Only 144 apartments available to rent in Zurich as of June 1

Only 144 apartments available to rent in Zurich as of June 1

New figures released by the statistical office of Canton Zurich have revealed the extent of the housing crisis in the largest city in Switzerland. As of June 1, 2023, there were only 144 apartments to rent in Zurich - the lowest vacancy rate recorded in the Swiss metropolis for over 10 years.

Zurich sees lowest vacancy rates in over 10 years

According to the data, released by Watson, the vacancy rate - the percentage of homes in an area that are unoccupied and available to rent - fell to 0,06 percent in the city of Zurich in June of this year, the lowest rate recorded since 2011. In all, this means that only 144 houses and apartments were available to rent across the 12 Kries of Zurich.

Officials noted that while the rate of housing construction rose in Zurich over the last year, it has failed to keep up with immigration - brought about by the number of high-paying jobs on offer in the city. In all, 1.800 new housing units have been built in Zurich in the last year, while the total population increased by 6.500 during the same period - Watson estimated that Zurich’s non-Swiss population would rise above 150.000 for the first time ever this year.

Cost of renting in Switzerland likely to rise once more

In terms of Canton Zurich as a whole, vacancy rates have fallen from 0,61 percent in June 2022 to 0,53 percent in June 2023. Around half of local councils (Gemeinden) saw their vacancy rates decline, with the biggest decreases being recorded in Zurich and Winterthur.

The lower availability of housing is likely to have a significant impact on the cost of rental contracts, which will add to the extra costs already brought about by the forecasted rises in the reference interest rate. Prospective tenants will now be looking to September 11, when vacancy rates for the country as a whole will be released by the government.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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