Cheapest and most expensive Swiss cities to rent an apartment in revealed

Cheapest and most expensive Swiss cities to rent an apartment in revealed

A new study by Comparis has found which of the largest Swiss cities has the cheapest houses and apartments to rent. Experts noted that strong population growth in the larger cities - via new births and immigration - has dramatically increased the price of rental contracts in the last five years.

Largest Swiss cities see rental costs soar since 2018

In the study, reported by 20 Minuten, Comparis found that median rental costs in the largest Swiss cities have risen significantly since 2018. In most cases, the rise in the cost of rent was blamed on significant population growth, with more children born in each city combining with new expats and internationals moving to urban centres to take up jobs.

The largest price rises over the last five years were recorded in Zurich and Winterthur. Between 2018 and the end of 2022, the rental cost of a 4,5 room apartment in Winterthur has risen by 6 percent, while a 3,5 room flat in Zurich is now 8,7 percent more expensive than it was five years ago.

Which Swiss city has the highest rental costs?

For 4,5 room apartments, Geneva is the most expensive Swiss city to rent in, with median rental costs totalling 3.222,50 Swiss francs a month. The cities' place at the top of the list is in spite of a 178 Swiss franc decline in median monthly rent over the last five years.

For 2 and 3,5 rooms, it was the capital of Canton Zurich on top, with median rental costs being 1.690 and 2.500 Swiss francs a month respectively. The most expensive districts of Zurich were 8002 (Zurich Enge), 8001 (Zurich City) and 8032 (Zurich Hirslanden and Hottingen).

Some cities in Switzerland see rents fall

On the opposite side of the top 10, the last five years have seen rental costs in some areas decline significantly, with the price of a 4,5 room flat in Lugano dropping by 6,8 percent since 2018, alongside the aforementioned decline in Geneva. "We see the reason for the partially falling rents in Lugano and Geneva as population development. In Geneva, the population is stagnating. In 2020 and 2021 it was even declining," Comparis told 20 Minuten.

Despite the falling prices in Geneva and Lugano, the cheapest city to rent a house or apartment in was found to be St. Gallen for 4,5 room apartments (1.760 francs a month) and Biel / Bienne for 3,5 (1.490) and 2-room (1.020) flats. 

What are the cheapest and most expensive Swiss cities for renting?

In all, here are the 10 largest cities in Switzerland, ranked by the median price of a 4,5 room apartment (in Swiss francs a month):

  1. Geneva (3.222,50)
  2. Zurich (2.992)
  3. Lausanne (2.600)
  4. Basel (2.400)
  5. Winterthur (2.290)
  6. Bern (2.280)
  7. Lucerne (2.220)
  8. Biel / Bienne (1.890)
  9. Lugano (1.850)
  10. St. Gallen (1.760)

For more information, check out the Comparis study (in German).

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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