Housing shortage in Switzerland worst in 10 years, study finds

Housing shortage in Switzerland worst in 10 years, study finds

Even as house prices in Switzerland begin to fall, a new report by Wüest Partner has found that the number of houses available to rent in Switzerland has reached a 10-year low and that residents of the alpine nation should prepare for significant rent increases. The real estate consultant put the low vacancy rates down to a lack of construction and high levels of immigration.

Number of available apartments in Switzerland reaches 10-year low

In its “Winter Update”, Wüest Partner told Watson that vacancy rates have reached levels unseen since 2013. According to the latest data, the percentage of apartments available to rent in Switzerland decreased from 5,8 percent at the end of 2021 to 4,7 percent by the start of 2023. 

The company blamed the decline on a lack of new housing in Switzerland, especially in larger cities. Experts predicted that current construction projects will do little to solve the housing shortage, and anticipated that more projects are unlikely to be commissioned until 2024, mainly due to economic uncertainty. 

Housing shortage will lead to rent rises, study claims

In all, Wüest Partner concluded that the lack of new housing, coupled with a large number of people claiming Swiss resident permits for the first time, will lead to a rise in the cost of renting. This is despite the fact that the cost of housing itself has actually started to fall in recent weeks.

In 2023, the firm predicted that rental costs will rise by 2 percent on average on both new and existing rental contracts, facilitated by an expected rise in the reference interest rate. Single-person households, as well as people who need to be within commuting distance of a major Swiss city, will be the groups most affected by the higher rents.

In the future, Wüest Partner explained that it is likely to become “even more difficult” to find affordable housing, especially for those on lower salaries and people who cannot work from home. What’s more, as the skilled worker shortage continues and more people are attracted to the alpine nation, experts predicted that demand for housing will only increase in future.

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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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