Buying Property in Geneva

9 Replies



Anyone buying property might be interested to know that most property in Geneva is put on the market for an asking price of 25% more than the property's market value. This is a practice adopted by real estate agents to drive prices up. I wondered about this and than did research on 12 properties (all over 1 million CHF) comparing their asking prices and what they eventually sold for. The results of sales were between 17 and 30 % below asking prices. Hope this interestng informaton helps some house/apartment buyers out there.


Jenni-134669 1178707071

Hi there, is this information available publicly on a website, or did you contact the agencies directly?

thanks for the useful information.

Ana-134395 1178755361

Thanks for sharing this useful info! I wish I had known it when we bought our house....:-) At the time we were told that in Switzerland you do not negotiate the price down too much....

Ana-134395 1179389616

I have attended an interesting seminar on property situation in Geneva and heard some interesting statistics.

Apparently, only 16% of Genevans own property. When they buy, they buy for life. Most of the houses that come to market are sold because of the old age, which means the buyer needs to invest in redecorating the house. The housing market is highly illiquid. In 2005 only 600 houses or apartments changed hands.

The rental situation is pretty bad too, as we all know. Out of 1'000 rental houses or apartments, only 20 are empty at any time.

Ana-134395 1179390157

Another piece of useful information that the speaker from a Genevan bank shared:

The mortgage interest rates are still low and there is no big difference in the rates if you fix them for long-term, say 10 years, compared to fixing them for shorter periods. It is worth securing the current low mortgage rates for 5-10 years. He recomenended dividing the mortgage into several tranches: 1/3 fixed for 5 years, 1/3 fixed fro 10 years and 1/3 variable.

Jivebaby-134257 1179405505

Does your banker friend charge a fee for each segment of the mortgage that makes up the entire package -If so, 3 tranches = 3 fee's.

Really love to know the answer!


Jivebaby-134257 1179573185

From experience, yes many agents will show non-local buyers "expensive" property, so margins of >10% are not that unusual - How wide was your sample survey in agent terms? Was it say >6 different agents?

The figure of 600 transactions puzzled me. In simple terms, that isn't enough turnover to explain how the agents could cover their costs, let alone make a living -that would be less that one deal a month each. It's not rocket science, and bearing in mind that there are few if any agents outside the centre of town (so costs are high) this doesn't add up.

Can anyone provide a logical explanation which also makes economic sense?


Angleterre79 1180615909

Thanks for posting that. I thought property prices were I where I lived before, until I came here. Even with a generous salary, how are you supposed to get onto the housing ladder?!

Jivebaby-134257 1180660541

I disagree -property prices in Geneva have ben "cheap" fro 25 years and still are- the city is superb and with yields of >6% they hardl;y look expensive, especially against funding rates and other major cities.

Take a fixed rate loan and buy now!


Jivebaby-134257 1180745298

With 10 year mortgage rates at 4% it's entirely reasonable to borrow a much higher multiple of earnings - 6 wouldn't be unreasonable and 300K would buy a decent appt in say Petit Sacconex, putting interest payments at approx 1,000 Chf a month - cheaper than renting!

Join the discussion