Switzerland: Good long-term prospects

Switzerland has long been a popular place to buy for foreign property investors for many reasons – the low taxes, low crime rate, no wars since 1515 and the stunning scenery.

Property in Switzerland is not cheap, although the property market is stable and Switzerland continues to be seen a good country to invest in. Over the past 5 years, the average property price in Switzerland has risen by about 40% although growth is expected to slow in the near future. Capital gains tax reduces from 30% to 13% after 10 years, and then down to 0% after 22 years, making it an attractive country to buy in for those looking for long term property investment.

However, there is one problem with investing in Swiss property – there are very complex property regulations surrounding overseas property investors with different rules in each of the 26 cantons, and further rules in many of the communes. Sales can also take months to complete, and it is very hard for foreigners to buy properties with interior square footage of more than around 22 square metres.

Under pressure from the EU, the Swiss are relaxing the rules for foreign buyers and 1,500 permits are being issued annually to allow foreigners to buy properties outright in the country – the majority of these permits are handed out in the popular tourist areas. The permits are handy because they allow you to buy and sell properties whenever you wish. It is still possible to buy properties without a permit however the ownership of the property you buy will remain in with the property builder until you obtain a permit – an event which may take years.

Read our free guide to buying a property in Switzerland here.

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