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Old 17.01.2023, 12:08
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

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Must admit I've had a chuckle at this thread. I lived in the most outer borough of London for 20 years from 1984 - 2004 (London Borough of Havering) and London is the worst place to be a commuter.

I've been delayed for hours by "cows on the line" in inner city Stepney, "problems at Gas Corner" (also Stepney), major incidents like commuters having heart attacks and strokes whilst commuting; also a number of suicide incidents. My sister was once waiting on a train from Goodmayes to Liverpool Street when a guy next to her jumped in front of one that didn't stop there, she was treated for shock and had to go home.

I just think myself lucky I wasn't there for the bombings in 2005 as I would most likely have been on one of the underground trains affected going to work. Previously we had the IRA bombs in the City, my neighbour lost her job when the Baltic Exchange was blown up.

Commuting in Switzerland is nothing to complain about in comparison.
Was on the District Line from Hornchurch on that surreal day in 2005, when my train stopped and then reversed back away from Aldgate station. Hence crowded trains here have never bothered me.
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Old 17.01.2023, 12:09
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

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It's not about being cheap, I recently sent applications for expensive places as well to no avail. There are not enough apartments, that's it. Last place I visited was well over 4k and some people applied without even seeing the place.

Should've moved during covid as it would've been way easier but too late now.
You're having problems to find an apartment and arrived to the conclusion of "I cannot find an apartment because CH has too many foreigners".

Let's start with the part of "you're not stuck in traffic, you are THE traffic". In this cases, you're only 1 more of those foreigners increasing the demand for housing in CH. Then, this is a bulletin board with lots of foreigners. Not sure what you expect when you complain about "too many foreigners".

Unless...the complain is about the "wrong kind" of foreigners. If that's the case, start thinking because the "wrong kind" of foreigners somehow found a place to live and you don't. What did they do? Run a secret society to hoard apartments? No, they just presented a compelling case to real estate managers and moved in.

That brings us to the next point. Housing rental market is very competitive. Are you presenting a compelling case to landlords? Landlords are real estate people are lazy. When they offer a property, they're after someone that will stay for a long time so they don't have to work. Thumb rule is the rent should be between 25 and 30% on your income before taxes because if rent is higher, you'll move soon to a cheaper place and they'll have to work. Same thing happens if you have a high income an trying to rent a cheap place, people will assume you'll get bored and move soon. Are you using the local language to interact with people? If not, that means you just arrived so the probability that you'll be fed up with CH is high compared to someone that has more time around here. If you're seen as "this guy won't stay around", apartment will go to someone else because they don't like to work. I'm sure other EFers have some ideas about how to sell yourself.

If you're thinking now this a bit like a game, yes it is. People changes jobs, moves with partners, travels, thus they don't stay for a long time. Anyway, we all pretend we will stay for a long time. Hypocrisy? Yes, but that's how it works.

Again, it's a very competitive rental market. However, the market has an offering for people that just arrived and are not familiar with the the local game: serviced apartments. Also, a lot of them are probably cheaper than 4K a month.
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  #63  
Old 17.01.2023, 12:34
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

Which reasonably major city in the world doesn't have an accommodation problem? Who should Zurich be emulating?

Zurich is pretty expensive and it's hard to find a place, but my friends in London and San Francisco and New York pay even more than Zurich rates for places of abysmal quality, with mold everywhere, and (in the US) cockroaches. Even smaller cities in Canada such as Halifax are under serious pressure with vacancy rates below 1%, and way-too-high-prices. It's not just a Swiss problem.

And CH has been expanding its transportation infrastructure enormously: since I've arrived I've experienced a new subway opening in Lausanne (with a new 3rd metro line +tram to Renens under construction). Gotthard base tunnel. The underground tunnels that take trains straight through Zurich HB. The fact that you can now travel across Geneva and into France towards Annemasse without having to take a tram to Eaux-Vives...
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  #64  
Old 17.01.2023, 13:17
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

While I agree with a lot of points here, we cannot discount how much Switzerland has changed in the past decade.

