Whoever thinks of residential housing in Switzerland soon focuses on the adjective “pricey”. The Housing Affordability Index of the Bloomberg news service now casts a somewhat different view on the subject. According to the index, Zurich and Basle feature amongst the world’s rather affordable metropolises. An international comparison of 105 economic centres finds Basle in ninth and Zurich in eleventh position. According to the study, on average the residents of Basle have to spend 48.2 per cent of their monthly income on housing, and with Zurich citizens having to contribute 50 per cent.
However, why is it that Swiss cities appear to be so affordable? While rents in Basle and Zurich are comparatively high, the level of Swiss income simultaneously belongs to the world’s highest. North American cities reflect a particularly good track record: Chicago, Portland, Philadelphia and Houston already are four American cities that can be found in the Top 10.