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Old 07.05.2020, 09:22
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State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

Hi all - newbie here and first time poster.

I somewhat managed to negotiate a job offer during the pandemic (I haven't seen anyone in person throughout the whole interview process - circa 20 interviews in total as well! Thank goodness for watsup video )

Assuming they don't freeze hiring by the end of next week, I shall be signing my offer and will be moving to Geneva as soon as I get my work permit. So either June or July. I understand that renting is a bit of a national sport in Switzerland and it's darn competitive.

Given everything that's going at the moment, has stock started to accumulate and people moving out of Geneva? What are your feeling on the current market condition? I will move into serviced apartment for a month or two (depending on answer to this post I'll look at negotiating an extra month). I will be looking at a 4+ room apartment or house with a budget of up to CHF 4,500 - although the cheaper the better as I have some cash flow needs to support my wife's business during the pandemic we have in the UK.

So please feel free to share your views!!! My wife's business is properties and we are getting absolutely clobbered on the rents and tenants asking for discounts or simply moving out. It's certainly not the end of the world, and there is still a market - but she put a flat on the market two weeks ago, we kept the 2012 price for it as wanted to remain competitive in the pandemic - this particular one NEVER had a vacancy, here people were simply not interested despite doing "virtual viewings"
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Old 07.05.2020, 09:39
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

Work and residence permits are currently not being issued. And those who have been waiting for long will have priority. I wouldn't count on June or even July depending on how things go after reopening.

People are not moving out of their homes en masse here in Switzerland. We have good social programs for anyone who has been made recently redundant due to the crisis (mainly restaurant/bar/travel business employees).

Geneva is probably the most competitive place in Switzerland to find a home, your budget should provide more options than what most people have. Consider cities outside Geneva as well, you will get more for your money.
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Old 07.05.2020, 09:54
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

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Work and residence permits are currently not being issued. And those who have been waiting for long will have priority. I wouldn't count on June or even July depending on how things go after reopening.

People are not moving out of their homes en masse here in Switzerland. We have good social programs for anyone who has been made recently redundant due to the crisis (mainly restaurant/bar/travel business employees).

Geneva is probably the most competitive place in Switzerland to find a home, your budget should provide more options than what most people have. Consider cities outside Geneva as well, you will get more for your money.
Thank you Susie - and very interesting re-work permit. My future boss was pushing hard for the earliest start date possible but he does not deal with the day to day so looks like wishful thinking, a later start date will give me more time to prepare so happy days.
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Old 07.05.2020, 10:46
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

Hello,

me and my wife we live in Geneva canton, we need a bigger house so we are actively looking now for a new apt.

Huge queues as usual to see the best apartments, a lot of listings coming up. Housing market seems to me as alive as ever (for renting). All the regies are applying good distancing measures (some even offer masks when you enter the apartment, they let only 1 person in at a time, people keep social distancing while queuing.

Just made an application for an apartment we saw yesterday, finger crossed.

With your budget you should not have too much competition for those apartments.
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Old 07.05.2020, 13:02
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

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Work and residence permits are currently not being issued. And those who have been waiting for long will have priority. I wouldn't count on June or even July depending on how things go after reopening.

People are not moving out of their homes en masse here in Switzerland. We have good social programs for anyone who has been made recently redundant due to the crisis (mainly restaurant/bar/travel business employees).

Geneva is probably the most competitive place in Switzerland to find a home, your budget should provide more options than what most people have. Consider cities outside Geneva as well, you will get more for your money.
Hello, welcome to the forum.

I read somewhere that the processing of residence permits is resumed next Monday May 11. There should be a queue but hope it's not that long.

The residence permit process is spit in two main stages. The first one is where the employer applies for permit for a foreign worker. This is usually relatively fast (1-2 weeks in normal times). Once the employer get this, they offer you a contract to sign.

