Developments in energy costs have a significant impact on the residential real estate market and property owners. Although there is discussion about increased oil and gas prices in relation to ancillary costs, it turns out that it is not the usual factors alone that influence ancillary costs, but the size of the apartments. Comprehensive data analysis and insights.
Measured against the median value, payments on account for ancillary costs perm2 in German-speaking Switzerland rose by 6% in 2022. However, this cannot only be attributed to the increase in energy costs, but also to the mix of apartments on the market. There were different developments in the cantons: Ancillary costs rose comparatively sharply in St. Gallen and Thurgau by around 8%, while in Basel they rose moderately by 2%. Other cantons recorded a cost increase in the medium range of approx. 4-6%. Although other geographical factors such as municipality size or labor market regions are taken into account, the “canton” still has a statistically significant influence, especially on the net rent.
Factors influencing ancillary costs
A data analysis by Properti AG has shown that the size of the apartment is a more important factor influencing the amount of service charges perm2 than assumed. Until now, the price of oil, heating systems, the age of the property, its condition and other factors have been held responsible for the increase in ancillary costs. However, the study, which is based on over 50,000 rental advertisements published in German-speaking Switzerland in 2022, shows that these factors are also relevant, but not to the same extent.
According to calculations by experts (CS, 2022), ancillary costs for apartments with oil or gas heating will rise by 38% in the current year. This trend will continue in the coming years, as forecast by Wüest Partner.
While traditional systems such as gas and heating oil are coming to an end, district heating and geothermal probes are catching up. New laws such as the “Energy Act of the Canton of Zurich” require, among other things, the replacement of oil and gas heating systems at the end of their service life with environmentally friendly heating solutions.
The age of a building affects the level of ancillary costs in various ways. From a data perspective, the absolute ancillary costs at the beginning of 2022 were at the low level of CHF 2.5 perm2 for buildings constructed after 2000. For properties built in 2000 or earlier, the rise in energy costs is much more pronounced, comparatively twice as high as for more recent or renovated buildings. The efficiency of modern buildings and systems undoubtedly has a major beneficial influence. This can be achieved, for example, by using energy-saving building materials, good insulation or by integrating solar and heat pump systems.
The evaluation makes it clear that the size of an apartment has a significant influence on the level of ancillary costs. The increase in costs for apartments with an area >110 m² amounted to 8.5% in 2022, while tenants in apartments < 50 m2 faced an increase of 4.9%. According to the analysis, the difference is around 72%, although the cost level is significantly higher for small apartments.
As the data shows, large apartments tend to be artificially discounted. The reason for this could lie in the billing systems and the systematic allocation of service charges and not in the actual costs perm2. This finding raises questions about the distribution of costs within a building and the potential economic and environmental impacts that could incentivize intensive land use.
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Data basis and procedure:
To analyze ancillary costs in German-speaking Switzerland (cantons of AG, BE, BS, LU, SG, TG, ZH), more than 50,000 rental advertisements published in 2022 from German-speaking cantons were evaluated and linked with information from the Swiss Federal Register of Buildings and data from the Federal Statistical Office.
Disclaimer: The results of this study are based on the available data and may vary depending on the interpretation of the data and methodology. The study should not be seen as a definitive statement, but as a contribution to a broader understanding of the topic.