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The Swiss Property Market

Autumn 2017

The Swiss market has undergone significant adjustments over recent years with major changes in the legislation, banking secrecy and strength of the currency. The markets differ so much across each region however; in general, the enthusiasm for this landlocked country located at the very heart of Europe shows no sign of dwindling. With the restrictions for non-resident purchase still a major factor, there are two main markets, which behave in very different ways due.

The primary residential market was underpinned for many years by the preferential tax arrangements on offer, in recent times however, this reason is fast becoming less and less important. Switzerland today offers International clients incredible personal safety, a secure economic environment and world-class education and it is these key factors that has seen the market continue to recover in recent months.

The secondary residence or holiday home market is primarily focused on the Ski resorts and the lakeside cities of Lugano & Montreux. This market experienced a tough period of uncertainty since the Lex Weber (the law that set a 20% cap on the proportion of second homes in every commune) was announced, it finally was written into law in 2016.

Since then, we have seen a surge in interest in Swiss property. Confidence is beginning to return to the market. Buyers who had put their searches on hold have started to return. Where previously they were concerned about the lack of clarity over a potential purchase – if they bought a house in Montreux, for example, would the new laws allow them to sell it to another non-national buyer? – now the terms are clear.

The strong currency is no doubt a factor at present, but with Switzerland still seen as a safe investment for asset protection and the Ski resorts determined to invest and promote a year round destination, clients are still arriving in encouraging numbers.