Increased usage costs: what homeowners need to know now

Einfamilienhäuser Schweiz
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The Swiss real estate landscape is constantly changing. In recent years, the costs of using residential property have become a key issue. This development brings with it both challenges and opportunities that need to be highlighted. With rising interest rates, maintenance costs and regional price differences, it is crucial to understand the implications for property owners and potential investors. This article takes a look at the reality of rising occupancy costs and sheds light on the changing dynamics of the Swiss real estate market.


The reality of increased usage costs


The increased costs of home ownership have presented many households with financial challenges in recent years. In particular, the rise in interest rates over the last three years has had a significant impact on the financing costs of owner-occupied homes. Between mid-2021 and the beginning of 2023, the running costs for condominiums rose noticeably. As an example, consider an average condominium purchased in 2021 at a median price of CHF 800,000. At that time, the estimated annual costs, including mortgage interest, maintenance and imputed rental value, amounted to around CHF 17,000. Currently, however, with a similar median price, these costs are around CHF 26,000 per year. This corresponds to an increase of a good 50 percent.

Rising mortgage interest rates and maintenance costs have increased the financial burden on homeowners. In addition, the effects of inflation, particularly in heating and electricity costs, are noticeable. Added to this is the challenge that homeowners in the canton of Zurich will be faced with a higher valuation of their imputed rental value from the 2025 tax period.



Regional differences and effects


The Swiss real estate market is characterized by striking regional price differences. These offer both challenges and opportunities for potential buyers and investors. While prices in urban areas often skyrocket, making it difficult for many households to buy a home, rural areas tend to offer more affordable options.

Urban centers and their adjacent agglomerations have median prices that are significantly higher than the average Swiss income. This high price range presents many people with financial hurdles when buying real estate. For this reason, many are looking for affordable housing in more rural areas.

Regions such as Graubünden and Upper Valais have seen prices rise by up to 10 percent in recent years. Real estate prices have also risen at an above-average rate in eastern Switzerland and the canton of Fribourg. This trend underlines how rising prices are prompting people to move to more rural areas where property costs are still in the affordable range.


Outlook for usage costs in the current year


According to the latest UBS real estate study, occupancy costs for owner-occupied homes are expected to fall in the current year. The key interest rate cut by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in March and further expected interest rate cuts could reduce the financial burden for property owners. Although the usage costs are around 10 percent higher than for rental apartments, this could be offset in the long term by the potential increase in the value of real estate.


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Conclusion

The increased usage costs for residential property in Switzerland are a reality that places a financial burden on many households. The continuous rise in interest rates, maintenance costs and regional price differences has changed the financial landscape and increased the cost of home ownership. At the same time, however, asking rents have also risen, making home ownership more attractive than rental apartments. Despite the rise in usage costs, home ownership remains an interesting investment opportunity, as long-term increases in value are still likely. This dynamic illustrates the complex facets of the real estate market and underlines the need for careful planning and analysis in order to make the right financial decisions and benefit from the opportunities of the real estate market in the long term.

All data are without guarantee. The information on these Internet pages has been carefully researched. Nevertheless, no liability can be assumed for the accuracy of the information provided.

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