I personally blame mass tourism more than people actually living and working here, but perhaps they are just easier to spot in the crowds. For instance, in my previous apartment building, someone came in and turned the apartment into an Airbnb. It was in a prime location in Basel and very affordable for what it was, they took advantage. We see this happening across all of Europe, I hope it doesn't continue to happen here.
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Old 17.01.2023, 13:48
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

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While I agree with a lot of points here, we cannot discount how much Switzerland has changed in the past decade.
I haven't noticed any change, other than needing to use TWINNT for parking.

Tom
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  #66  
Old 17.01.2023, 13:56
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

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While I agree with a lot of points here, we cannot discount how much Switzerland has changed in the past decade.

I personally blame mass tourism more than people actually living and working here, but perhaps they are just easier to spot in the crowds. For instance, in my previous apartment building, someone came in and turned the apartment into an Airbnb. It was in a prime location in Basel and very affordable for what it was, they took advantage. We see this happening across all of Europe, I hope it doesn't continue to happen here.
This apparently is also a growing problem in Zurich:

Airbnbs in Zürich - Wenn über der Familienwohnung die Sexparty tobt
https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wenn-ue...n-459106901034
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  #67  
Old 17.01.2023, 14:02
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

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You're having problems to find an apartment and arrived to the conclusion of "I cannot find an apartment because CH has too many foreigners".

Let's start with the part of "you're not stuck in traffic, you are THE traffic". In this cases, you're only 1 more of those foreigners increasing the demand for housing in CH. Then, this is a bulletin board with lots of foreigners. Not sure what you expect when you complain about "too many foreigners".

Unless...the complain is about the "wrong kind" of foreigners. If that's the case, start thinking because the "wrong kind" of foreigners somehow found a place to live and you don't. What did they do? Run a secret society to hoard apartments? No, they just presented a compelling case to real estate managers and moved in.
.
What if OP is the "wrong kind of foreigner" for some landlords or agencies and this is his/her main frustration?
You're often judged as harshly as you judge others.....
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  #68  
Old 17.01.2023, 14:14
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

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What if OP is the "wrong kind of foreigner" for some landlords or agencies and this is his/her main frustration?
You're often judged as harshly as you judge others.....
That's the part about renting a place within 25-30% of your income and lying with all your teeth about the intention to stay there forever and ever. If wanting to rent a cheaper place, declare that partner or flatmates have no income so you stay within the 25-30% interval. If wanting to rent a more expensive place...I'm not endorsing, but there have been threads around here about helping someone in the application to show higher income.

Use of local language, at least a few words conveys adaptability and shows higher chances of still renting there by 202X.

Non-verbal communication during visit? Just be neutral during the visit like walking to kitchen before coffee in the morning. Too much excitement or complaining are not good to achieve the goal.

Do you know any other trick?
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Old 17.01.2023, 14:18
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

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Too much excitement or complaining are not good to achieve the goal.

Do you know any other trick?
I actually got my current place because I got super excited when I toured it and their normally shy cat loved me.
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  #70  
Old 17.01.2023, 14:45
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

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That's the part about renting a place within 25-30% of your income and lying with all your teeth about the intention to stay there forever and ever. If wanting to rent a cheaper place, declare that partner or flatmates have no income so you stay within the 25-30% interval. If wanting to rent a more expensive place...I'm not endorsing, but there have been threads around here about helping someone in the application to show higher income.

Use of local language, at least a few words conveys adaptability and shows higher chances of still renting there by 202X.

Non-verbal communication during visit? Just be neutral during the visit like walking to kitchen before coffee in the morning. Too much excitement or complaining are not good to achieve the goal.

Do you know any other trick?
No tricks apart from personally calling the agency and insisting I'm a serious client and can procure any document they need in order to asses for themselves if we're reliable potential customers or not. I had to do that one time as the competition was really high.
What (I think) has worked in our favour was mentioning that we need to be close to a certain school.
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  #71  
Old 17.01.2023, 15:02
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

I got my current (dream apartment) by being so exited that I could hardly speak and telling them this . Living in my previous apartment just 5 mins walk away for over 17 years may have also helped, as well as having hit “send” on my pre-prepared application documents just as I was leaving the building.
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  #72  
Old 17.01.2023, 15:24
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

My completely anecdotal and without research to back it up view is that Zurich is indeed much busier in general than it was when I arrived fresh off the boat twenty+ years ago.
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  #73  
Old 17.01.2023, 16:47
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

In all fairness, some agencies or landlords advertise some properties a few good months in advance and they behave as if they're absolutely sure they'll find their customers in no time, and they're right...but that can be very frustrating for someone who looks for a particular area or type of apartment.
It's their market. You just need to accept this and try your best or adjust your expectations. Blaming everyone else is not gonna help...
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Old 17.01.2023, 16:52
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

The previous apartment blocks near me, 2 and 3 storeys high with 60 apartments total, have been knocked down and are being replaced with apartment block 3-4 storeys high and a total of 180 apartments. And taking up twice the footprint.

