Which Swiss towns and cities are building the most houses?

Which Swiss towns and cities are building the most houses?

With the country set to see a shortage of almost 10.000 homes by the end of the year, a new study by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has identified the Swiss cities and towns that are doing the most to solve the problem. The report highlighted the fact that while major cities build the most new homes, areas in the mountains are the fastest growing.

Number of newly built houses declines in Switzerland

Using the latest data available, the FSO found that 45.307 homes were built in 2021. This is around 8.000 fewer than the annual average between 2015 and 2018, when 54.000 new homes were built every year.

By total numbers, it was Zurich that managed to build the most homes to rent and buy, with 1.931 new dwellings constructed within city limits in 2021. Basel took second place with 834, while Geneva rounded out the podium with 806.

Swiss cities struggle to meet housing demand

Despite placing top, experts explained that the rate of construction in Switzerland’s major cities is nowhere near keeping up with demand; as of June 2022, only 0,07 percent of apartments in Zurich were available to rent. The FSO added that Zurich, Basel and Geneva only built 4,6, 4,8 and 4 houses per 1.000 inhabitants respectively, further exacerbating the lack of housing.

This inevitably has an impact on the cost of renting, with a recent report by Homegate revealing that rental costs in Zurich have risen by 8,2 percent since the start of the year. Nationwide, rental costs have risen by 1,8 percent.

Swiss ski resorts expand housing the most

By comparison, the town of Göschenen, Canton Uri expanded its housing market the most, with 116,8 houses built per 1.000 residents in 2021. The study found that the biggest housing expansions occurred in ski resorts and small communities in rural areas, with Andermatt (73,3 per 1.000) and Abtwil (67,1 per 1.000) rounding out the podium places.

The first city to feature on the proportional ranking was the Genevan district of Plan-les-Ouates, where 607 new houses were built, the equivalent of 57,3 per 1.000 residents. It’s also important to note that in 2021, more than 20 percent of Swiss municipalities did not build a single new home.

Which Swiss towns and cities build the most houses?

In all, here are the 10 Swiss municipalities that built the most houses in 2021:

  1. Zurich (1.931)
  2. Basel (834)
  3. Geneva (806)
  4. Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva (607)
  5. Winterthur, Zurich (598)
  6. Lausanne, Vaud (500)
  7. Vernier, Geneva (481)
  8. Martigny, Valais (420)
  9. Lucerne (410)
  10. Dübendorf, Zurich (409)

Here are the places that grew the most (in number of houses built per 1.000 residents):

  1. Göschenen, Uri (116,8)
  2. Andermatt, Uri (73,3)
  3. Abtwil, Aargau (67,1)
  4. Porza, Ticino (65,3)
  5. Fisibach, Aargau (62,6)
  6. Grancy, Vaud (59)
  7. Plan-les-Ouates (57,3)
  8. Laax, Graubünden (49,6)
  9. Champtauroz, Vaud (48,6)
  10. Itingen, Basel-Land (44,8)

For more information, and to see how many new dwellings were built in your community, check out the official study.

Thumb image credit: Michael Derrer Fuchs /

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...

Read more



Leave a comment