Editor's Note: Engel & Völkers recently ranked the most expensive residential addresses in Switzerland, where it has had a presence since 2002.
Geneva comes in first place in the ranking of the most expensive residential addresses in Switzerland's cities. Besides Geneva, the analysis by Engel & Völkers looked at Basel, Lucerne, Zurich and Zug. The data used in the ranking is based on residential property brokered by the company or transactions recorded on the market during 2016.
Geneva: Up to 70,000 Swiss francs per square meter (approx. 65,500 euros)
In addition to international organizations such as the United Nations, Geneva is home to a large number of renowned companies and banks. It is these credentials that give the city its status as the financial center of French-speaking Switzerland.
"The highest priced residential addresses can be found in the Old Town. On the Rue des Granges, for example, prices can reach up to 70,000 Swiss francs (approx. 65,500 euros) per square meter," says Marie-Chantal von Büren, director of the Engel & Völkers Market Center Lake Geneva.
The city's cosmopolitan flair is reflected too in the level of demand from international clients, with around 40 percent of interested buyers residing beyond the borders of Switzerland. Extremely sought-after locations can also be found outside of Geneva itself, in the municipalities of Cologny (up to 45,000 Swiss francs per square meter, approx. 42,100 euros) and Bellevue (up to 35,000 Swiss francs per square meter, approx. 32,700 euros). Villas close to the lake with interiors upwards of 250 square meters and a pool are particularly desirable here.
Zurich: Up to 30,000 Swiss francs per square meter (approx. 28,000 euros)
A dynamic urban lifestyle and a high quality of life can be enjoyed in Zurich. Contributing factors here include its unique location on Lake Zurich, the Alpine panorama and many local recreational areas. Kurhausstrasse, Aurorastrasse and Susenbergstrasse on the Zürichberg rank among the most exclusive addresses in the city. Prices per square meter of up to 30,000 Swiss francs (approx. 28,000 euros) are fetched in these areas. Zurich benefits from international popularity, thanks to its status as one of the most important financial and cultural centers in Switzerland. Foreign buyers account for around 25 percent of residential real estate transactions. German, French and British investors make up the largest buyer groups here.
"Absolutely top properties only rarely come onto the market in Zurich," says Lars Keller, managing partner of Engel & Völkers Zürichberg, adding, "Demand is especially great at present for freehold apartments of 150 square meters and more, as well as for Zürichberg villas dating from the late 18th and early 19th century."
Zug: Up to 30,000 Swiss francs per square meter (approx. 28,000 euros)
Besides its lakeside position, Zug benefits in particular from its attractive tax rates and good transport links. With the same square meter prices of up to 30,000 Swiss francs (approx. 28,000 euros), the Zugerberg with views overlooking Lake Zug is one of the highest priced addresses in the city. Other sought-after locations for premium property in Zug and the Ennetsee municipalities include those close to the lake or featuring direct lake access. Buyers are primarily looking for penthouses and detached villas with 6.5 rooms or more. Other criteria range from mountain and lake panoramas that cannot be obstructed, to sprawling terraces, elevators and smart home technology.
"The property market in Zug is characterized by diverse and wealthy buyer groups," says Casha Frigo, managing partner of Engel & Völkers in Zug. "At least 70 percent of clients are Swiss nationals."
Lucerne: Up to 18,000 Swiss francs per square meter (approx. 16,800 euros)
Nestled between Lake Lucerne and the Alpine foothills, Lucerne is famous for its picturesque urban landscape. One of the very good locations in the city is the Bellerive quarter. Commanding prices of as much as 18,000 Swiss francs per square meter (approx. 16,800 euros), Bellerivestrasse is currently one of the most expensive residential addresses in Lucerne. Around 85 percent of interested buyers are Swiss citizens.
"Many of our clients originate from central Switzerland. They are drawn by the good employment prospects and many educational institutions, as well as by the city's appealing location," says Clea Winter, managing director of Engel & Völkers in Lucerne.
Senior-friendly penthouses with beautiful views are particularly desirable, as are townhouses with gardens, and villas that ideally boast private lakefront grounds. Buyers are increasingly interested in acquiring homes with extensive garages, elevators, and fitness and spa facilities.
Basel: Up to 14,000 Swiss francs per square meter (approx. 13,100 euros)
The most exclusive address in Basel at the moment is St. Alban-Vorstadt in the district of Grossbasel. Sale prices of up to 14,000 Swiss francs per square meter (approx. 13,100 euros) can be fetched here. Basel has the flair of a major city, yet remains relatively peaceful and benefits from large areas of parkland and greenery. World-renowned events like the Art Basel fair and know-how in life sciences help give the city an international platform. Despite this, around 60 percent of property buyers here are from Switzerland, and the majority of this figure already lives in Basel itself. Refurbished old villas with gardens are in particularly high demand, along with contemporary senior-friendly freehold apartments spanning approx. 150 square meters.
"Other desirable residential areas include the Gellert neighbourhood with square meter prices of up to 12,000 Swiss francs (approx. 11,200 euros), and Riehen with square meter prices of up to 10,000 Swiss francs (approx. 9,300 euros),” says Davy Hess, managing partner of Engel & Völkers in Basel.
These quiet areas on the outskirts of the city are especially popular for their family-friendly atmosphere.
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