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Old 04.09.2015, 12:51
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Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

Latest deflation figures published by the Govt. Statistics office for July 2015 here.

It is strange, other countries go into panic mode if they think they will enter deflation. Switzerland has been in deflation for years and nobody seems to care.

Deflation is averaging -2% since 2011
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Old 04.09.2015, 13:07
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

Someone needs to tell the Irish pubs
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Old 04.09.2015, 13:38
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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Latest deflation figures published by the Govt. Statistics office for July 2015 here.

It is strange, other countries go into panic mode if they think they will enter deflation. Switzerland has been in deflation for years and nobody seems to care.

Deflation is averaging -2% since 2011

Deflation is what CH has to look for -- good for the exports and good for inbound tourism
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Old 04.09.2015, 13:45
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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Someone needs to tell the Irish pubs
which ones ? the ones in Switzerland ?
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Old 04.09.2015, 14:11
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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Someone needs to tell the Irish pubs
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which ones ? the ones in Switzerland ?

Uhhh a other groaner !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! some should explain there groans
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Old 19.10.2015, 14:02
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

Wall Street Journal is running an article on how the Swiss are managing well enough with deflation. It is behind a paywall but, if you don't subscribe, should be able to open it by Googling on the article's title "Switzerland Offers Counterpoint on Deflation’s Ills - WSJ" and opening from Google.

First paragraphs:
"It’s as close to an economic consensus as you can get: Deflation is bad for an economy, and central bankers should avoid it at all costs.


Then there’s Switzerland, whose steady growth and rock-bottom unemployment is chipping away at that wisdom.


At a time of lively global debate about low inflation and its ill effects, tiny Switzerland—with an economy 4% the size of the U.S.—offers a fascinating counterpoint, with some even pointing to what they call “good deflation.”


Consumer prices in Switzerland have fallen on an annual basis for most of the past four years. They hit a milestone last month with an annual price drop of 1.4%, the biggest in more than five decades. Even after food and energy prices are stripped out, core prices fell 0.7%.


“It’s hard not to call that deflation,” said Jennifer McKeown of Capital Economics, referring to the technical term for a sustained slump in consumer prices."
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Old 19.10.2015, 14:12
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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Wall Street Journal is running an article on how the Swiss are managing well enough with deflation. It is behind a paywall but, if you don't subscribe, should be able to open it by Googling on the article's title "Switzerland Offers Counterpoint on Deflation’s Ills - WSJ" and opening from Google.

First paragraphs:
"It’s as close to an economic consensus as you can get: Deflation is bad for an economy, and central bankers should avoid it at all costs.


Then there’s Switzerland, whose steady growth and rock-bottom unemployment is chipping away at that wisdom.


At a time of lively global debate about low inflation and its ill effects, tiny Switzerland—with an economy 4% the size of the U.S.—offers a fascinating counterpoint, with some even pointing to what they call “good deflation.”


Consumer prices in Switzerland have fallen on an annual basis for most of the past four years. They hit a milestone last month with an annual price drop of 1.4%, the biggest in more than five decades. Even after food and energy prices are stripped out, core prices fell 0.7%.


“It’s hard not to call that deflation,” said Jennifer McKeown of Capital Economics, referring to the technical term for a sustained slump in consumer prices."
You only have to look at the Swiss prices vs those in Europe to see a correction is needed. Looking at "deflation" for a single country makes no sense in such an interconnected world where it's so easy to buy abroad, to me this is just an FX price correction as the Swiss wake up to buying abroad and/or buying from more realistically priced suppliers like Lidl and Aldi.

The reason this works without the unemployment etc is probably that the Swiss resisted changing for a long time, so the pressure built up high but without a crisis.
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Old 19.10.2015, 14:47
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

slightly related question (and I fully understand that nobody knows for sure, more about gut feel): do you guys think current CHF strength is sustainable in longer term (say 10-15 years?).

(why I ask - taking a mortgage on french property, and no clue whether to take it in CHF or in EURO).
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Old 19.10.2015, 14:49
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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slightly related question (and I fully understand that nobody knows for sure, more about gut feel): do you guys think current CHF strength is sustainable in longer term (say 10-15 years?).

(why I ask - taking a mortgage on french property, and no clue whether to take it in CHF or in EURO).
Euro.
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Old 19.10.2015, 14:52
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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slightly related question (and I fully understand that nobody knows for sure, more about gut feel): do you guys think current CHF strength is sustainable in longer term (say 10-15 years?).

(why I ask - taking a mortgage on french property, and no clue whether to take it in CHF or in EURO).
The rule of thumb that I learned somewhere was that you borrow in the currency that you earn in. That way, if there is inflation in that currency, your earnings should increase, and you don't have to be concerned about changes in fx rates.

So, if you are paid in CHF, borrow in CHF. If you're paid in Euro, borrow in Euro.

Added:
If this is a rental property where the income is in Euros, then the rule of thumb would say borrow in Euros.

