Less than a third of people own their home, with even fewer able to purchase one

The cost of home ownership in Switzerland is rising, making it increasingly difficult for households to afford a place to call their own. Although the Swiss population is predominantly made up of renters, only 36 percent of permanently occupied apartments are owned by their occupants, making Switzerland’s home ownership rate one of the lowest in Europe.

In recent years, the rate has seen a decline, with only 15 percent of Swiss households currently able to afford a “median home,” priced at 880,000 francs. To purchase such a property, a household would need an annual gross income of 150,000 francs, significantly higher than the median household income of 115,000 francs. Rising interest rates and maintenance costs have contributed to the increased expenses associated with buying a home.

Buying a home is particularly challenging in large urban areas where costs can exceed twice the Swiss median income. Financial institutions also evaluate a household’s ability to continue making mortgage payments in the future, typically factoring in a 5 percent interest rate. Despite these challenges, many Swiss residents express a desire to own a home, with 46 percent of tenant households between the ages of 30 and 50 considering homeownership.

Looking ahead, UBS predicts that home prices in Switzerland will continue to rise in 2023 by an average increase of 3.5 percent for condominiums and 2.5 percent for single-family homes. Factors such as foreign buyers with purchasing power and a recovering economy could lead to even higher price increases starting from

By Sophia Gonzalez

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