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Old 27.09.2011, 11:54
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Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

So as you all know I'm in the market for an apartment and as part of the on-going search for me it's about finding the right apartment for the right price.

Anyway my method for deciding if the price is right or not is based on the average rental value per square meter per year for the apartment. I work this out as follows:

Rent / sqm / Year = Net advertised rent (Month) x 12 / Advertised Sqm
* Net rent (i.e. excluding NK and parking)

I then compare this to the average in the kanton for the previous year which can be found in the attachedment.

My decision is influenced by location and renovation(up to 15% premium for being central / close to transport links, and up to another 15% premium for renovated apartments)

When it comes to the NK I look at 15-20% of the rental value.
Parking seems to be monopolised and doesn't seem to be too overpriced generally.

So how do you decide? Do you just go with how you feel? Am I looking into this too much?
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Old 27.09.2011, 12:13
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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So how do you decide? Do you just go with how you feel? Am I looking into this too much?
I spend a lot of time at home so mostly yes, I go with how I feel. If the apartment is comfortable, has a view I enjoy, is convenient enough to leisure activities, etc etc... then I'll pay more than I would for a potentially "better" place (highly desired location by others) that I constantly want to escape.
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Old 27.09.2011, 12:15
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

i base it on rental yield. 6%+ is good enough for me.

was looking into investment in munich today and there you are looking more at 3-4%.
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Old 27.09.2011, 12:18
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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So how do you decide? Do you just go with how you feel? Am I looking into this too much?
I believe that in Zürich, the standard procedure is:

"Seriously? You'll accept me as a tenant? Me, an Ausländer, with a B permit, a cat, and a dog? How much would you like me to pay?"
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Old 27.09.2011, 12:22
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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i base it on rental yield. 6%+ is good enough for me.

was looking into investment in munich today and there you are looking more at 3-4%.
But this is for buying no?
How did you decide when you were renting?

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I believe that in Zürich, the standard procedure is:

"Seriously? You'll accept me as a tenant? Me, an Ausländer, with a B permit, a cat, and a dog? How much would you like me to pay?"
That's very true, but I'm determined this time not to play to the landlords game! Non smoker, no pets (apart from the obvious :-P ) and I have already declined two apartments I was more or less offered because the place was overpriced by more than 15% in my opinon...

I'm gonna end up living in a tent if I carry on like this!
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Old 27.09.2011, 12:37
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

Congratulations on actively seeking a decent landlord, and thanks for giving us the statistics. Have you noticed, where the taxes are low, the rentals are much higher?
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Old 27.09.2011, 12:39
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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So how do you decide? Do you just go with how you feel? Am I looking into this too much?
Luckily you are in Zurich and not in Geneva. By the time you do your fancy calculations, the place would already taken/accepted by someone else around here.

I would be careful about declining too many, the estate agents are a type of mafia and once you get on their bad side, fat chance in ever getting offered anything else by them. Anyhow, if they are indeed overpriced in your estimation, then probably best not to ever apply for them.
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Old 27.09.2011, 12:39
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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Congratulations on actively seeking a decent landlord, and thanks for giving us the statistics. Have you noticed, where the taxes are low, the rentals are much higher?
As are the capital value of the property, so rental yields about the same-
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Old 27.09.2011, 12:45
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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Have you noticed, where the taxes are low, the rentals are much higher?
Personally, I haven't noticed that. I've heard the story oft-repeated, but I believe it's local Swiss justifying their lack of initiative to look elsewhere or to move outside their comfort zone -- the place they've "always lived in".

I found a fantastic apartment in the lowest-tax gemeinde/community in the whole of Switzerland and the rental per square metre is pretty much equal to the rent demanded for similar apartments in and around Zürich ... and surprisingly, I found Basel rents (much higher tax than ZH) to be approximately equal to those in Zürich, or even higher.

The main difference? The low-tax gemeinde apartment has a big garden and is located in a very quiet, peaceful and picturesque spot ...
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Old 27.09.2011, 12:52
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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Congratulations on actively seeking a decent landlord, and thanks for giving us the statistics. Have you noticed, where the taxes are low, the rentals are much higher?
You're welcome.

The rent unfortunately has little to do with the taxes and more to do with the growing demand, demand is only measured by the growing demographics of the kanton VS the new builds / availabilities.

There is another interesting publicaton by Credit Suisse which looks at the housing market in Switzerland which explains this in more details.

So your observation may well work if you compare Zug to Zuerich as the tax is slightly lower and the average rent is about 20% more. However if you compare it to Geneva where demand is basically so high and tax is double that (don't quote me) in Zug / Zuerich then this doesn't really work as you would expect that with such high taxes the rentals will be lower but they're not! If you head out to neighbouring Kanton Vaud though the rental prices drop significantly...

