Online Home Market Analysis (OHMA): Single-family homes once again top condos in the polls

Single-family homes (EFH) once again proved popular in Switzerland in 2017. An analysis of supply and demand based on real estate advertisements shows that a predominantly stable to rising demand for single-family homes can be identified both across Switzerland and in the individual regions. 

These findings are from the Online Home Market Analysis (OHMA) carried out by in cooperation with the Swiss Real Estate Institute at the HWZ Zürich University of Applied Sciences.

  • Amount of time homes spend on the market decreasing in almost every region of Switzerland
    With the exception of central Switzerland, shorter periods spent looking for a buyer were observed in all regions. Length of time on the market and changes to this varied widely between the regions.
  • More single-family homes sold
    During the reporting period, significantly more online advertisements were uploaded onto Internet portals in regions such as Eastern Switzerland, Ticino, Geneva or Vaud/Valais than in the previous period. This indicates single-family home purchases are on the rise.
  • Marked differences in asking prices between the regions
    In the suburban communities of the Bern region and Eastern Switzerland, houses are advertised for around CHF 5,400 and CHF 5,500 per m² net living space on average. In the suburban municipalities of the Geneva region, this figure almost doubles, amounting to an average of CHF 10,200.
  • In suburban communities, smaller, cheaper single-family homes are the most in demand
    Small single-family homes with 5.5 or fewer rooms and an offer price of less than CHF 1 million were on the market an average of only 58 days before finding a buyer.

In the reporting period from January 1st, 2017 to December 31st, 2017, around 31,100 single-family homes were advertised for sale on Internet portals throughout Switzerland. Supply has therefore risen by approximately 3% when compared to the previous year. Average time on the market has decreased by 9 days to 95 days. This testifies to the increasing demand for family homes on the Swiss market.

Single-family homes are once again more popular than condominiums

Just a few years ago, the single-family home was tipped to be on its way out. The opposite has become a reality: It was predicted that condominiums were the homes of the future, but demand for condominiums has decreased. With an average of 103 days on the market, it also takes considerably longer to sell a condominium compared to a single-family home (see OHMA study from September 2017). Despite rising prices and larger financing hurdles, the single-family home is enjoying ever-increasing popularity in Switzerland.

Prof. Dr. Peter Ilg from the Swiss Real Estate Institute at the HWZ Zürich University of Economics and Business thinks there are a number of various reasons behind this development: “Factors such as physical distance from the neighbors and a garden for the children are rising in importance for home buyers in a Switzerland that is increasingly densely populated. In addition, there is a growing belief that you can’t do much wrong in the long run by buying a growlingly scarce building plot.”

Property in Zürich and Eastern Switzerland sells the fastest

After just 53 days on the market, houses in the Zürich region are sold the fastest. Even in eastern Switzerland, a single-family home generally finds a buyer after 64 days on the market. In the south and west of the country, similar homes must be advertised for almost twice as long: In Geneva (104 days), Vaud/Valais (105 days) and Ticino (123 days), single-family homes remain on the market for almost double the time experienced in the Zürich region.

Apart from in central Switzerland, the average time on the market has decreased in all regions included in the analysis. With a decrease in average market time of 13 and 12 days, respectively, the markets in Eastern Switzerland and the Geneva region have become the most strained.

From this simultaneous change in market time and the amount of property on offer, we can conclude there has been a change in demand (see figure below): In the Ticino region, the number of days on the market has decreased, despite many more houses being advertised. This suggests Ticino experienced a significant increase in demand for single-family homes. Growing interest in single-family homes can also be found in eastern Switzerland, the Geneva region, and northwestern Switzerland. The regions of Vaud/Valais, Espace Mittelland, and Zürich remain unchanged. Only in central Switzerland is the demand slightly decreasing.

Significant regional differences in asking price

In this reporting period, the highest average prices for single-family homes were once again in the  Geneva region. A single-family home in the urban belt around Geneva costs on average CHF 10,100 per square meter of net living space. The same home costs about half, around CHF 5,400 in the Espace Mitterland region urban belt. Urban municipalities in the Zürich region are ranked in third place behind central Switzerland (CHF 8,700) compared to a figure of CHF 8,600 across the whole of Switzerland.

OHMA – Online Home Market Analysis

The OHMA reports biannually on market times for single-family homes and condominiums alternately and takes all of the major Swiss online marketplaces into consideration. The analysis covers all of Switzerland, with an examination of the eight major regions. Suburban communities and centers are also subject to an in-depth analysis. The analysis provides information on developments in supply and demand for private homes, broken down by region and market segment. has published this analysis in collaboration with the Swiss Real Estate Institute at the HWZ Zürich University of Applied Sciences.

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Media Contact:
Homegate AG, Carina Schönenberger, media spokeswoman
Tel. 044 711 86 80,

Swiss Real Estate Institute, Prof. Dr. Peter Ilg, Institute Director
Tel. 043 322 26 84, 043 322 26 13 (office),

Homegate AG was founded in 2001 and has since developed into the leading digital company in the Swiss real estate market. With more than 8.4 million visitors and more than 85,000 current real estate advertisements, is the number one Swiss real estate portal (Net-Metrix Audit 2/2018, visits). Homegate AG employs more than 80 people at its headquarters in Zürich and Lausanne. Homegate AG belongs to the Swiss media group Tamedia AG. Zürcher Kantonalbank is an additional shareholder.

The Swiss Real Estate Institute is a foundation based at the HWZ Zürich School of Economics and the Swiss Association of the Real Estate Industry SVIT Switzerland. In addition to research, the institute is focused on teaching and service/consulting for the Swiss real estate industry.