Last edited by Mullhollander; 19.10.2015 at 15:03.
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Old 19.10.2015, 15:01
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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The rule of thumb that I learned somewhere was that you borrow in the currency that you earn in. That way, if there is inflation in that currency, your earnings should increase, and you don't have to be concerned about changes in fx rates.

So, if you are paid in CHF, borrow in CHF. If you're paid in Euro, borrow in Euro.
I'd be very surprised if the bank would give you a CHF mortgage on a French property, without some big penalty for them taking on the FX risk.

If CHF appreciated significantly they could find themselves under-collateralized vs the CHF value of the property.

E.g. Icelandic banks - look how well that worked out for everyone.
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Old 19.10.2015, 15:32
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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Latest deflation figures published by the Govt. Statistics office for July 2015 here.

It is strange, other countries go into panic mode if they think they will enter deflation. Switzerland has been in deflation for years and nobody seems to care.

Deflation is averaging -2% since 2011
No idea how you arrived at those numbers. In your linked page go to "Jahresdurchschnittswerte", which lists the following:

2008: 2.4%
2009:-0.5%
2010: 0.7%
2011: 0.2%
2012:-0.7%
2013:-0.2%
2014: 0.0%

Very much flat with a multi-year perspective, neither inflation nor deflation.
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Old 19.10.2015, 15:48
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

I found one bank that is willing to give CHF loan, in fact a single Swiss bank that is OK with that situation (they are quite restrictive on amount to borrow, but that can be worked through with my fiancee stepping in). Others don't offer the service at all (most), or have higher cash restrictions (30-35% upfront + notary fees).
French banks are more OK, all with euro-only loans (that didn't surprise me, but if I would be French resident which I'm not, CHF mortgage would be quite easy to get).

Interest rate-wise they are +- same (at least the offers I received), so it comes more to setup I feel more comfortable with, hence the foreseeable CHF movements question.

Situation is - we both earn CHF, this won't change (if yes, all is probably FUBAR anyway).
Property is a rental one, so it will bring some euros, but not enough to cover mortgage payments.

When looking on EUR/CHF exchange rate history, logic says it should go back +-to original situation, since nothing fundamentally changed in economies around us (or did it?). But then again, it's not like we have 5000 years of market data and behavior to compare against...
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Old 19.10.2015, 15:50
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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slightly related question (and I fully understand that nobody knows for sure, more about gut feel): do you guys think current CHF strength is sustainable in longer term (say 10-15 years?).

(why I ask - taking a mortgage on french property, and no clue whether to take it in CHF or in EURO).
If we knew we'd all be investing accordingly.

However, that said, how do you know the reverse won't happen?

Destabilisation of the Eurozone would bring more people to take their money to Switzerland. It all depends on whether the Eurozone countries can get their house in order. And if they fail and all that money comes to Switzerland, it depends on whether the Swiss have the means and will to cope with whatever the currency will do.

It wasn't very long ago that there were more than 3CHF to the GBP. Looking ahead over the same time span and anything is posible.
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Old 19.10.2015, 16:00
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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No idea how you arrived at those numbers. In your linked page go to "Jahresdurchschnittswerte", which lists the following:

2008: 2.4%
2009:-0.5%
2010: 0.7%
2011: 0.2%
2012:-0.7%
2013:-0.2%
2014: 0.0%

Very much flat with a multi-year perspective, neither inflation nor deflation.
With -1.4% for 2015 that is a total of -2.1% including 2011, not the average. As you say the average (-0.4%) is pretty much flat
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Old 19.10.2015, 16:04
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

If your French property's income stream is covering most of the mortgage payments, it would seem that you should borrow in Euros. If the rental payments cover only a small part of the mortgage, it would seem that you should borrow in CHF, since your wages are paid in CHF and that is how you will pay back the mortgage. This rule of thumb is to remove f/x risk and is not an atttempt to guess which way the Eur/CHF rates are headed, which is what I think you want to do.

This WaPo article cautions against borrowing in a currency other than what your income is in and makes this observation:

"Not only do they decide to make a leveraged bet on real estate, but also to take a side position in the currency markets. That's what you're doing, after all, when you borrow money in a foreign currency. If, for example, you get paid in Polish zlotys, but borrow in Swiss francs, then you're effectively gambling that the Swiss franc won't go up too much against the zloty, otherwise your payments will explode. "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/w...eign-currency/
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Old 19.10.2015, 16:13
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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The rule of thumb that I learned somewhere was that you borrow in the currency that you earn in. That way, if there is inflation in that currency, your earnings should increase, and you don't have to be concerned about changes in fx rates.

So, if you are paid in CHF, borrow in CHF. If you're paid in Euro, borrow in Euro.

Added:
If this is a rental property where the income is in Euros, then the rule of thumb would say borrow in Euros.
I'd heard (that for retail clients) you borrow in the currency of the asset.