After you get the contract signed you can enter Switzerland, find a place to live and start the second stage of the residence permit where you apply with your contract and the apartment/house you found. The second stage of the residence permit can take a long time, 2,3 or 6 months (even during normal times).
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Old 16.05.2020, 20:38
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

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Hi all - newbie here and first time poster.

I somewhat managed to negotiate a job offer during the pandemic (I haven't seen anyone in person throughout the whole interview process - circa 20 interviews in total as well! Thank goodness for watsup video )

Assuming they don't freeze hiring by the end of next week, I shall be signing my offer and will be moving to Geneva as soon as I get my work permit. So either June or July. I understand that renting is a bit of a national sport in Switzerland and it's darn competitive.

Given everything that's going at the moment, has stock started to accumulate and people moving out of Geneva? What are your feeling on the current market condition? I will move into serviced apartment for a month or two (depending on answer to this post I'll look at negotiating an extra month). I will be looking at a 4+ room apartment or house with a budget of up to CHF 4,500 - although the cheaper the better as I have some cash flow needs to support my wife's business during the pandemic we have in the UK.

So please feel free to share your views!!! My wife's business is properties and we are getting absolutely clobbered on the rents and tenants asking for discounts or simply moving out. It's certainly not the end of the world, and there is still a market - but she put a flat on the market two weeks ago, we kept the 2012 price for it as wanted to remain competitive in the pandemic - this particular one NEVER had a vacancy, here people were simply not interested despite doing "virtual viewings"
Hello, and congratulations on your job offer!

I'm in a somewhat comparable situation, albeit with a much less enviable budget...I will be (fingers crossed) beginning a PhD and assistantship post in August. I'm terrified due to the competitiveness of the market, particularly at the sub-2000CHF mark, but I've also been advised, quite understandably, to wait before signing a contract to see how the situation unfolds...But, on the flip side, I'm really worried about not being able to find a place to live when I arrive!

(I've explored university-based accommodation, presuming they'd be more flexible, but unfortunately I earn too much to be eligible.)

In the absence of a reliable fortune-teller, does anyone have any advice as to the 'best' way to proceed? If I stop looking (and worrying) for now, would it be really difficult to find somewhere a month or two before my arrival?

Thanks all!
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Old 17.05.2020, 11:09
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

As someone who works in the real estate industry, the non-commercial part of the market is definitely not down at the moment. Our company actually received a 30 % increase in apartment viewings and applications.
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Old 17.05.2020, 11:18
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

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Hi all - newbie here and first time poster.

I somewhat managed to negotiate a job offer during the pandemic (I haven't seen anyone in person throughout the whole interview process - circa 20 interviews in total as well! Thank goodness for watsup video )

Assuming they don't freeze hiring by the end of next week, I shall be signing my offer and will be moving to Geneva as soon as I get my work permit. So either June or July. I understand that renting is a bit of a national sport in Switzerland and it's darn competitive.

Given everything that's going at the moment, has stock started to accumulate and people moving out of Geneva? What are your feeling on the current market condition? I will move into serviced apartment for a month or two (depending on answer to this post I'll look at negotiating an extra month). I will be looking at a 4+ room apartment or house with a budget of up to CHF 4,500 - although the cheaper the better as I have some cash flow needs to support my wife's business during the pandemic we have in the UK.

So please feel free to share your views!!! My wife's business is properties and we are getting absolutely clobbered on the rents and tenants asking for discounts or simply moving out. It's certainly not the end of the world, and there is still a market - but she put a flat on the market two weeks ago, we kept the 2012 price for it as wanted to remain competitive in the pandemic - this particular one NEVER had a vacancy, here people were simply not interested despite doing "virtual viewings"
CHF 4500 strikes me as an awful lot for a 4 room apartment... I'm paying 2050 for a 4.5, albeit in Aargau. I would have thought you might get a house for that, even in Geneva, certainly if you are willing to go a short bit out (shouldn't be too far with that budget).
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Old 17.05.2020, 13:45
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

