Rental price development in Switzerland

A look at Switzerland’s rental price trends since 1996 to 2019 using data.

Houses Switzerland image


Switzerland, a country with an interesting historical development trend in terms of real estate rental prices. In recent decades, the country’s real estate market has evolved significantly and has been marked by considerable changes. In this article, we take a historical look at real estate rental prices in Switzerland from 1996 to 2019.

We will not make any interpretations of the figures, just present the facts and point out at the end of the article some economic events that might have had an impact.

Years 1996 – 2019: Historical rent price development (graph)

90%, 70%, 50%, 30% and 10% Quantiles


Analysis of the price development

Keyword summary of the price changes, which can be seen in the charts above.

  • Decline in rents from 1996 to 1999
  • Rent increase from 1999 to 2003
  • Stagnation between 2003 and 2008
  • Strong rise in rents for average apartments between 2008 and 2011
  • Very sharp increase in rents for above-average apartments between 2008 and 2011
  • Small increase in rents for average apartments between 2012 and 2016
  • Small decline in rents for above-average apartments between 2012 and 2016
  • Small decline in rents between 2016 – 2019

Some economic historical events


Years 1990 – 1994: High unemployment in Switzerland

The sharp rise in unemployment in the 1990s surprised many labor market observers and not least the labor market authorities. Within just four years, the number of registered job seekers skyrocketed to ten times its 1990 baseline. To understand this sharp rise in unemployment, it is worth taking a look at developments prior to 1990. Statistical, economic and sociological factors can be identified to explain this.


Year 1985 to 1995: Immigration

The economy recovers, and between 1985 and 1995 an average of 50,000 new work permits may be issued per year. For the first time since 1975, more than one million foreigners live in Switzerland. The new immigrants come mainly from Portugal and Yugoslavia.

Source: SRF

Year 2000: Dotcom bubble

The dotcom bubble was a worldwide phenomenon. The largest market for technology companies was the US NASDAQ. In Germany, for example, Deutsche Börse established the Neuer Markt as a separate market segment on which supposedly forward-looking and fast-growing companies that were considered “technology companies” were to be listed. Compared to the U.S., the German dotcom bubble was heavily influenced by entrepreneurs acting criminally.

Source: Wikipedia

Year 2000: Acceptance of free movement of persons

In 2000, the Swiss electorate approves the introduction of the free movement of persons. Contrary to the Federal Council’s forecasts that there would be no marked increase in immigration, the rate will soon double.
Source: SRF

Years 2001 to 2004: Steady reduction in key interest rates

The Swiss National Bank sharply reduced the key interest rate in 2001 in order to be able to continue “growing”.

Source: Data: SNB / Chart: tradingeconomics

Year 2008: Global economic crisis

The global financial crisis, which began in 2007 as a real estate crisis in the USA, has led to significantly weakened economic growth or recession almost everywhere in the world. For the first time since World War II, the real gross domestic product (GDP) of economically developed countries shrank. And in the economically developing countries, GDP growth decreased significantly. Due to the problems of numerous financial companies and the general loss of confidence, the crisis also affected the non-financial sector and led, for example, to a significant reduction in global trade.
Source: Federal Agency for Civic Education

Year 2009: Sharp cut in key interest rates

The Swiss National Bank sharply reduced the key interest rate in 2008.

Source: Data: SNB / Chart: tradingeconomics

Years 2008 to 2022: Low interest rate policy

The Swiss National Bank has kept the key interest rate at 0 percent and/or minus percent for an extended period of time.

Source: Data: SNB / Chart: tradingeconomics

Closing words

The Swiss real estate market remains a dynamic and complex environment influenced by a variety of factors. The development of real estate rental prices is closely linked to the economic situation, population trends, investment in housing construction and regulatory measures.

What does the future hold? Have we aroused your interest in us or our data? This was written as a guest article by IMMOLEX. We are looking forward to your contact request via IMMOLEX.CH

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