Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. It is renowned as an international centre of finance, being home to many major banks such as UBS and Credit Suisse. Its geographically varied location on the northern shore of Lake Zurich, its well-preserved medieval Old Town and the diverse range of culture on offer make the city attractive for local residents and tourists alike. After weeks of imposed restrictions, visitors from all Schengen countries are now permitted to travel to Zurich once again. “The city is a sought-after place to live for both Swiss and foreign nationals, thanks to its combination of world-class business and leisure found in a major city, all set against the picturesque backdrop of Lake Zurich. This has not changed in any way with the coronavirus pandemic. There are still very few listings on the market, met with high demand,” says Lars Keller, Managing Director of Engel & Völkers Zurich Gold Coast.
During the height of the pandemic between March and June 2020, property prices in Zurich remained steadily high. No fall in prices were recorded in any location or segment. Andrea Keller, Managing Director of Engel & Völkers Zurich North, describes the status quo as follows: “The market is currently very active, with clients keen to make up for missed opportunities.” Although the Engel & Völkers team did also close sales and acquire new listings while restrictions were in place, the processes involved became more protracted and complicated than before. “During this time, we offered a mix of in-person viewings making sure all hygiene measures were adhered to, and virtual property tours, which were also very well received by our clients,” Andrea Keller continues.
Residential properties in the Zürichberg district are among the most desirable in the entire city. Prices here for premium mansions start at 6.5 million Swiss francs (approx. 6.1 million euros). Entry prices for freehold apartments in the same location were 18,500 Swiss francs (approx. 17,390 euros) per square metre in 2020. In the district of Zürich Nord, houses command top prices of up to 2.9 million Swiss francs (approx. 2.7 million euros), while freehold apartments sell for up to 12,500 Swiss francs (approx. 11,750 euros) per square metre. The majority of buyers come from Switzerland, accounting for 80 to 85 percent of transactions. But Zurich is also very appealing for international clients who want to settle there. They come primarily from Germany, France and Holland. Districts 6, 7 and 8 in Zurich are especially in demand with buyers, in addition to the so-called “Gold Coast” on Lake Zurich, where buyers seek stand-alone mansions on substantial land plots or luxury penthouses with views of the city or lake.
Engel & Völkers expects prices in Zurich to remain stable. “Demand is very strong, and we are currently witnessing a real push on the market,” reveals Andrea Keller. In turbulent times, real estate in prime locations represents a sound investment. Switzerland also offers a high level of political security and a very good healthcare system. These factors are also a top priority for prospective buyers at present. “In general, we are also seeing that interest in having a wonderful home to live in has intensified even more. The coronavirus has made us all aware of just how valuable the feeling of home is,” Lars Keller adds.