Conditions for buying property in Switzerland by foreigners

The most important thing to remember – not all foreigners can buy residential property in Switzerland. To buy a home in some Swiss cantons may need permission from the local authorities within quotas. Also, more prospects for the purchase of housing a non-resident with a residence permit.

A foreigner who is legally resident in Switzerland (eg, has a permit B), will be able to buy property in Switzerland, but on condition that he will live in the house, apartment, which he acquires.

Oldypak lp
Real estate in Switzerland by Oldypak LP

At the same time, there are territorial restrictions. Foreigners can buy only tourist residential real estate, that is, in the relevant regions. Thus, if you are not Swiss, or you do not have a residence permit / residency permit (permit B, C), you can not buy real estate in Geneva, Zurich, Basel, Zug.

Foreigners are allowed to buy houses and apartments in most ski resorts in Switzerland, as they are located in tourist areas. Non-residents can buy housing in the cantons of Bern, Obwalden, Graubünden, Uri, Valais and Vaud.

Conditions for the purchase of housing by foreigners under the Swiss Koller law
Under the Lex Koller law, which has been in force since 1961, non-residents can only buy a house, including on the secondary market, under certain circumstances or on the basis of a permit. In most cases, a foreigner needs permission from the canton or municipality to purchase a residential property in Switzerland.

Oldypak lp
Oldypak lp

At the same time, there are rules about what size vacation home can buy a foreigner. Available for purchase housing must be no more than 200 square meters, and the land for development – up to 1,000. The 200 square meter area includes the size of all rooms, kitchen, bathrooms, etc., but does not include stairwells, basements, balconies and other ancillary rooms.

In addition, the purchase of vacation homes by non-residents of Switzerland is regulated by a quota system. Only 1,500 houses can be sold annually to foreigners who are not resident in Switzerland, although the number varies greatly from region to region.

These restrictions apply on a cantonal basis, and depend on the size of the agglomeration. Larger cantons issue permits for more than 300 houses per year, while smaller cantons may have as few as 20.

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