Recently published statistics show that 36% of homes are owned by those who live in them, a rate that falls to 12% in municipalities with more than 100,000 residents.
Swiss municipalities with the highest rates of home ownership (37%) have between 10,000 and 15,000 residents, a rate exceeding the smallest municipalities of less than 10,000 residents (31%).
At a cantonal level, the cantons with the lowest rates of home ownership were Geneva (18.1%) and Basel-City (15.8%). These two cantons are both largely urban. Cantons with high rates of home ownership include Valais (54.5%), Jura (49.9%), Solothurn (47.3%) and Aargau (47.3%). Vaud (29.8%), Zurich (27.7%) and Bern (38.8%) were all in between.
Buying property in Switzerland is difficult. Property prices are high relative to incomes and bank lending rules are strict. Banks ask for a minimum deposit of 20% and typically lend up to a maximum of 5 times annual income. Someone wanting to buy a CHF 1,000,000 apartment would typically need a deposit of CHF 200,000 and an income of CHF 200,000. In popular parts of Switzerland such a budget would cover the cost of a small apartment.