Rural regions remain the preferred living environment of the Swiss population. 90 percent of the people who live in the countryside want to stay there. Once again, the single-family home is proving to be the number one dream home – especially among the youngest respondents. This is shown by the dream home study 2022 by MoneyPark, alaCasa and Helvetia. Year after year, the study takes a close look at the living dreams of the Swiss population. Almost half of those surveyed have the dream of owning their own home. However, many fail to realize it due to a lack of offers or financing. So it is not surprising that the financing criteria are losing public support. Those who live in the country are happy and those who already own their own home are even happier. There is a great willingness to invest in one’s own four walls. Energy-related measures such as heating, photovoltaics or charging stations for electric cars have not been the top priority up to now, but they will become more important in the future.
The single-family home is proving once again to be the number 1 dream home in Switzerland. The value is highest for people aged 25 to 30 at 64 percent. It should stand on the land. With 48 percent approval, rural areas remain the preferred living environment this year. 90 percent of people who live in rural areas want to stay there in the future. A different picture emerges for the urban population: only 65 percent of those surveyed consider their current living environment to be their preferred place of residence. Financial reasons are the most frequently mentioned hurdle (40%) that speaks against moving. Despite the increase in working from home, commuting to work remains the second most important obstacle.
Costs and outdoor space dominate when choosing a home – not the home office
The most important criterion when choosing an apartment resp. of a house are the housing costs, followed by the outside area. Newly asked criteria such as a separate room for home office or ecological factors are hardly mentioned as decisive, but are at least regarded as important criteria by around half of those surveyed. A charging option for the e-car, services or luxury furnishings hardly play a role when choosing a home.
In terms of location, the dream property should be quiet (66%) and close to nature (66%). In addition, a good connection to public transport (51%) is required. Little has changed here compared to the previous year. The neighborhood is rated as particularly important by 41 percent of those surveyed, putting it in 4th place – two places higher than last year. Proximity to medical care also wins a place at the expense of proximity to childcare or school.
Dream of owning your own home unbroken, but usually fails due to supply and financing
Almost half of those surveyed (46%) dream of owning (another) residential property. The desire among the younger respondents has increased again compared to the previous year. It is still particularly pronounced among today’s tenants: 62 percent dream of buying their own home. Difficulties are caused by the scarce supply (58%) and the high prices (49%). In addition, there are strict financing criteria, which are intended to prevent the real estate market from overheating, but are increasingly being criticized. 50 percent of those surveyed judge the applicable criteria to no longer correspond to today’s reality and say that the purchase should also be possible with less income.
“Real estate prices have risen above average compared to wages, which, with the rigid financing rules, means that new buyers can now only afford their first property at the age of 44. Younger families and couples are thus denied home ownership, among other things due to the system.”
Martin Tschopp, CEO of MoneyPark
Country life makes you happy, property even more so
Happy are those who already own their own home. Two-thirds of homeowners state that they are very satisfied, while the figure for tenants is only one-third. Satisfaction correlates with housing costs: two-thirds of homeowners spend less than 20 percent of their income on housing, while this only applies to one-third of tenants. The evaluation also shows that residents of rural regions are significantly more satisfied with their current housing situation (58% are very satisfied) than residents of agglomerations and cities (45% and 41% respectively). In addition, satisfaction is significantly higher in German-speaking Switzerland (53%) than in western Switzerland (40%) – with maximum values in eastern Switzerland (61%) and minimum values in the Lake Geneva region (39%).
High satisfaction time deters sales
Anyone who owns their own home would like to keep it. Only three percent of the owners surveyed would like to sell their property in the next three years. Another 15 percent plan to sell in four to eight years. A look at the age groups shows that owners up to the age of 40 (24%) and pensioners (23%) in particular have intentions to sell. What primarily prevents a sale is satisfaction with the current housing situation (73%). The desire to pass the home on to the family (31%), the emotional connection (30%) and the assumption that the value of the property will continue to rise (16%) also make respondents refrain from selling it.
More than a third of those surveyed (37%) would rent out an inherited property and another almost a third (29%) would live in it themselves. Just under a fifth (19%) would decide to sell.
“Word has gotten around to private individuals that real estate is an attractive capital investment. The fact that inherited properties are often rented out and not sold leads to an additional shortage of residential property.»
dr Roman H. Bolliger, CEO of alaCasa.ch
Every second person has invested substantially in their own home in the last two years
Since the outbreak of the corona pandemic at the beginning of 2020, almost half of the owners surveyed (47%) have invested more than CHF 10,000 in their own home. One in five investments (20%) was impacted by the pandemic. Investments were made either because owning your own home has become more important, or because money could be saved due to the corona restrictions and thus invested in your own home. Both the investments made and those planned clearly show that the private outdoors has become more important: In no other area was there more investment than in one’s own garden or outside area (32%). Bathrooms (28%) and kitchens (27%) occupy second and third place, closely followed by painting and plastering work (26%) and new floor coverings (25%). And it goes on: 54 percent of homeowners plan to invest substantially in their homes in the next three years. The significance of the pandemic is decreasing: it is the trigger for only seven percent of the planned investments. A strong increase from 9 to 17 percent can be seen for solar systems. Charging stations for electric cars, facade renovations, new windows and doors as well as investments in heating, ventilation and air conditioning are also increasingly being planned.
«Investing in your own home is an excellent example of why it is so important to take a holistic view of your home, insurance and pension provision. Investments can increase the value of a property or simply bring joy. In the case of value-preserving work, tax advantages can also be realized, since these costs are deductible. Either way, the invested amount is no longer available in cash. This is something to consider when planning your retirement, for example. And of course we recommend checking the insurance after every major investment – regardless of whether it’s a photovoltaic system or a new gazebo.»
Ralph Jeitziner, Head of Sales Switzerland, Helvetia Insurance
Green mortgages are seen as attractive but knowledge is lacking
It remains to be seen whether the currently much-discussed dependence on fossil fuels will lead to a further surge in investment in energy-related measures. Today, only seven percent of the owners surveyed benefit from a green mortgage or a corresponding discount on mortgage interest. Almost a fifth of the owners surveyed (18%) do not know whether their home meets the criteria for a green mortgage. Only eleven percent state that their property qualifies. Of them, and of all those who already have a green mortgage, 63 percent would (again) choose a green mortgage if extended.
Have fun while lingering with the dream home study 2022.
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