Lets say you need a 300,000eur mortgage to buy a 500,000eur property. And the rate is 1.2eur/chf with interest at 2%.

If you borrow in CHF the Swiss bank insists on you maintaining a 40% equity stake. So at day 1 you have a 360k debt on 600k asset - costing 7.2k per year.

If the rate drops to 1eur - the debt is till 360k, the costs are still 7.2k and the property is now worth 500k - the bank will request 60k to maintain the ratio.

If you'd borrowed in EUR the debt would have been 300k - to 6k eur per year. If the rate drops it has no impact on the debt/equity ratio - simply the cost - dropping to 6k chf per year.

The reverse can happen, the rate moves to 1.4chf
In case 1 the debt ratio has lowered, and you still pay 7.2k
In case 2 the debt ratio stays the same but the costs rise to 8.4k per year.

NOW, there are therefore 6 scenarios to consider (matrix of borrowing in each currency * rate movement - down, flat, up). You need to consider the outcome of each scenario.

IMHO the biggest risk is any equity call if the rate goes against you rather than any rise increasing your debt costs.
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Old 19.10.2015, 17:09
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

Some real world experience. We live in France and work in Switzerland. We borrowed against our home and financed our mortgage with Credit Agricole Financements Suisse, a filiale of the French bank. As we are paid in CHF, we opted to take the mortgage in CHF. Credit Agricole Financements Suisse is based almost entirely around the frontalier market, with the remainder being a small number of French clients holding mortgages on properties in Switzerland.

https://www.ca-financements.ch/fr/fr...en-france.html

When we bought our house, the exchange rate was 1.26 CHF/EUR. Not long after we bought the house, the Suisse franc began its plunge towards parity.

In CHF-terms, our house was suddenly worth 20% less. But there was never a reassessment of the debt ratio or a "margin call" made, as dodgyken describes. Further, there is no mention of a debt ratio at all -- this is a calculation done at the time of lending, not one that has to be maintained at all times. There is no provision in our mortgage for the bank to come and claw anything back.
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Old 19.10.2015, 17:24
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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Some real world experience. We live in France and work in Switzerland. We borrowed against our home and financed our mortgage with Credit Agricole Financements Suisse, a filiale of the French bank. As we are paid in CHF, we opted to take the mortgage in CHF. Credit Agricole Financements Suisse is based almost entirely around the frontalier market, with the remainder being a small number of French clients holding mortgages on properties in Switzerland.

https://www.ca-financements.ch/fr/fr...en-france.html

When we bought our house, the exchange rate was 1.26 CHF/EUR. Not long after we bought the house, the Suisse franc began its plunge towards parity.

In CHF-terms, our house was suddenly worth 20% less. But there was never a reassessment of the debt ratio or a "margin call" made, as dodgyken describes. Further, there is no mention of a debt ratio at all -- this is a calculation done at the time of lending, not one that has to be maintained at all times. There is no provision in our mortgage for the bank to come and claw anything back.
I believe this is more common in the Swiss banks, particularly after they got burned in markets such as Hungary. It's also written in domestic mortgage contracts. It is written in my UBS mortgage.

Maybe CA doesn't have this as a standard term.
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Old 19.10.2015, 17:41
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Re: Swiss annual deflation now at (-)1.4%

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Some real world experience. We live in France and work in Switzerland. We borrowed against our home and financed our mortgage with Credit Agricole Financements Suisse, a filiale of the French bank. As we are paid in CHF, we opted to take the mortgage in CHF. Credit Agricole Financements Suisse is based almost entirely around the frontalier market, with the remainder being a small number of French clients holding mortgages on properties in Switzerland.

https://www.ca-financements.ch/fr/fr...en-france.html

When we bought our house, the exchange rate was 1.26 CHF/EUR. Not long after we bought the house, the Suisse franc began its plunge towards parity.

In CHF-terms, our house was suddenly worth 20% less. But there was never a reassessment of the debt ratio or a "margin call" made, as dodgyken describes. Further, there is no mention of a debt ratio at all -- this is a calculation done at the time of lending, not one that has to be maintained at all times. There is no provision in our mortgage for the bank to come and claw anything back.
Something to ask bank before signing, but it sounds more like retail client with massive mortgage situation, rather than small-guy-with-secondary-apartment type.

I look on CHF mortgage in my case like this - if CHF would go up, it's not the best thing for mortgage (no increased costs, but no gains either), BUT - all my & fiancee's remaining earnings would go up, at least on global scale (which boils down to local somehow, eventually, even if just a bit). Those are of course much more than monthly down payments of secondary residence.

If CHF would go down, our net worth would suffer, but at least there is no additional hit in increased monthly payments compared to EURO mortgage.

For people in Geneva, strong CHF means real savings since so many things can be facilitated across the border, from which you are never more than few kms.

(there are nasty consequences of strong CHF in employment part, but since there is no real job security anyway, this part doesn't give me creeps).
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