Swiss real estate market in 2020: High real estate prices leading to more commuters
High real estate prices in urban centers and their metro areas are causing many home buyers to take a close look at rural municipalities. This is illustrated by the 2020 Credit Suisse real estate study. Use our interactive map to find out which locations make for a sensible commute and what the supply of real estate looks like.
Short supply leads to rising real estate prices
Thanks to low mortgage interest rates, the demand for home ownership remains unstoppable. As many investors focus heavily on the construction of rental housing, however, the supply of owner-occupied residential property is dwindling. This is illustrated by the 2020 Credit Suisse real estate study. The construction of owner-occupied residential property is growing even rarer, driven out of central locations and into rural communities. This shortage is reflected in property prices. They are likely to rise in 2020 as well, but at 2% the growth will likely be less than in previous years.
These financial challenges are a significant hurdle for first-time buyers. According to the Housing Affordability Index, 5.6 years of income are required to purchase an owner-occupied apartment without a mortgage. And at 7.6 years' worth of annual salary, the price for a single family dwelling has reached a new high. It's no surprise, then, that an increasing number of households are opting for well-developed regions outside of urban centers. They offer both lower prices and a high standard of living. The result? Living spaces and workplaces are growing ever further apart.
The real estate study shows that an increasing number of home owners are also commuters
If you want to avoid the high property prices in urban centers and metro areas, you often have to be willing to accept a longer commute. As a result, the number of commuters is on the rise. Currently, over 2.6 million workers leave the municipality where they live in order to get to work; one in five even has to leave their leave their canton. Numerous studies show that long commutes can have negative effects on your health and happiness. Whether for cars or public transportation, a reliable and fast transportation infrastructure is thus an important factor when looking for a place to live. Our interactive map uses actual commuter data to show you the best places to live based on your maximum desired commute.
Interactive commuter map
How long a commute are you willing to accept? Enter your place of work and your maximum desired travel time. Then choose if you want to travel to work by public transportation or by car. For the desired place of work, the map shows the municipalities in which commuters live, how long it takes to reach these residential areas, and what the real estate market there looks like. Municipalities with no commuters traveling to the target municipality are not displayed.
Click on a municipality to see details about its potential as a place to live, including population data, the number of commuters, commute time to the selected place of work, and the number of advertised owner-occupied apartments and homes.
Real estate prices fall as you move away from urban centers
The further you are from the city, the lower the residential property prices typically are. Take Zurich as an example. In Zurich, the price of an average, newly constructed owner-occupied apartment with 110 square meters of habitable floor space is CHF 1.73 million. If you are willing to accept a 30-minute commute with public transportation, however, you will pay just around CHF 950,000 in the municipalities of Mettmenstetten or Wangen (Schwyz). If you are willing to accept a one-hour commute, the average price for a newly constructed owner-occupied apartment falls even more, to just CHF 700,000.
Commuters are changing the real estate market
It's not just lower prices that are prompting home owners to accept longer commutes. Changes in the working world, flexible career paths, and an increased awareness about work-life balance are all contributing factors. And for the sake of preserving their social support system, fewer people are willing to move frequently. They accept longer commutes instead. Switzerland has become a nation of commuters – a trend that will have long-term impacts on regional supply in the real estate market.