Covid restrictions raise prices of Swiss holiday homes

Many Swiss residents used their second homes in the mountains as retreats during the lockdown imposed by the government to contain the spread of the pandemic. Keystone/Maxime Schmid

The price of holiday homes in the Swiss Alps increased last year as travel restrictions and work-from-home rules introduced to contain the Covid pandemic supported the upswing according to a survey by the UBS bank.

This content was published on March 24, 2021 - 12:04 and Keystone-SDA/ug

On average, the price of a holiday retreat rose 4% in 2020, the biggest annual rise since 2012, partly due to the limited supply of suitable homes.

“The holiday homes have made a real comeback,” said Claudio Saputelli of the bank’s Swiss&Global Real Estate unit at a news conference on Wednesday.

The gap between the higher-priced and less-expensive destinations is widening, according to the surveyExternal link.

The most expensive tourist destination in the Swiss Alps is St Moritz in the Engadine valley followed by Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland and Verbier in western Switzerland.

An upmarket chalet in St Moritz costs CHF17,000 ($18,287) per square metre, CHF16,500 in Gstaad and CHF14,600 in Verbier.

In comparison, the top resorts in other Alpine countries like Kitzbühel in Austria and Courchevel in the France cost about CHF13,500/m2 each.

The demand for a holiday home shows the changing preference of Swiss households, as more Swiss residents took stay-at-home vacations, the authors of the study say.

An increasing number of foreign buyers are also active as Swiss real estate is seen as a secure investment during times of economic uncertainty, according to experts.

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