More restrictions on foreign property buyers in Switzerland

More restrictions on foreign property buyers in Switzerland

According to information obtained from the real estate new portal Property Wire, further restrictions on foreign buyers in Switzerland are due to take effect from January 2013, making it even more difficult to buy a second home in the country popular for its ski and lakeside resorts.

Restrictions already apply to foreign nationals buying residential property in Switzerland and the current regulations, known as Lex Koller, governing international buyers of Swiss property require them to obtain a permit from the appropriate cantonal and federal authorities.

The law restricts purchases by non-Swiss buyers to areas within designated Holiday Zones, predominantly in ski resorts and the immediate areas surrounding both Montreux and Lugano. In all areas, 200 square meters is the maximum size of an individual property available to non-Swiss buyers.

Alex Koch de Gooreynd, head of Knight Frank's Swiss desk said: "These will limit the number of secondary residences, for both Swiss and non-Swiss buyers, in all locations throughout Switzerland. The aim is for no village to have more than 20% of its properties registered as secondary residences.

As far as we are being advised, it is anticipated that in the majority of cases, non-Swiss owners who currently have a second home in Switzerland will be able to sell their property to another non-Swiss resident without restriction—é".