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I would be careful about declining too many, the estate agents are a type of mafia and once you get on their bad side, fat chance in ever getting offered anything else by them. Anyhow, if they are indeed overpriced in your estimation, then probably best not to ever apply for them.
They all have been private landlords, I told one of them politely that I have found something else, and the other one I rang the current tenant who promised that I would get it quickly and asked her to withdraw my application.

There was one that was very well priced (i.e. below Kanton average and very central), in fact here it is, where upon my call to the agency they said they had so many people interested they wouldn't even give me a form to fill in!
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Old 27.09.2011, 13:10
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

The best bet is a genossenschaft (if you can get into them) ok you pay a high caution but they are always doing something to keep them nice.
My son took a 1 roomed flat it was 720fr when he moved in, its now 690fr as if the zins change they put the rent down straight away.
After a year hes now been offered a 3 room flat (all remodernised) for 1170fr
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Old 27.09.2011, 13:12
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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Congratulations on actively seeking a decent landlord, and thanks for giving us the statistics. Have you noticed, where the taxes are low, the rentals are much higher?
Not down our end, they're not.

The fact that everyone thinks we live in a ditch does wonders for the cost of living here.
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Old 27.09.2011, 13:16
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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The best bet is a genossenschaft (if you can get into them) ok you pay a high caution but they are always doing something to keep them nice.
How do I find out about those?
Probably won't get one as an auslander and they must have so many priority lists it would make it virtually impossible.
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Old 27.09.2011, 13:24
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

Don´t know about Kanton Zürich but I got one from a "genossenschaft" in Kanton Schaffhausen. 3 rooms with nice balcony for only 900 CHF. I checked homegate, found the address of the genossenschaft and applied by email. Worked like a treat (and I am not Swiss).
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Old 27.09.2011, 13:26
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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But this is for buying no?
How did you decide when you were renting?



That's very true, but I'm determined this time not to play to the landlords game! Non smoker, no pets (apart from the obvious :-P ) and I have already declined two apartments I was more or less offered because the place was overpriced by more than 15% in my opinon...

I'm gonna end up living in a tent if I carry on like this!
why did you even bother applying in the first place? surely you knew the price upfront?
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Old 27.09.2011, 13:35
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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why did you even bother applying in the first place? surely you knew the price upfront?
It's like the "press my button" thread... If I don't have an offer I haven't got a choice... Just buying the right to say No... and it's free (unless there is a thing at the bottom that says they will charge you)

PS: it's also psychological compensation for being rejected so many times...
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Old 27.09.2011, 13:45
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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There was one that was very well priced (i.e. below Kanton average and very central), in fact here it is, where upon my call to the agency they said they had so many people interested they wouldn't even give me a form to fill in!
CHF 2,120 for 3.5 rooms over 102.5 sq metres -- and that's cheap??!?

I guess Zug must follow the "low tax, high rent" rule, but it doesn't apply everywhere (as others have noted). That place I was referring to works out to a lower rent per square metre, by the way, but presumably the function is not linear -- I assume the rent for a 150 sq m flat would be less than twice that for one of 75 sq m.
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Old 27.09.2011, 13:52
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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CHF 2,120 for 3.5 rooms over 102.5 sq metres -- and that's cheap??!?
Yes, yes it is.... don't ask what I pay for 110sqm.

*Noting that I'm in Zug
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Old 27.09.2011, 13:54
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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There was one that was very well priced (i.e. below Kanton average and very central), in fact here it is, where upon my call to the agency they said they had so many people interested they wouldn't even give me a form to fill in!
maybe they should have given you a form to fill in with a view to never looking at it just to buy themselves an option - it's free after all!
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Old 27.09.2011, 13:57
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Re: Switzerland Rental Prices: How NOT to get SCREWED

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CHF 2,120 for 3.5 rooms over 102.5 sq metres -- and that's cheap??!?

I guess Zug must follow the "low tax, high rent" rule, but it doesn't apply everywhere (as others have noted). That place I was referring to works out to a lower rent per square metre, by the way, but presumably the function is not linear -- I assume the rent for a 150 sq m flat would be less than twice that for one of 75 sq m.

For central Zug that is very cheap... I'm not sure what the catch is there as there are no pictures of the inside... The apartments are fairly new and it's about 7 minutes walk to the train station! It has two bathrooms and a balcony and bla bla and the rent works out at around CHF250 PSPY which is CHF50 less for similar apartments.

You're right the function is not linear as you tend to get better averages the bigger the place is, I guess a better way to do this is to allocate fixed amounts if the apartment has certain facilities like a dishwasher, washing machine etc as minimums then add the square meterage but this will just make it complicated. I try to avoid studios and 2.5 unless there is something special about them.

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maybe they should have given you a form to fill in with a view to never looking at it just to buy themselves an option - it's free after all!
Well I have to add that I didn't do this just to say no, one of them I was very close to signing and would have signed had the contract been presented to me on the same day however I like to sleep on a decision at least one night as I've been through this before and an after thought would haunt me for more than a year if I want to move apartments again. As it's not something I like doing (moving that is).
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