Rooted in place: Why Swiss families don’t move house often

Rooted in place: Why Swiss families don’t move house often

A new survey released by Swiss Life has found that a third of people in Switzerland remain in the same area or council (Gemeinde) after they move house, if they move at all.

People in Switzerland prefer commuting over moving house

The study analysed how often people in Switzerland change their area after finding a rental property or buying a house. They found that around a third of people surveyed did not move out of the area they used to live in, despite the possibility of better accommodation elsewhere.

The average distance in Switzerland between families' previous house and their new home was only 13 kilometres, with over half of moves taking place within five kilometres of each other. Swiss Life said this was an example of families being "rooted in place," preferring to remain in their previous Gemeinde instead of moving to pastures new.

Swiss Life found that one of the reasons why people in Switzerland tend to remain in the same place was because of the extensive public transport network in Switzerland. They said that, despite the distances involved, most people still prefer to commute longer distances rather than move house when they get a new job. According to the study, the length of a person's commute has no bearing on their likelihood of moving house.

Swiss homeowners more satisfied with their houses than tenants

Alongside moving houses, the survey found that 60 percent of homeowners and 25 percent of renters live in their homes for longer than 10 years. They noted that homeowners are the most satisfied with their type of housing, with 33 percent saying they are “completely satisfied” with their living accommodation after they changed address.

Swiss Life also found that 15 percent of renters were not satisfied with their accommodation. They say that this may be down to a desire for “self-determination”, with an earlier study by Swiss Life finding that six out of 10 people in Switzerland did not feel like they had control over their lives. Swiss Life concluded that the desire for control led to people wanting their own homes, with 20 percent of renters saying that they were actively looking to buy a house. 

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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