Media release

Single-family homes in Corona year: strong regional differences in listing times

4.5.2021 11:00

The average time taken to advertise single-family homes (EFH) on Switzerland's leading online real estate portals varies greatly by region. While the insertion time in the greater Zurich region fell to 43 days, an increase of almost 60% to 147 days was observed in Ticino. As a result, the average for Switzerland as a whole also increased by 16 days to 77 days. However, this increase was mainly driven by the change in two regions (Ticino and Vaud/Wallis), while properties in the other regions continue to sell quickly.

  • Significant increase in insertion times across Switzerland in 2020: in the Corona year 2020, single-family homeowners in Switzerland needed significantly more patience to sell their property than in 2019: the average insertion time increased by 26% from 61 to 77 days, even though supply only increased by 4%. However, the longer insertion times were caused by only two regions.
  • Polarisation between the major regions is increasing: shortage in Zurich, oversupply in Ticino: Of the eight major Swiss regions surveyed, six regions had short insertion times of around or below 60 days. Single-family homes were sold fastest in the greater Zurich area (43 days). In these six regions, insertion times fluctuated only slightly compared with the previous year 2019, excluding Corona. The nationwide increase in insertion times was mainly caused by Ticino. There, they jumped by almost 60% to a record 147 days. The Vaud/Wallis region also saw a significant increase of 25% to 71 insertion days.
  • Demand for single-family homes: no urban exodus measurable: If the large regions are analysed by municipality type, roughly the same number of central municipalities were in the area of increasing demand as were in the area of decreasing demand. The hypothesis that Corona leads to urban flight can therefore not be confirmed for single-family homes. In contrast, the majority of rural commuter communities experienced decreasing demand.

In 2020, more than 72,000 single-family homes were advertised on Switzerland's leading internet portals. The average insertion time was 77 days. Since the number of advertisements increased only slightly by 4%, but the insertion times increased by almost a quarter, it can be said that demand for single-family homes declined in the Corona year. One possible reason for this is the uncertainty in the crisis year, which caused many to hold off on buying for the time being. In the previous year, demand for single-family homes was still increasing throughout Switzerland: despite an increase in supply to around 70,000 advertisements, the insertion time fell by almost 10% to 61 days. Jens Paul Berndt, CEO of Homegate, adds: "Even in the Corona year 2020, we observed a high demand for single-family homes. In some regions, it briefly took a little longer to sell a property. But we see that the tide has already turned again and single-family homes are very popular even in times of crisis."

OHMA study Homegate

A more differentiated analysis according to the major regions of Switzerland shows that the increase in insertion times in the Corona year was only caused by two regions. Peter Ilg, Head of the Swiss Real Estate Institute, assesses the single-family home market as surprisingly robust during the Corona crisis: "Most owners of a single-family home have invested most of their money in their home. It is therefore positive that even in a severe crisis such as the Corona crisis, the owner-occupied housing markets have proved robust and crisis-resistant in most regions".

Extension of insertion times mainly caused by the Ticino and Vaud/Wallis regions

In the three German-speaking regions of Switzerland, Zurich, Central Switzerland and Eastern Switzerland, which top the list of regions with the shortest advertising times, insertion times fell again in the year under review, most markedly in Central Switzerland (-9 days). As a result, the gap between these three regions and the regions with the longest bidding times widened further: in the Waadt/Wallis region, insertion times rose significantly to 71 days. The single-family home market in Ticino was far more polarised: insertion times shot up to 147 days, almost three times as long as in the Zurich region.

OHMA 2 Homegate

Changes in insertion times and supply volumes provide conclusions about the development of demand

The comparison of the changes in insertion times with the percentage changes in insertion volumes in the eight regions studied is shown in the chart below and allows conclusions to be drawn about the change in demand for single-family homes. With the exception of the three regions of Zurich, Ticino and Geneva, the regions scatter relatively closely around the diagonal, i.e. no substantial changes in demand were recorded in these regions. In the two regions of Ticino and Zurich, on the other hand, a massive extension of the insertion period was accompanied by a slight change in the insertion volume, or a significant shortage of supply caused only a very slight decline in insertion periods. Thus, a significant weakening of demand must be assumed there. However, single-family homes in the Zurich region are still selling very well, despite the decline in demand and in contrast to Ticino. In the Geneva region, on the other hand, demand has increased significantly: Markedly more advertisements hardly led to an extension of the insertion period.

OHMA 3 Homegate

In the Corona year, the hypothesis was often formulated that the population is leaving the densely populated cities and increasingly moving to the countryside, as longer commuting times to the workplace can be accepted due to the increased home office. This hypothesis cannot be confirmed for single-family homes: Within the large regions studied, a further subdivision was made between central municipalities and rural commuter regions. There are roughly the same number of central municipalities in the area of increasing demand as in the area of decreasing demand.

Based on the success of the vaccination, it is assumed that next year Corona will no longer be a significant issue. It will then become apparent whether demand for single-family homes will pick up again throughout Switzerland.

OHMA 4 homegate

Reports on the regions

OHMA Report Zurich

OHMA Report Geneva

OHMA Report Central Switzerland

OHMA Report Espace Mittelland

OHMA Report Northwestern Switzerland

OHMA Report Eastern Switzerland

OHMA Report Ticino

OHMA Report Waadt/Wallis

OHMA - Online Home Market Analysis

The OHMA is a semi-annual analysis that reports alternately on the development of the insertion period for single-family houses and condominiums on all major Swiss online marketplaces. The analysis covers the whole of Switzerland with the eight major regions examined. More in-depth analyses are carried out for suburban communities and centres. The analysis provides regionally differentiated information on the development of supply and demand for owner-occupied homes, broken down by market segment. Homegate publishes the analysis in collaboration with the Swiss Real Estate Institute of the HWZ Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich.

About Homegate

Homegate was founded in 2001 and has since developed into the leading real estate marketplace in Switzerland. With Homegate , the search for the new dream apartment or the unique dream house is very easy. The clever features such as the free search subscription, recommendations of similar properties or the mobile app make the search for the new home even easier. A new tenant or a new buyer for your own property can also be found quickly. With more than 9 million visits per month and over 110,000 current property listings, Homegate is the largest real estate marketplace in Switzerland. Homegate is headquartered in Zurich and belongs to TX Markets AG, one of the largest Swiss digital companies. In addition, Homegate is present on the market with its subsidiary ImmoStreet and the platform alle-immobilien.ch.

The Swiss Real Estate Institute is a foundation of the HWZ Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich and the Swiss Real Estate Association SVIT Switzerland. In addition to research, the institute focuses on teaching and services/consulting for the Swiss real estate industry. www.swissrei.ch

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