The pandemic had a significant impact on Swiss real estate prices in 2020, according to industry experts.
Contrary to initial fears that property prices would fall, prices have risen over the period. Over the year, the offer prices of stand alone houses rose by 5.6% while apartment prices jumped by 5.5% across Switzerland as a whole, according to the Swiss Real Estate Offer Index compiled by ImmoScout24.
2020 has shown once more that safe assets rise in importance during uncertain times, said Martin Waeber, managing director of ImmoScout24. The coronavirus pushed many to reevaluate their life situation, said Waeber. This led them to realise they want more space, and, where possible, to become home owners. This pushed up rents and home prices.
In 2020, average rent rose 1.1% across Switzerland. The steepest rise was across the Lake Geneva region (+2.5%), followed by central Switzerland (+1.6%). Rents rose less in the canton of Zurich (+0.6%) and fell in Ticino (-1.5%). Rents in Ticino have slipped by 10% over the last 6 years. Rents in Zurich and the Lake Geneva region are the highest and around 22% and 15% above the Swiss average respectively. The cheapest regions are eastern Switzerland, Ticino and the Mittelland. Rents in these regions are around 10% – 12% below the national average of around CHF 260 per m2 p.a., which equates to around CHF 2,200 (US$ 2,500) per month for a 100 m2 space.
Over the last 10 years, individual home prices in Switzerland have risen by more than 20% and apartment prices by close to 30%, according to ImmoScout24 data.
Waeber expects 2021 to leave a mark on the Swiss real estate market. The focus should now be on the eventual economic consequences of what has happened such as unemployment and salary cuts, he said.