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From Geneva to Basel: The Most Exclusive Cities in Switzerland

Monday, February 6th, 2017 at 2:30pm Engel Völkers

By Elisa Kim 

Having much more to offer than just cheese and chocolate, international visitors have long been interested in Switzerland for its diverse landscapes, storied history and attractive lifestyle. Here are five Swiss cities with some of the most sought after addresses in the world.


Based on 2016 real estate transactions recorded by Engel & Völkers, Geneva topped the list for having the most expensive residential addresses in Switzerland. Home to numerous global organizations, including the United Nations and the Red Cross, this French-speaking city is a center for international economy, diplomacy and finance, which is why around 40% of home buyers in Geneva are from abroad.

Marie-Chantal von Büren, director of Engel & Völkers Lake Geneva, reports that Geneva’s “highest priced residential addresses can be found in the Old Town. On the Rue des Granges, for example, prices can reach up to CHF70,000 (US$70,807) per square meter.”


Similar to Geneva, Zurich is a coveted city in Switzerland for being a leading global financial hub, for its dynamic urban energy and for its high quality of life—and home prices reflect it. Average property costs in Zurich can reach up to CHF30,000 (US$35,399) per square meter, and foreign buyers account for around 25% of sales with most investors coming from Germany, France and Britain. Along with Zurich’s various financial institutions and banking giants, many research and development centers are located in Zurich where overseas companies are enticed by low tax rates to set up their headquarters here. To top it off, city dwellers can enjoy unique, panoramic landscapes flanked by Lake Zurich and alpine valleys.

“Top properties only rarely come onto the market in Zurich,” said Lars Keller, managing partner of Engel & Völkers Zürichberg. “Demand is especially great at present for freehold apartments of 150 square meters and more, as well as for Zürichberg villas dating from the late 18th and early 19th century.”


Following close behind Zurich with some of the most expensive real estate in Switzerland, home prices in the city of Zug can reach up to CHF30,000 (US$30,314) per square meter. Locals in Zug can similarly benefit from the city’s lakeside views, affordable tax rates and great access to transportation links. Swiss citizens love their evidently lovely city—at least 70% of clients, reported by Engel & Völkers, are Swiss nationals.


The German-speaking city of Lucerne is ranked the fourth most expensive city in Engel & Völkers’ list of most expensive Swiss cities, where average property costs can reach up to CHF18,000 (US$22,599). As the most populous town in Central Switzerland and a center of economics, transportation, culture and media for the region, inhabitants appreciate Lucerne’s picturesque urban landscape with views of Lake Lucerne and the Swiss Alps.


A center for global influence by design, Basel is situated where the Swiss, French and German borders collide. With its average home prices reaching near CHF14,000 (US$16,409), Basel is an international commercial hub and important cultural center for foreign visitors and live-ins alike. Based on Engel & Völkers’ most recent report, the city’s most exclusive address is St.Alban-Vorstadt around Grossbasel.

To read more about the most exclusive addresses in Switzerland, visit Mansion Global here


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