For many years, Switzerland has been a hot spot destination for international assignees. With the large number of expatriates moving there, the rental market can sometimes be challenging, especially in major cities.
Our latest Geneva Market Watch and Zürich Market Watch provide updates on the current rental trends in these two cities, outlining average monthly rates, types of properties available, popular expatriate neighbourhoods, and upcoming legislation that may impact future moves.
Divided into three areas, Lake Geneva is made up of the canton of Geneva, the canton of Vaud, and neighbouring France. The residential rental market is varied, but the general rule is that the nearer the property is to the centre of Geneva, the higher its value. In terms of property styles, it’s currently ‘out with the old, in with the new’ in Geneva. The majority of expatriates are choosing modern or renovated properties, which means that older properties—both apartments and houses—are either being left on the market for much longer or rented at a lower price.
Located in the north-central area of Switzerland, Zürich is the country’s largest city and its financial capital. It’s a frequent destination for relocating employees, with a large population of expatriates. In our experience, overall demand in the rental market has decreased in Zürich over the last 12 months although prospective tenants continue to outnumber available rental properties. Interestingly, demand has actually increased for mid- to low-end priced properties, which may be because relocating employees and organisations are now adopting a more cost-conscious approach to mobility in Switzerland.
What Can You Do?
Despite the marginal dip in demand, the Swiss rental market remains competitive, which means assignees should keep their search criteria as flexible as possible when conducting home-finding trips. Once a suitable property has been found, act quickly to secure it! The lease process may go faster if the assignee has an employer reference letter prepared before the home search begins.
For a detailed review on relocation to both these cities, read our Geneva Market Watch and Zürich Market Watch, and view our Resource Page for additional information on moving to other locations in the EMEA region.