Running costs

What your property will cost you

Running costs

Financing the original purchase of your property is not the only expense that you will be confronted with; day-to-day running costs can also be a burden. Taxes and utilities must both be paid regularly, and can be quite expensive at times.

Wealth Tax

A wealth tax is levied by all cantons on the net worth of one's assets, of usually 0.2% to 0.5%, although these vary from canton to canton. Assets are valued at their market value, and thus could possibly vary wildly from year to year. Any debts, loans or mortgages are deductible, which means that the wealth tax can be very little until you have finished repaying your mortgage.

Property Tax

If you own real estate located in Switzerland you will be required to pay the property taxes of your canton. These can vary between 0.05% and 0.3% depending on the value of your property.


Electricity, gas and water are provided by local companies. Natural gas is piped in Switzerland, but it is rarely used for domestic purposes. However, the market for gas heating is growing (as it is more ecological than oil).

Water can be calculated either by the meter, or at a fixed rate depending on the size of your house and the number of taps inside. Since the water in Switzerland can be very hard, you will need to regularly clean your appliances (if you do not want to have to invest in a new washing machine every year). Overall, water in Switzerland is cheaper than in the rest of Europe.

Electricity costs vary depending on the time of consumption, and you will get cheaper prices for week nights, Saturday afternoons and all Sunday. If you have bought an apartment with shared laundry machines, the power to these might be cut on weekdays during the lunch hours to conserve the electricity for cooking.

Electricity meter readings are done every 6 months, and you will pay an estimate based on the previous reading. If you have consumed less, you will be reimbursed the difference, whilst if you used more than expected by the company, you will have to pay the difference.

All other bills (water, gas, sewage) are usually quarterly.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: