More and more empty homes seen in Switzerland

An empty flat in Zurich Keystone

The number of empty dwellings in Switzerland continues to rise, but at a slower rate than previously. 

This content was published on September 9, 2019 - 13:56

On June 1 a total of 75,323 homes stood empty in Switzerland, the Federal Statistical Office announced on MondayExternal link. This represented 1.66% of the total housing stock. Some 3,029 more homes were vacant than 12 months earlier, an increase of 4.2%. 

While the upward ten-year trend thus continues, momentum in the housing market has slowed. On June 1, 2018, the year-on-year increase in empty dwellings was 13% and 1.62% of the total housing stock was uninhabited.


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Economic growth had not only led to a reversal in the immigration trend but had also decisively boosted domestic demand for housing, according to a study by Credit Suisse at the end of August. 

While the tenants’ associationExternal link is still complaining of a housing shortage, the bankers’ associationExternal link, under pressure from the government, has tightened self-regulation for the financing of apartment buildings. 


As of June 1, 2019, the number of empty homes on the market increased in five major regions compared with the previous year. The largest increase in vacancy rates was in Ticino and the central plateau, covering cantons Bern, Fribourg, Jura, Neuchâtel and Solothurn; it declined in the former hotspots of Zurich and the Lake Geneva regions. 

The number of vacant one-family houses continued to rise. As of June 1, there were nearly 7,600 single-family homes for rent or for sale, up 5.6% on the previous year. 

The number of unoccupied new dwellings remained at the previous year’s level of 10,000 units.


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