Home Property in Switzerland
How to buy a house in Switzerland?
Here you will find the detailed information about real estate purchasing in Switzerland:
- the right way to choose the property and to effect the deal;
- property taxes and duties that should be paid;
- everything about home loans in Switzerland;
- home property management and renting;
- rental, commercial properties and related investment properties.
Real estate for sale
Most recent offers from house owners in Switzerland and from real estate agencies. Advertisements with the fixed price and auctions are listed here.
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In 2014, prices for real estate in Switzerland continued growing. In fact, this growth never stopped in the last 10 years. The average price for country’s real estate is €600 000.
Some bank analysts are concerned about possible occurrence of a so-called “housing bubble” due to such permanent increase in prices. They are disturbed by property prices in Central Switzerland, next to Lake Geneva, in winter resorts, and in some cantons. However, even despite such concerns, the demand for Swiss property keeps growing.
The most affordable segment of real estate in Switzerland is represented by chalet apartments close to the Alpine ski resorts. Prices for such property start at €300 000. Minimal price for apartments next to Lake Geneva is around €750 000. Premium property may be purchased for no less than €1.2 million.
A private chalet in the Alps costs around €600 000. A cottage located on the shore of Lake Lugano is worth €750 000, while prices for private villas start from €1.5 million. According to analysts, Swiss real estate market will grow further. Experts agree that the average price increase across the country will amount to 5 %.
Let’s figure out how to purchase real property in Switzerland. As a matter of fact, Swiss law places strict limitations on property purchase for foreigners. It is almost impossible for private individuals, since they need to apply for a special permit from the canton authorities. Moreover, each canton has its specific rules regarding the issue of such document, and in most cases these rules are quite rigid.
Property sale and purchase in Switzerland is regulated by the so-called Friedrich Law (Lex Friedrich). It was introduced by Rudolf Friedrich, who headed the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police in 1983–1984. According to this law, any real estate transactions are only allowed to foreigners, who have a Swiss residence permit. However, canton authorities sometimes approve transactions even without such permit, if buyer meets certain criteria, such as financial soundness, absence of convictions, or even citizenship.
On the other hand, legal entities registered in Switzerland are allowed to purchase local real estate. With this end in view, limited liability companies (GmbH, SARL or SGL) must have no less than 20 000 CHF (€28 320) of registered capital, while joint stock companies must have more than 100 000 CHF (€80 910). Legal entity registration in Switzerland costs over €8000.
In addition to all the restrictions listed above, foreign investors have a limit on property area they may purchase. Even those with Swiss residence permit are allowed to buy no more than 3000 sq. m. of property.
Real estate acquisition in Switzerland requires the following taxes and duties payments:
- land transfer tax – 0–4 % of property value, depending on specific legislation of each canton;
- notary fee – 1 % of total transaction amount;
- cadastral registration – 0.5 % of property value.