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Steep increase in Swiss housing prices in last decade

view of lake zurich
Looking for a house on Lake Zurich? Be prepared to pay CHF 2.5 million for a medium-sized house. Keystone

Apartment prices have risen in every district in Switzerland in the last eleven years except for one. Zurich tops the list with a median price of CHF13,000 ($13,117) per square metre – a 97% increase since 2007.

This is according to a study by the Zurich Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) in partnership with comparison website They reviewed 1.5 million house and apartment sales listings in 166 districts from early 2005 to June 2017. The study is part of a project that aims to provide property buyers and sellers with information on real estate price dynamics in every Swiss district.  The analysis also includes an interactive mapExternal link of housing prices throughout Switzerland.

Lakeside apartments in Zurich showed the steepest increase with all ten districts with the highest price increases on a lake except for one – Bülach in canton Zurich. At CHF13,000 per square metre for an apartment, Zurich is still cheaper than Hong Kong or LondonExternal link where an apartment costs $28,000 and $17,610 per square metre respectively.

According to Numbeo, a user-generated cost-of-living statistics website, apartment prices in Geneva and Zurich are among the ten most expensive globally as indicated in the visual below.

map of housing prices
Kai Reusser /

The best deal for an apartment can be found in Le Locle in Canton Neuchâtel, where buying an apartment will put you out a meagre CHF3,250 per square metre. Bargains can also be had in Valais, in the west of the country where five regions were among the ten districts with the lowest price increases for apartments.

Similar results were found for houses. The price for a medium-sized house (5 to 6.5 rooms) in Canton Zurich is CHF2.5 million compared to CHF350,000 in Valle Maggia in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. In comparison, the average price for a four bedroom house in San FranciscoExternal link is $2.1 million as of October 2018.

The study also analysed the risk of a real estate bubble. While none of the districts qualified as critical risk, five were considered districts “to watch” – Thun, Lucerne, Sursee, Aarau, and Bülach.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR