On 22 December 2022, Switzerland’s Federal Housing Office (FHO) published a report entitled Housing preferences in the wake of the Covid pandemic, which shows only a modest shift in preferences for living in less densely populated areas.
Living and relocation behaviour in Switzerland changed only slightly during the Covid pandemic, said FHO. A rising preference for less densely populated areas was observed however it was modest.
On 17 March 2020 when Switzerland’s first lockdown took place, many workers were required to work from home. This meant home suddenly also became a place of work. Extra space, outdoor areas and proximity to parks gained in importance. It was assumed by some that this would have an impact on the housing market. But looking back it appears the effects were less than expected.
During 2020 and 2021, around 4,000 more people than normal moved to less populated places, roughly half a percent of total movers.
Households heading out of the city were predominantly mobile, single person, high earning ones.
For those making the move out of densely populated regions a key motivator appears to have been greater living space and access to a garden, something reflected in the increased demand for and higher prices of single-family homes.