Up to 40 percent of Swiss real estate to become vacant by 2045, study finds

Up to 40 percent of Swiss real estate to become vacant by 2045, study finds

Looking to buy a house in Switzerland? It may be best to wait: a new study by Credit Suisse has revealed that up to 40 percent of single-family homes in the alpine nation are set to become vacant by 2045.

Swiss housing market set to change as people retire

In figures released to Blick, Credit Suisse found that around 419.000 single-family homes are owned by the so-called “baby boomer” generation - those born between 1946 and 1964. As these people retire, many choose to sell their homes, meaning that up to 40 percent of single houses in Switzerland could be for sale by 2045, according to the Swiss bank.

“Experience shows that from a certain age, single-family homes become a burden," explained Fredy Hasenmaile, Credit Suisse’s expert on the Swiss housing market. In the face of trying to maintain a large house, which may be accompanied by deteriorating health, many retirees choose to sell or downsize.

Buying a house in Switzerland may be easier with high vacancy rates

Over the last decade, property prices for both renting and buying a house have increased significantly, driven mainly by a housing shortage in the most popular cities. In Bern and Zurich, for example, vacancy rates are at 0,5 and 0,17 percent respectively - a vacancy rate of below 1 percent is classified as an “official housing shortage” by most cantonal governments.

The forecasted increase in the supply of housing is expected to reverse the extremely low vacancy rates, which may lead to lower house prices for prospective buyers."This will make it possible to ease the situation on the real estate market," Hasenmaile claimed. 

However, he conceded that homebuyers will have to wait and see how many people will actually sell their properties, as a recent study by the Zürcher Kantonalbank found that only 50 percent of retirees choose to sell their houses, the rest choosing to keep their home or give it to their family. In addition, reporting by Le Matin noted that it is still unclear how younger people will be able to afford mortgages in Switzerland, regardless of the expected increase in vacancies.

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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