Housing crisis: Switzerland will be short nearly 10.000 homes by 2024

Housing crisis: Switzerland will be short nearly 10.000 homes by 2024

A new study by Wüest Partner has revealed that Switzerland will be short of up to 10.000 homes by the end of 2023. It follows new data which found that the number of new houses and apartments being built in the alpine nation has fallen to levels unseen since 2003.

Swiss housing crisis set to continue in 2023

According to the latest Immo-Monitoring report, published in Blick, a combination of population growth and fewer houses being built has put extra pressure on the Swiss housing market. Around 42.200 new housing projects have been put forward this year, the lowest level seen since 2003.

At the same time, Wüest Partner calculated that around 55.000 new households will arrive in Switzerland this year in the form of expats taking up new jobs, resident households splitting up to start new families and elderly people coming to the country for retirement - an increase of 5.000 compared to 2021. With slightly fewer than 46.000 new homes expected to be built this year, the alpine nation will be short nearly 10.000 homes by the end of 2023.

Rental costs in Switzerland to rise due to housing shortage

Rober Weinert, the head of the study, told Blick that while this will not mean that 10.000 families will be made homeless this year, it will lead to a lower vacancy rate, especially in Swiss cities. He explained that when the number of new households eclipses the number of new houses, “it has proven in the past that rents increase particularly strongly.”

The report adds to previous studies, which have suggested that continued population growth has led to the worst housing shortage in a decade. Weinert said that while the rise in the number of new expats is one of the main reasons for the shortage, other factors are at play.

Smaller households and retirement age partly to blame for housing crisis

"There is evidence that the size of new households has decreased," he added, explaining that because of high salaries, more people choose and can afford to live alone, exacerbating shortages. Switzerland’s long life expectancy has also led to more one and two-member households occupying larger apartments.

In concluding the report, Weinert said that the construction of new housing was the only way to curb increases in the cost of renting a house or apartment - set to rise by 3,2 percent this year. Despite this, he argued that “the aim should certainly not be to build new apartment buildings everywhere at all costs, for example by relaxing certain regulations such as the noise protection ordinance.”

Thumb image: / Joaquin Corbalan

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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