Switzerland Real Estate Market and Values
Switzerland is known for its beauty, stability, and favourable banking & tax system. The property market is trusted and has been known for its stable growth over the last 40 years.
Henley & Partners offers clients a full range of services related to acquiring a property in Switzerland, offering strict confidentiality during each property acquisition.
Real estate in Switzerland
Switzerland has restricted the acquisition of real estate by foreigners for decades. In principle, all foreigners who wish to acquire Swiss residential real estate must obtain approval prior to their purchase, which will otherwise be invalid. Such approval is relatively difficult to obtain. These restrictions also mean that tax and estate planning options for foreigners wishing to acquire holiday homes in Switzerland are very limited.
For foreigners who hold a Swiss residence permit, it is however possible to acquire real estate for their own personal use. Also, the acquisition and holding of purely commercial real estate by foreigners is no longer restricted in Switzerland.
Acquisition of residential real estate by foreigners not resident in Switzerland
All foreigners who wish to acquire Swiss residential real estate must obtain approval prior to their purchase. A foreigner may be authorised to purchase a holiday home in a place designated by the respective cantonal authorities as a holiday resort. Every authorisation must be deducted from the annual quota assigned to the cantons by the Federal government for holiday homes and hotel condominium units. The cantons and communities can apply their own restrictions which may be even more stringent. Holiday homes and hotel condominium units may only be acquired by physical persons under their own name, and under no circumstances by a company.
As of 2011, there is now one sole area within Switzerland to which all of the above restrictions do not apply, due to a Federal exemption - click here to learn more.
Acquisition of residential real estate by foreigners resident in Switzerland
Since 1997, foreigners holding a Swiss residence permit are allowed to purchase a reasonably sized house or apartment for their personal use with no further need to seek prior approval.
Likewise, foreign-controlled Swiss companies which purchase real estate for use as their own offices or production facilities may do so without restrictions. Foreigners wishing to acquire Swiss real estate and subsequently spend considerable time actually living in Switzerland may find that moving their main place of residence to Switzerland and obtaining a Swiss residence permit is an interesting option to consider.
Acquisition of commercial real estate
There are no restrictions regarding the acquisition of purely commercial real estate by foreigner or foreign entities. As a result, there are again interesting tax planning options for foreigners and foreign entities wishing to invest in Swiss commercial real estate. Please contact us for further information and advice.
Switzerland - the ultimate place of residence
Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the most attractive countries in the world to live. An ideal combination of political and economic stability, a clean and safe environment and relatively low tax rates make it the ultimate place of residence. The possibility of lump-sum taxation, extremely low inheritance taxes as well as the high degree of privacy and personal security enjoyed by its inhabitants make Switzerland the residence of choice for many celebrities and wealthy indivduals.
Some of the many advantages of Switzerland include:
- Political, social and economic stability
- Multi-lingual, highly qualified and motivated workforce
- First-class infrastructure, excellent banking facilities
- Very attractive lifestyle and healthy environment
- Efficient and reliable public services
- Possible fiscal incentives for substantial investments
- Favourable taxation system with moderate tax rates