Swiss Middle Class ‘Blocked’ From Property Ladder

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The middle class can no longer own a home in Switzerland, according to Martin Neff, chief economist at Raiffeisen Bank.

“Access to home ownership is blocked,” he said in an interviewExternal link with the NZZ am Sonntag. He is therefore calling for tax incentives to be introduced.

“Switzerland does not encourage home ownership, even though it is a constitutional mandate,” Neff said, adding that in recent years homeowners have even been penalised fiscally because of the rental value.

He advocated the adoption of a qualified right of objection to building projects. “Anyone submitting an appeal must be able to prove a material interest and not just an ideological one,” he said.

To those hoping for the property bubble to burst so that they can buy a home, the economist warned that they were betting on the wrong horse. “A crash would mean prices collapsing by double figures in a short space of time. I see absolutely no danger of that.”

Demand currently far outstrips supply, he said. “Prices cannot fall. Anyone who finds something they like and can afford should go for it.”

Source : SWI