Poll: Most people in Zurich are preparing to move away

Poll: Most people in Zurich are preparing to move away

As the Swiss housing crisis continues to hit major cities the hardest, a new poll has suggested that for the residents of Zurich, it is only a matter of time before they have to move out. 92 percent of people living in the metropolis worry about being unable to afford to live in the city, with more than half expecting to rent a house or apartment elsewhere in future.

92 percent of Zurich residents worry about rental costs

According to the poll of 9.500 residents, conducted by local news and advocacy site Tsüri, a stunning 92 percent of people in Zurich worry about rising rents, housing shortages and gentrification. "The crisis not only affects one's own tenancy but also the city as a social space. The people of Zurich believe that it is unfair and a shame for our society if people with lower incomes are pushed out of the city," the site noted.

Echoing statements made by the Swiss Tenants’ Association, a majority fear that the housing crisis could cause social unrest and strikes. Tsüri argued that continual housing shortages are turning Zurich into a “city for the rich…districts are losing their communities, diversity is disappearing, but anonymity is taking hold. A Zurich without social cohesion.”

Majority feel they cannot afford to remain in Zurich

Currently, the vacancy rate in Zurich stands at just 0,07 percent - meaning that there are only 161 properties available to rent in the city, which in turn jacks up the price on even the smallest flats. Almost half of those surveyed said they already pay too much for housing.

As a result, 60 percent said that they will not be able to live in Zurich when they make their next move, despite the lucrative jobs and high salaries that the city provides. Three-quarters expect that they will end up outside Zurich in cities like Baden, Winterthur or Schaffhausen.

Who do the people of Zurich blame for the housing crisis?

When it came to who or what people blame for the housing crisis, the reasons people cite are as diverse as the city itself. However, respondents mainly blamed local officials for not building enough affordable housing and the banks, pension funds, international companies and other firms that dominate the local housing market and charge sky-high rents. 

Along with the causes, the 9.500 respondents also had their own ideas regarding how to solve the issue. Some of the solutions floated by the survey include more cooperative apartments, a cap on rental costs or profits, expropriating property owned by the recently merged bank Credit Suisse and, like in Lucerne, banning Airbnb.

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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