Q COULD YOU OUTLINE SOME OF THE MAJOR TRENDS IN THE REAL ESTATE SPACE IN SWITZERLAND OVER THE LAST 12-18 MONTHS?
BRUNNER: To start, we would make two introductory remarks. First, the acquisition of residential real property in Switzerland is restricted for foreign individuals and companies, although exceptions apply, such as for citizens of the European Union. There are no restrictions with respect to commercial real estate property. Second, Switzerland's real estate market is very segmented, with regional peculiarities playing an important role when deciding on investing in real estate. Real estate segments in Switzerland develop very differently. On the one hand, we have seen substantial investments by real estate developers and institutional investors in residential property – both owner-occupied and rental, in particular higher density complexes. With respect to ofﬁce space, we note that rental demand is lower than supply, resulting in rather attractive conditions for potential lessees in terms of reduced rates and ﬂexibility in rental terms. Retail space faces difﬁculties due to increased competition from online shops as well as an unfavourable CHF/EUR exchange rate, which makes it very attractive to shop abroad. One exception in the retail space is convenience stores.
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Originally published in Financier Worldwide - June 2016
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