Special page Housing rents

With two consecutive increases in the mortgage reference rate in 2023 (June and December), there is growing interest in housing rents. On this page you can find all the latest information on this topic.

How does the mortgage reference rate work and what impact does it have on tenants and homeowners?

The Federal Housing Office has produced a short explanatory video as well as a list of frequently asked questions and answers:

FHO: Mortgage reference rate (Only available in French and German).

What impact does a change in the mortgage reference rate have on housing rents?

The Federal Statistical Office measures changes in residential rents on a quarterly basis in the context of the consumer price index. Landlords provide information on 10 000 rents for rented dwellings throughout Switzerland (February, May, August and November). Every quarter, one-eighth of the sample is renewed. Only the net rent is collected. An increase in the mortgage reference rate applicable to rental agreements can lead to higher in rents. The published results enable an assessment of how much and how fast adjustments to existing rental agreements have an impact on rents. It should be noted that in addition to adjustments due to a rise in the reference interest rate, many other factors – in particular housing construction, renovations and changes of tenants – have an influence on housing rent trends.

Are service charges affected by changes in the mortgage reference rate?

Charges are influenced by the costs passed on to tenants, mainly energy costs. The mortgage reference rate has no impact on service charges.

What is the trend in housing rents?

The FSO has published rent indices since 1939 and quarterly and annual trends since 1993. CPI, rent index (Only available in French and German). 

The table also shows the percentage of the sample survey affected by increases or decreases in rent, as well as the percentage for whom rents remain stable.

How do housing rents change in relation to the consumer price index?

Our inflation calculator compares these trends (select the 'CPI series' tab and then 'additional classifications' from the drop-down list).

The indices can be found in the detailed results file:

How are housing rental trends calculated?

The methodological foundations of the consumer price index describe in detail how this indicator is calculated:

What are the average rents in Switzerland, by canton and by various characteristics such as the length of the tenancy, the size of the dwelling or the period of construction?

Within the framework of the new annual population census system, the structural survey provides statistics on housing rents in Switzerland. In contrast to the rental index, which measures changes in rents while maintaining the structure of the rental market fixed, the structural survey takes an annual snapshot of average rents by various characteristics, such as region, length of tenancy, size of dwelling or period of construction.

More information: Rented dwellings

What proportion of their budget do households spend on rent?

On average, just over an eighth of our gross income is spent on housing. In 2021, housing expenditure (excluding energy) was 12.83% of gross income. Rent for housing is therefore a major expenditure for private households. The Household Budget Survey (HBS), conducted annually among a sample of around 3000 respondent households, provides detailed statistics on the composition of their income and expenditure.

More information: income and expenditure

What is the trend in residential property prices?

The Federal Statistical Office also calculates and publishes transaction prices for single-family houses and condominium ownership apartments.

More information: Property Prices


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