Economist: Soaring Zurich real estate prices fall short of bubble point Tuesday, 24 May, 2011 Residents in the canton of Geneva are well aware of the housing shortage and a real estate bubble that’s threatening to develop. But in Zurich the property market is equally buoyant, raising questions about how sustainable the lofty prices are. In the Seefeld section next to Lake Zurich, for example, a new loft apartment of 192 square metres commands an asking price of 3.3 million francs. In her report on the situation, WRS’s Jo Fahy talks to one expert who says while Zurich prices are high, a crash is not yet imminent:
Vote to decide Geneva farmland housing battle Tuesday, 10 May, 2011 This weekend voters in Geneva will determine the fate of 58 hectares of suburban farmland. The canton’s government wants the land for 3,000 desperately needed apartments. However, environmentalists say the fertile soil shouldn’t be paved over. But with a serious housing crisis, the battle over those 58 hectares could have wide implications for the development of the entire region. WRS’s Jordan Davis has more:
Population boom sparks housing worries Wednesday, 30 March, 2011 Switzerland’s population is expected to reach 8.8 million by 2035, with growth mostly fueled by immigration. In its forecast for the next 25 years, the Federal Statistics Office says the canton of Vaud is growing fastest, with no end in sight for the boom in the Lake Geneva region. All this is fueling worries about how to house the extra people. WRS’s Lucas Chambers reports:
Money-laundering controls needed in Swiss real estate market, expert says Monday, 28 February, 2011 Concerns linger over the the lack of adequate controls to prevent foreign criminals from using the Swiss property market for money-laundering purposes. Although tough “know your customer” rules were introduced in the banking sector, the regulations don’t cover real estate. Hard facts and figures are hard to come by, but one man who wants to see legal loopholes closed is money-laundering expert, Daniel Thelesklaf, director of the Basel institute for governance.He told WRS’s Vincent Landon why he’s concerned:
Zug mandates cheaper housing zones Monday, 24 January, 2011 Finding an affordable place to live in Zug is tough. Low tax rates and a great location have made it an increasingly popular place to live, driving up prices. The city of Zug is now the first place in the country to introduce special zones for reasonably priced housing. WRS’s Jo Fahy reports:
It's the Law: Rental contracts Monday, 6 December, 2010 For those who have managed to find a new place to live in this difficult housing environment, Stéphanie Fuld from BCCC Attorneys-at-Law in Geneva has advice on what to look for when signing the lease:
How to get your rent reduced Thursday, 2 December, 2010 If you’re more familiar with a rental market where landlords can charge whatever they deem appropriate for a shoebox-sized cell with no windows, a nationwide rent reduction may come as a surprise. The Federal Office of Housing has decided that the single mortgage reference rate, which determines how much landlords can charge their tenants, should go down to 2.75 percent. Alex Helmick gets the details from WRS’s Jo Fahy:
Family builds a recycled home Thursday, 4 November, 2010 The Fuchs family may trump all of us when it comes to having an environmentally responsible lifestyle. The family in the village of Trachslau in canton Schwyz, has built an entire house out of stuff other people have thrown away. WRS’s Vincent Landon pays a visit:
Real estate bubble fear is back Monday, 1 November, 2010 The Swiss National Bank is warning of unsustainable property price rises in Geneva and Zurich. Maybe the monumental crashes in the United States, Ireland and Spain are making them nervous—or maybe they’re remembering the horrors of Switzerland’s very own property nightmare of the early ’90s. As crashes go, it was world class, with CHF 45 billion francs wiped off the banking sector’s bottom line—that’s 10 percent of gross domestic product. WRS’s Pete Forster spoke to Marco Salvi, real estate expert with the Zürcher Kantonal Bank and asked him about the impact of the 1992 crisis:
Student housing: Tents for rent? Monday, 6 September, 2010 It’s front page news—students reduced to camping because they’ve been pushed out of the hot rental market across the country. Lucas Chambers explores the problem. Then Conor Lennon follows up with Basel-based Thomas Leibundgut, president of the committee on social affairs at the Association of Swiss Students, and Pascal Felber, who manages the housing office at Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich (ETHZ) and the University of Zurich.
The heat is on in the housing market Tuesday, 6 July, 2010 Despite denials from the experts, more voices are warning about the heat—in the housing market. This weekend the country’s financial watchdog FINMA repeated the Swiss National Bank’s warning about rising prices, especially in the Lake Geneva region and upscale neighbourhoods of Zurich. WRS’s Tony Ganzer sat down with Marco Salvi, a real estate analyst with the Zurich Cantonal Bank and asked the bubble question:
A housing bubble in Switzerland? Monday, 21 June, 2010 The Swiss National Bank seems to think a bubble is developing. With interest rates frozen near zero, the SNB last week issued a warning to banks and other mortgage lenders to take more care when it comes to home loans. So just how worried should we be? WRS’s Adam Beaumont put that question to Fredy Hasenmaile, head of real estate analysis at Credit Suisse.
Housing squeeze puts cows out of the pasture Monday, 1 March, 2010 City folk aren’t the only ones feeling the real estate pinch in the Lake Geneva area. On the rolling hills that stretch from the lake to the Jura mountains, it’s very hard to find a field or a barn to buy or rent. The mayor of the small town of Goillon, near Lausanne, is discovering just how hard. He lost his house and barn, and now has to move his cows from field to field. Reporter Lucas Chambers went to meet him:
Rail company real estate ruffles social-minded feathers Tuesday, 2 February, 2010 The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has found a golden goose in real estate. What began as a pilot project five years ago raked in 260 million francs in 2009—that’s 60 percent of the group’s entire earnings for the year. Housing, offices, public buildings, plenty of construction is underway in big cities such as Zurich, Lausanne and Neuchâtel. In downtown Chur, in canton Graubünden, a university and a retirement home now sit on SBB land. But critics are worried that zoning laws don’t require the rail company to build a minimum amount of affordable housing on its land. Lucas Chambers has this story:
Expat Life: A roof over your head Thursday, 20 August, 2009 Catherine Nelson-Pollard has advice for coping with what can be the most frustrating part of expat life in Switzerland: house hunting.