Switzerland: Rents remain among world’s priciest… but it’s not all bad news

Rents in Geneva and Zurich are among the most expensive in the world, according to a study.
The 2017 ranking of rent prices by expatriation specialists EuroCost International puts Geneva as the eighth most expensive place in the world to rent a 2-3 bed apartment, and the second most expensive in Europe, behind London.  Zurich ranks 18th globally and fourth in Europe, according to the ranking.
Hong Kong is now the most expensive place to rent in the world, found the report, with London losing the global top spot as a consequence of the fall in the pound following the Brexit vote. The study will come as little surprise to most home-hunting expats in the two Swiss cities, which were last year ranked the most expensive in the country by Swiss comparison site Comparis.ch.
That study found Zurich to have the priciest rents – an average of 2,324 francs for a three room apartment – however Geneva’s apartments were much smaller, making them the most expensive per square metre. However it’s not all bad news for Swiss home-hunters. Both Swiss cities have dropped in EuroCost International’s ranking since last year, Geneva falling from seventh and Zurich dropping three places from 15th.
According to Swiss property specialists Wüest Partner, the residential market is currently favourable, with rental asking prices having dropped by 1.3 percent in the last year. Rents could continue to fall in 2017 with a projected decrease of -0.7 percent, the firm said in its Property Market Switzerland 2017 report.
 What’s more, although competition for apartments in a property market dominated by renters remains fierce, supply has increased by 54 percent since 2013 as numerous new apartments are built.
“Even the major employment areas are experiencing a rise in supply,” said Wüest Partner, with the increase particularly pronounced in certain regions.
Around 60 percent of residents in Switzerland live in rental accommodation, with a higher percentage in cities. Expats choosing to buy instead of rent will also find a favourable climate at the moment. Prices dropped by 0.68 percent last year, according to a recent report, while salaries rose and mortgage interest rates remained extremely low. The director of estate agency Cardis told The Local that he had never seen such good conditions for buyers in his 30 year career.

Published by: The Local (21 February 2017)
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