Real estate investments in Switzerland
January 16, 2013 - Switzerland
Switzerland's stable, affluent economy and tightly controlled supply mean residential prices are less volatile than many other international markets.
Switzerland has long been a haven for the well-to-do.
The country's moderate tax rates, financial privacy and venerated quality of life attract well-heeled citizens of the world.
In 2006 the list of the 300 richest people in Switzerland compiled by Swiss magazine Bilanz's revealed half of the included people came from abroad.
German nationals made up a significant portion - over 20 per cent - attracted by lower tax rates than at home, but increasingly Russians and other nationalities are making the cut.
Switzerland's beautiful and varied landscapes, its easily accessible location in the centre of Europe and excellent health and education services are also a draw for foreigners, and the discretion, security and quality of life afforded to residents consistently put the country on the forefront of global lifestyle indexes.
Switzerland ranked 2nd in the 2009 International Living Quality of Life Index, and its leading centres, Zurich and Geneva, ranked 2nd and 3rd in the 2009 Mercer Quality of Living city survey.
The luxury home market is also consistently strong, with residential prices less volatile than many other international markets.
Switzerland achieved 4.5 per cent average national growth over the past five years, with no negative annual growth, according to research agency Knight Frank.
And the market continues to be characterised by very low vacancy rates (national rate of 0.9 per cent) and a large rental market that is attractive to investors.
The country did not come through the crisis unscathed. According to Nick Barnes of Dextra Consulting in London, buyers are more cautious, and, while HNWIs continue to be attracted by the affluent economy - Switzerland enjoys among the highest levels of GDP per capita in Europe, nearly 50 per cent above EU average - lifestyle requirements are less ostentatious than pre-credit crunch.
"There's a real flight to quality," Barnes says, "in terms of both product and location. But there are also opportunities to buy quality homes at a discount, with good upside potential."
Source: LP Luxury Properties
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