The Swiss don’t want to downsize

by | Jun 12, 2024

Switzerland has one of the world’s tightest housing markets, with vacancy rates (1.15%) even lower than tightly packed New York City. City planners have long hoped that our ageing population would prompt parents would downsize after children had grown up and moved out. Not so, according to a report by Zurich University.

The report is based on the results of a survey published in June 2024: 70% of parents with an average age of 65 who had adult children say they have no plans to move. 38% of these “empty-nesters” have more than two extra rooms in their homes.

The reasons: 1) 74% did not feel that their homes were too large and that extra rooms are often not viewed as unnecessary. 2) Those with older rental contracts often pay rent well below the current market rate. Why pay more to live in a smaller home? 3) Only one in three thought that making way for younger people with families was a relevant consideration.