Purchasing process in Switzerland

Swiss Mortgages

Mortgages, particularly to foreign investors, are still relatively new and some of the currently available options may not be as flexible as in the UK.

Purchasing Process in Switzerland

Get a Free Quote Introduction to Purchasing in Switzerland
Aside from arranging financing, the process of buying in Switzerland is relatively straightforward and in line with what property investors are used to in other developed countries. However, as foreign purchasers have only recently been allowed into the Swiss property market, there are still some processes that are time consuming and not always well understood.

Permits
In order to buy property in Switzerland, it is necessary to obtain the relevant permits. There are actually three different permits that a foreign purchaser has to obtain: one at federal level and two at cantonal level. All are dealt with through different government agencies.

It is possible to obtain all these permits within a matter of a few weeks, but it is generally advisable to have them in place before financing is sought and individual properties viewed.

Although the process is relatively straightforward, purchasers should note that there is an annual quota in place which dictates how many foreigners are able to buy property, per year. This is currently set at 1,440. Other restrictions exist in terms of where these permits are issued; these are normally reserved for certain tourist destinations or areas of public interest where cheap rental accommodation is needed.

Completion
Unlike in the UK, there is simply one contract which is signed and which transfers the property. All contracts are in French and should, therefore, be translated into English before signing. A notary will be on hand to make sure the processes are followed and the transfer registered. However, it is also advisable to enlist an independent solicitor who can ensure that your interests are protected within the contract.

Other Restrictions
As a foreigner purchasing in Switzerland, there are other restrictions which should be considered. For example, only one Swiss property per non-Swiss family can be purchased (a family meaning husband and wife).

Summary
Bullet Point The actual legal process of conveyancing in Switzerland is incredibly straightforward with just the one contract transferring the property;
Bullet Point permits are needed by foreign purchasers and these should be obtained as a matter of priority;
Bullet Point there is an annual quota on the number of permits that may be issued; this is set by the government;
Bullet Point one non-Swiss family can only own one Swiss property, at a time.

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Typical Interest Payments

First Time Buyers

2.89%

Purchased Fixed

2.89%

Discounted Rate

2.99%

Buy To Let

2.99%

Commercial

3%

 

 

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