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Swiss housing satisfaction: in-depth analysis of trends and influencing factors

December 12, 2023

Architecture, Building, Housing

How satisfied are Swiss households with their homes? Which housing factors are considered particularly important and how have they changed in recent years? With the support of the Swiss Homeowners Association (HEV) and the Swiss Real Estate Association (SVIT), Wüest Partner has once again conducted the “Immo-Barometer” household survey (see info box for more details) on housing needs in Switzerland this year. Its results reveal many fascinating new insights.

High level of housing satisfaction in Switzerland

Swiss residents remain very satisfied within their four walls. Over 90 percent of rental tenants are currently happy (48 percent) or even very happy (44 percent) in their homes. Satisfaction is even higher among homeowners, where as many as 76% currently like their home very much and a further 23% like it quite a lot. Satisfaction levels thus remain very high, although there has been a moderate downward trend over the past few years: the proportion of respondents who like their current home very much has fallen slightly from a high level among both tenants and owners.

How much do you like your current apartment/house?

Slight downward trend from a high level

For renters, this trend began somewhat earlier, and it is noticeable that it is not individual factors with which tenants are less satisfied. Rather, the sum of slightly lower values – albeit still at a very high level – for various housing factors leads to this result. Among homeowners, the shift from 'very good' to 'fairly good' did not occur until 2022. This is likely to have been triggered by rising mortgage and energy costs, among other things.

With the moderate decline in satisfaction ratings, the likelihood of moving has consequently also increased. Since 2018, the proportion of respondents who definitely do not want to move has fallen by around 3 percentage points among renters to just over 32 and by around 4 percentage points among homeowners, to a continued clear majority of 68%.

Change in satisfaction scores depends on age, especially among homeowners

When broken down by age group, all categories show a very high level of satisfaction with their home. The smallest proportion of respondents who are 'quite happy' or 'very happy' in their current home is among tenants aged between 35 and 49. However, even in this age group, the average for 2022 and 2023 is still well over 90%, which is already very high. Homeowners are even more comfortable in their own four walls. However, a slight decline can be seen here in the middle-aged segment between 2016 and 2021, as well as on average over the past two years.

How much do you like your current apartment/house?

Financing conditions are likely to be a deciding factor

One possible reason for this trend could be the higher financing costs faced by homeowners in this age bracket, who have made fewer mortgage repayments. In contrast, the over-50s are likely to have already repaid a considerable proportion of the loan, so although interest rate increases are likely to continue, they will have significantly less impact on household budgets. It should also be noted that the number of cases among owners under 35 is relatively low. This is because many Swiss people of this age are not yet able to afford to own their own homes. The reasons for the low homeownership rate among younger Swiss people, and possible solutions, can be found in detail in the "Immo-Monitoring" fall issue (2024 | 1).

On the whole, home satisfaction in Switzerland is therefore very high. But it has still decreased slightly, which explains why the likelihood of moving has increased. So what criteria do the Swiss pay particular attention to when looking for a home?

Greater cost sensitivity among rising housing costs

As in previous years, costs (for both rent and mortgage rates) and value for money top the list of the most important factors when choosing a home. For almost all tenants surveyed, the rent is decisive or ‘still important’, while the price-quality ratio is of similarly high relevance. These values are only slightly lower for homeowners. Across all profiles, the importance of financial factors has increased compared to previous years. The main reason for this is, once again, likely to be the current climate, which is characterized by mortgage and rent increases. The survey also showed that the majority of tenants and two-thirds of owners expect a slightly higher or even significantly higher housing cost burden.

How important are/would the following points currently be for you or your household when selecting a property?

Higher quality demand for interior spaces

There was also a noticeable increase in the importance of comfort and, in particular, noise insulation. This is not surprising given the significant rise in working from home since the pandemic. And as people are spending more time at home, especially during the day, a noisy living environment caused by neighbors, construction work, or rush-hour traffic has become more of a disturbance. Particularly among tenants, who are often more exposed to noise emissions than homeowners, there has been a noticeable increase in the importance of this factor since 2021. However, it is not only the demands on sound insulation that have increased; ‘comfort’, ‘available space’, and ‘room layout’ have also become more important, and all rank among the most decisive factors when choosing a suitable apartment or single-family home.

How important is / would noise insulation be to you when selecting a property?

Increasing mobility requirements

In this year's survey, around 88% of respondents stated that proximity to public transport is important or even decisive when choosing a property. During the pandemic, mobility factors, such as proximity to public transport or commuting distance, became less important. Although working from home has become much more common, in many places, it is now more of a complement to the traditional office than a permanent alternative. The fact that more and more people are once again working on-site makes it plausible that these mobility criteria have grown in importance. For example, the factor ‘public transport nearby’ has also returned to its pre-pandemic level.

How important are/would the following points currently be for you or your household when selecting a property?


Although many Swiss people are currently very happy in their homes, housing satisfaction has fallen slightly at a high level and the willingness to move has increased. In the current environment of rising interest rates, it is not surprising that housing costs play a major role when selecting a suitable home. Additionally, a comparison over time shows that both housing quality expectations and mobility requirements have increased significantly. In the next parts of this blog trilogy, we will shed further light on the topics of sustainability (part 2: "Sustainable living: Trends and differences") and residential satisfaction in connection with building density (part 3: "Housing satisfaction in the context of urban consolidation").

Immo-Barometer by Wüest Partner
The Immo-Barometer is a nationwide survey on the topics of housing satisfaction and housing needs, which Wüest Partner conducted again in 2023 with the support of the Swiss Homeowners Association (HEV) and the Swiss Real Estate Association (SVIT Switzerland). Around 1,000 representative households in German- and French-speaking Switzerland are surveyed in detail about their current housing situation and any plans for change. The Immo-Barometer is a long-term study that was first conducted in 1988 and has been undertaken at least every two years since then.

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