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CHF 4500 strikes me as an awful lot for a 4 room apartment... I'm paying 2050 for a 4.5, albeit in Aargau. I would have thought you might get a house for that, even in Geneva, certainly if you are willing to go a short bit out (shouldn't be too far with that budget).
I found a house with a pool for 1000 less than that. I think OP will be just fine.
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Old 17.05.2020, 13:57
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

dude with that budget you can find any sort of temporary location and have all the time to look for a proper flat. Which will be a crazy luxury flat if that's the budget, I don't think the competition is that crazy above the 2000 chf a month limit.
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Old 18.05.2020, 01:53
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

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Hello, welcome to the forum.

I read somewhere that the processing of residence permits is resumed next Monday May 11. There should be a queue but hope it's not that long.

The residence permit process is spit in two main stages. The first one is where the employer applies for permit for a foreign worker. This is usually relatively fast (1-2 weeks in normal times). Once the employer get this, they offer you a contract to sign.

After you get the contract signed you can enter Switzerland, find a place to live and start the second stage of the residence permit where you apply with your contract and the apartment/house you found. The second stage of the residence permit can take a long time, 2,3 or 6 months (even during normal times).
He's French so won't go through this process (and neither would Brits for now).

OP - have you considered living in France? From what I've heard the tax arrangements are relatively agreeable, and you'd save a small fortune on rent.
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Old 18.05.2020, 08:22
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

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dude with that budget you can find any sort of temporary location and have all the time to look for a proper flat. Which will be a crazy luxury flat if that's the budget, I don't think the competition is that crazy above the 2000 chf a month limit.
As someone who is looking for an apartment in the range 2000-3000 I guarantee you that in Geneva competition is quite strong.

I'm also looking in Nyon and there things seem a bit less crazy (plus with the same money you can get a slightly newer and bigger apartment).
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Old 18.05.2020, 09:53
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

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CHF 4500 strikes me as an awful lot for a 4 room apartment... I'm paying 2050 for a 4.5, albeit in Aargau. I would have thought you might get a house for that, even in Geneva, certainly if you are willing to go a short bit out (shouldn't be too far with that budget).
I doubt they can get a house in a desirable area in any big Swiss city for that kind of money. You need to move out to the sticks probably.
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Old 21.05.2020, 10:08
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

Thank you all - if I don't have to eat up all my money on rent the better! I was under the impression from my short browsing that for my family size at less than 4k there was very little in terms of inventory.

I definitely considered France, but in terms of schooling I want to give Geneva a go - French/German language skills and English at home for the kids seems to good to pass on (despite increased cost of housing, school is free)! Also due to the line of work I will be doing there might be some restrictions as to residing in France.
My oldest one is 3 so I will have a full year to figure out schools.
I'll move on my own for a month and found some relatively cheap studios on airbnb in the 1K-1.5K range in the centre. My wife will follow after a month and will actively take a month to find us a property.

Seems like visa should not be an issue when I asked my employer, in less than a month I should hopefully be coming over. How exciting to move countries and jobs in the middle of a pandemic.
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Old 21.05.2020, 10:11
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

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Seems like visa should not be an issue when I asked my employer, in less than a month I should hopefully be coming over. How exciting to move countries and jobs in the middle of a pandemic.
Does your employer already have approval? There seems to be a huge backlog on the processing of permits so one month might be fairly optimistic
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Old 21.05.2020, 11:07
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Re: State of the market Covid-19 Geneva

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Does your employer already have approval? There seems to be a huge backlog on the processing of permits so one month might be fairly optimistic
They don't have it just yet - but he didn't seem to be too overly concerned with this. HR signed my date in mid-June as well so I hope they are more clued on on this. I haven't booked my plane tickets nor my temporary accommodation specifically because of those exact concerns. I'll wait for the visa and will let the community know when I get it. Crossing fingers
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