New Restrictions on Swiss Property Could Affect Ski Resorts

Posted on 26 May 2012

New restrictions affecting foreign buyers trying to purchase property in Switzerland will take effect from the beginning of next year, and will make it even more difficult for people to purchase a holiday home in a country which is famous for its ski resorts.

At the moment there are already restrictions in place affecting foreigners buying residential property in the country, and anyone wishing to purchase a home has to obtain a permit from the cantonal and federal authorities.

Under this law foreigners are restricted to purchasing homes within designated holidays zones that are primary in ski resorts and areas surrounding Montreux and Lugano. There are also limits on the maximum size of an individual property that can be purchased by a foreign buyer, as the maximum size is 200 m².

The new law will further restrict the number of holiday homes available to both Swiss and foreign buyers in all locations in the country. Apparently the aim is to try to make sure no more than one fifth of properties are secondary residences. As yet the full details of this law hasn’t been finalised, but are expected to become fully known during the next two or three months.

However it looks as if far fewer residential properties will be available for purchase by foreign buyers. It’s thought that foreigners who currently own Swiss property will be able to sell the property to another foreigner without any sort of restriction, but it’s not certain that this will be the case.

Not surprisingly this is making foreign buyers nervous, and some are choosing not to commit to a purchase until full details of this new law are known. If transactions are allowed then experts expect to see a huge increase in activity from purchases hoping to take advantage of the final few developments available to foreign buyers.