Buying property in Switzerland is a long and drawn-out process and is very complicated if you are not yet registered as a resident in the country.
EU citizens who have declared residency in Switzerland can purchase property without restrictions. EU citizens who are non-residents must obtain a permit B, whilst all other non-residents need a permit C. These permits can be difficult to obtain as there is a set quota and they are distributed by canton – with the highest number of permits reserved for tourist areas. Special permission must be acquired if you plan on buying over 3,000m² of land.
Switzerland is undergoing a serious housing shortage, with less than 1% of its housing available for renting or buying, although the authorities are trying to respond to this.
It is easier to buy property in the French speaking cantons as there is more housing available there (especially Vaud, which includes mountainous areas). On the other hand, it is difficult to find apartments or houses in Switzerland in the following regions: Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich, and Bern.
Property prices in Switzerland
Property prices vary greatly within Switzerland, depending on location and view. For Geneva, starting prices for a studio are from CHF 100,000, for a three-room apartment from CHF 400,000 and for houses they can go up to several million.
Property with a lake view or mountain view are worth much more. Older buildings are usually better located and have more charm.
Overall, market prices in Switzerland have remained rather constant and stable in the past – like the entire economy.