Swiss Real Estate for Foreigners

Switzerland is one the very attractive countries to buy a property for individuals and large multinational companies. Swiss real estate is in great demand and has given good appreciation for investors.

Lake Geneva is very popular  location in Switzerland to buy a property and has attracted so many super rich foreigners. The cantons of Vaud, Valais, Geneva, Zug, Zurich, Ticino gained much notoriety to buy real estate in Switzerland.

Generally foreign nationals, who domiciled abroad, are allowed to buy a holiday or vacation home in tourist areas for “residential” purpose. But the problem with this procedure is the approvals for such deals are quite difficult to get from cantonal authorities and even approval is sanctioned, you property is subjected to numerous restrictions, such as property investment limit, property size and such restrictions is not favored by many foreigners.  For high net worth investors, we do not recommend buying Swiss real estate without obtaining residence permit.

The best way to approach to purchase a property in Switzerland is first obtain “swiss residence permit”  from the relevant cantonal and federal authorities before buying real estate in Switzerland.

Legal entities (companies)  require no prior approvals from authorities to purchase real estate for setting up a business establishment under “commercial” use.  Examples of business establishment include offices, manufacturing and production facilities, workshops etc..

Note: Residential properties cannot be bought by legal entities, and this is restricted in Switzerland.

Swiss Residents

Swiss residents, who hold a residence permit are generally allowed to buy a home, apartment for personal use. Swiss legal entities can purchase commercial swiss real estate such as offices without any restrictions.

Foreigners and Non Swiss Residents

If you are “non EU citizen” and not having any residency in Switzerland, to buy a property or invest in swiss real estate, you have 2 routes:

1. Apply for swiss residence permit first and then buy a swiss real estate. Swiss residence permit can be obtained through negotiating “lump sum taxation” with a specific swiss canton or establish a business in switzerland and as a director of the company you qualify for residence permit.


2.  Directly purchase a property in “Andermatt Swiss Alps Project“, which allows foreigners freely buy a swiss property without any restrictions or residence permit.  This project was the only project, given a “special” very rare exemption under swiss law  allowing foreigners and foreign entities to freely invest in swiss real estate.

Because of this unique exemption, foreigners can directly purchase property in this project, without the swiss residence permit and you are free to sell anytime. Infact another significant advantage is property can be bought under company name for tax purposes.

The Andermatt Swiss Alps (ASA) is a massive luxury Alpine resort community real estate project, with  490 apartments in 42 buildings,  upto 30 private villa  holiday homes, golf course, 4 star and 5 star hotels. The ASP is in the Canton of Uri, and generally it takes 1 hr drive from Zurich city centre.

The pricing starts from CHF 2.5 million for apartments and  CHF 10 million plus for luxury villas.

Swiss residence permit can be obtained, under “lump sum taxation” or “corporate program” running a business in Switzerland.  With the possession of swiss residence permit, you are free to buy property villa or apartment) in a canton of your choice, under your personal name.

We assist our clients to obtain residence permit negotiating “lump sum taxation” with swiss cantons and the minimum amount cantons expect are CHF 150,000 yearly. Plus there are various other costs involved. More information about residence permit see this page

We expect our clients to have CHF 200,000 at their disposal before applying for residence permit in Switzerland. For real estate investments, we expect our clients to have CHF 500,000 or more at their disposal.

If you are interested in real estate, please contact us…

At present we are assisting very wealthy foreigners from outside Switzerland including celebrities with real estate in Switzerland. We highly value privacy such clients wish to exercise discretion.

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