Important factors to consider in residence planning
Switzerland is known for its beauty, stability, and favorable banking system. The real estate 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 real estate in Switzerland, offering strict confidentiality during each real estate acquisition.
Switzerland has restricted the acquisition of real estate by foreign nationals for decades. In principle, all foreign nationals who wish to acquire Swiss residential real estate must obtain approval prior to their purchase, which would otherwise be invalid. Such approval is relatively difficult to obtain. These restrictions also mean that estate planning options for foreign nationals wishing to acquire holiday homes in Switzerland are very limited.
However, it is possible for foreign nationals who hold a Swiss residence permit to acquire real estate for their own personal use. Also, the acquisition and holding of purely commercial real estate by foreign nationals is no longer restricted in Switzerland.
All foreign nationals who wish to acquire Swiss residential real estate must obtain approval prior to their purchase. An individual may be authorized to purchase a holiday home in a place that is designated by the respective cantonal authorities as a holiday resort. Every authorization 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 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.
Since 1997, foreign nationals who hold a Swiss residence permit are allowed to purchase a reasonably sized house or apartment for their personal use with no need to seek prior approval.
Likewise, foreign-controlled Swiss companies that purchase real estate for their own office or production facility use may do so without restrictions. Foreign nationals 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 attractive option to consider.
There are no restrictions regarding the acquisition of purely commercial real estate by foreign nationals or foreign entities. Please contact us for further information and advice.
Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the most attractive countries in the world to live in. An ideal combination of political and economic stability and a clean and safe environment make it the ultimate place of residence. The high degree of privacy and personal security enjoyed by its residents make Switzerland the residence of choice for many wealthy and talented individuals.