantially in most regions, particularly in eastern Switzerland (+15.7%), Zurich (+10.1%), Central (+9.9%), the southern region (+8.0%) and Basel (7.1%). The only region down over this period was Lake Geneva (-4.3%), with a steeper decline experienced in the canton of Geneva (-14.3%) than in Vaud (-2.8%).
Apartment prices fared better over the last five years than single family dwellings, with no region seeing a price drop. The largest gains were in eastern Switzerland (+18.3%), Zurich (13.2%), Central (13.1%) and Basel (12.2%). Again the worst performer was the Lake Geneva region (+3.9%). When the Lake Geneva region is broken down into the cantons of Geneva and Vaud, Geneva’s apartment prices show a five-year decline of 6.6%, while Vaud’s jump 4.8%.
The report is based on transaction data from various banks and insurance companies as well as data from the Swiss Real Estate Datapool (SRED). Market coverage varies by region but is around 60% of market transactions.
Fahrländer Partner FPRE press release (in German)
Note 1 – regions
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