Buying a property as a foreigner in Switzerland

Can a foreigner buy real estate (house or apartment) in Switzerland?

Answering the question that a regular reader of the Assembly has asked us about whether a foreign citizen can buy a property in Switzerland, we must first specify the case, this is depending on the nationality that the foreigner possesses and the residence permit that is held.

If it is a foreign member of the European Union, the principle operates that citizens who have the right to free movement in Switzerland, can also buy real estate in Switzerland either to live there or to leave it under the administration of a real estate agency, as well as giving it the use destined to spend a vacation time per year.

For the case in which the foreigner possesses the nationality of a country that is not part of the European Union, such as foreigners who belong to South American countries, there is a different regulation since the foreigner must have a residence permit to access the acquisition. of the property, as long as you can prove that you can buy it. If this foreigner has a residence permit “B”, he can buy it but must live there, that is, he must use it as his main home.

In the specific case that the foreigner who does not belong to the European Union but has the residence permit “C” already has the freedom to buy it, live in it if he so wishes, as well as rent it or sell it again, as well as a Swiss citizen would do so, they are not required to reside there.

In both cases, these foreigners could apply for a mortgage loan at any banking institution in Switzerland and do so with the same conditions for the Swiss; in other words, proving that you can buy it and contributing 20% of the property’s value as principal.

Ana Moncada. A lawyer. Chevere newspaper, Switzerland, September 2005

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