Strong demand from the international community who flock to Geneva to work for banks and organizations like the United Nations has made house prices in the city the most expensive in Switzerland.
Prices in the French-speaking city are as high as CHF70,000 (US$70,807) per square meter, according to a report Thursday by real estate brokerage Engel & Völkers, based on sales data, which found that around 40% of interested buyers are from abroad.
“The highest priced residential addresses can be found in the Old Town. On the Rue des Granges, for example, prices can reach up to CHF70,000 per square meter,” said Marie-Chantal von Büren, director of the Engel & Völkers’s Lake Geneva office.
Nearby locations such as Cologny and Bellevue are also highly sought after, resulting in prices as high as CHF45,000 (US$45,477) per square meter and CHF35,000 (US$35,370) per square meter, respectively. Villas with pools that are close to the lake are particularly popular in the latter.
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The second most expensive city in the ranking was Zurich, with average property costs reaching as much as up to CHF30,000 (US$35,399) per square meter.
Here, foreign buyers account for around 25% of sales, with German, French and British investors the most active in the market. Kurhausstrasse, Aurorastrasse and Susenbergstrasse on the Zürichberg (a wooded hill overlooking Lake Zürich) rank among the most exclusive addresses in the city.
“Top properties only rarely come onto the market in Zurich,” said Lars Keller, managing partner of Engel & Völkers Zürichberg. “Demand is especially great at present for freehold apartments of 150 square meters and more, as well as for Zürichberg villas dating from the late 18th and early 19th century.”
In third place was Zug, where prices can reach up to CHF30,000 (US$30,314) Swiss francs per square meter. Besides its lakeside position, Zug benefits in particular from its attractive tax rates and good transportation links, according to the report. At least 70% of clients are Swiss nationals.
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