Short-stay apartment in Zurich listed for 14.532 francs a month

Short-stay apartment in Zurich listed for 14.532 francs a month

A short-stay furnished apartment in Zurich was recently offered out for an eye-watering 14.532 Swiss francs a month, the Tages-Anzeiger has reported. The number of so-called “business apartments” has been increasing dramatically in recent years, with some worrying that they could be contributing to the ongoing shortage of housing in Switzerland

Bahnhofstrasse apartment in Zurich listed for 14.532 francs a month

According to the newspaper, the 110-square metre apartment only has one bedroom and is situated in the heart of Bahnhofstrasse, near Paradeplatz in Zurich. With a price of 14.532 francs a month, possible tenants would be paying 132,1 francs per square metre per month.

The listing in Zurich is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to short-term let apartments, with the Tages-Anzeiger noting several other examples of sky-high rents, including 3.429 francs a month for a 24-square-metre studio in Zurich Wiedikon and 5.100 francs a month for a 3,5-room flat in Kreis 4. The phenomenon is not isolated to Zurich, with very costly business apartments also reported in Basel and Lucerne.

Number of business apartments in Switzerland set to increase

While they may only be intended for stays of a few months, and usually come with furnishings and services like cleaning, a 2018 study by Wüest Partner noted that short-stay apartments are an average of 40 percent more expensive than standard rental apartments in Switzerland. This also has an impact on expats, who may be forced to stay in a short-stay let if they are unable to find a home before they go through registration.

In Zurich, the number of short-term apartments has gone from 2.760 in 2017 to 4.710 in 2023. Zurich statistics department head of housing Urs Rey told the Tages-Anzeiger that "we are seeing growth of an average of 300 new apartments per year." Selina Lehner, a real estate expert from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, noted that by comparison to other European cities, Zurich is still a fledgling market when it comes to business accommodation.

Swiss Tenants' Association analysing business apartments closely

However, amid one of the worst housing crises ever seen, one which has forced the Swiss government to create an action plan designed to solve the problem, some figures have questioned whether short-term lets contribute to the housing shortage. Indeed, while it didn't advocate for nationwide legislation, the government's action plan did encourage cities and cantons to look into creating rules that limit the spread of short-term and holiday apartments.

Michael Töngi (Greens), National Councillor and vice president of the Swiss Tennants’ Association, confirmed they were closely monitoring their development across the country. Mimicking arguments made against the spread of Airbnb in Switzerland, Töngi worried that business apartments would come to dominate Swiss cities as they are so much more profitable than regular rented apartments. 

He added that those who use them would likely be unable to dispute the higher rents as they would not be residents for long enough to do so. Therefore, he called on local governments to implement rules limiting the spread of excessively expensive short-term lets.

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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