“Safe haven” Switzerland to see property sales rise

Confidence is returning to Lake Geneva Photo: Keepps

Swizterland’s global reputation as a financial safe haven remains in tact, according to Knight Frank, despite facing several headwinds, from limits on immigration to caps on second homeownership.

Now, confidence is returning to Lake Geneva following the introduction of the “Forfeit Fiscal”, says Alex Koch de Gooreyend, Knight Frank’s Head of Switzerland’s Sales.

“[The] lump sum form of taxation [has] long been an added benefit to incoming residents [although there remain concerns] if only because it introduces an element of uncertainty, something the market detests, it is increasingly considered ’a welcome addition’ rather than the chief driver of demand behind a move to Switzerland.”

Zurich has seen a “rare slowing of transactions above CHF 5m” he notes , which may continue or be reversed by the busy autumn period. Lugano, on the other hand, is continuing at a “strong pace”.

“The Alpine markets are still reeling from the introduction of the Lex Weber regulations,” he explains, “which will take another year to be fully implemented and as such we fully expect confidence to return. With this in mind we are seeing speculators starting to take advantage of some lower prices, safe in the knowledge that stock levels will tighten in the coming years in the key resorts driving prices upwards.”

For Lake Geneva, meanwhile, sensible pricing and strong dmand are expected to prompt “a real increase” in sales in the coming months.