Yay.
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Old 17.01.2023, 17:19
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

We will soon transform the mountains into buildings, to settle the population and companies, in the near future .
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Old 17.01.2023, 17:47
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

Städtische Verdichtung (Urban Densification) is already one of the hottest topic in Switzerland, both in research and urban politics. I would say the only one that have the same importance is the relationship between city and land, and they are actually intertwined, at least in Switzerland. Anyone interested can always join the debate.
But one has to think about all the opposing interests and the fact that Swiss way of changing goes through numerous talks, debates and etc, at the end is clear the process is going to be slow.

Just few thoughts:
To secure affordable and adequate housing one has to curb the free market forces and increase the regulative powers of state/canton/city. This is of course a tough, ideological political question.
The existing owners and those who struggle to become one will have mostly the opposing interests.
Swiss people are often emotionally against high rise buildings, so there is this dichotomy where they are building them in some remote places, and not in the cities, where people would like to live.
The traffic, Switzerland sees itself as it is now in the third wave of changes in the transport. First wave was building infrastructure for individual transport, second one was building the public transport and now in the third they priorities bicycles (including the electrical one, and connecting trains and bicycles).
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Old 17.01.2023, 22:54
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

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Just few thoughts:
To secure affordable and adequate housing one has to curb the free market forces and increase the regulative powers of state/canton/city. This is of course a tough, ideological political question.
How so?

Regulation slows down market reactions and eliminates the forces behind "the best measure against high prices are high prices". Just think of the tedious process to get a project approved. And even that doubles or triples if a neighbour has deep enough pockets.

On the other hand, less regulated construction would allow much faster reactions.

Of course that ignores other factors, like safety, infrastructure, public services, etc, but your apodictum doesn't address that either.

You may have stuff like the Baugenossenschaften in mind, building cooperatives, but they reduce the market even further because those dwellings exist separate from the normal market. In a sense theyexacerbate the problem because nobody moves out unless they absolutely have to, including Green and SP politicians after they no longer need or even use them simply because blocking them and paying the inordinately low rent is well worth the opportunity they represent - "you never know when it might be useful".
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Old 18.01.2023, 09:30
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

For a country where house ownership is basically....not encouraged, all these apartments in cooperatives are probably the closest thing to "ownership". You got to give something. And btw, if you have an above average income there's little to no chances to ever get one of those. In a way I like the fact that young families with kids can benefit (I mean people under or a little above 30 years of age).
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Old 23.01.2023, 14:13
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

Not sure if post this here or in a new thread.

I think the negative perception about "growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale" will grow because the retirement income hit is real, a lot of people is retiring and the fraction of foreigners in the working population keeps rising:

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A recent study commissioned by Pro Senectute found that over 200,000 retired people (the equivalent of nearly 14% of retirees, compared to 6% of the working population) are living on an income below the poverty line, and a further 100,000 are close to it. A total of one in five senior citizens can be considered poor or at risk of falling into poverty.
https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/thousan...erty-/48218194

PS. poverty line is at 3'064 CHF a month, or 36 '708 a year, for a household of two adults without children.

Last edited by Axa; 23.01.2023 at 14:18. Reason: typo
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Old Yesterday, 20:29
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Re: Growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale

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Not sure if post this here or in a new thread.

I think the negative perception about "growing population and infrastructure not made for this scale" will grow because the retirement income hit is real, a lot of people is retiring and the fraction of foreigners in the working population keeps rising:



https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/thousan...erty-/48218194

PS. poverty line is at 3'064 CHF a month, or 36 '708 a year, for a household of two adults without children.
It's quite ironic as most apartments are owned by pension funds and it's mostly because of them that rents are so expensive.

And rents will keep rising apparently: https://www.srf.ch/news/schweiz/bela...-mieter-wehren
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