| Ramzi Chamat
Switzerland is facing a housing shortage due to a decrease in construction activity over the past two years. According to Credit Suisse experts, the number of homes built has dropped from an average of 54,000 in the mid-2010s to around 45,000 in 2022. Additionally, the number of new homes planned in the coming years is declining and is expected to reach around 42,000 units, which means there will be a shortage of 15,000 homes by 2024. This shortage will result in a vacancy rate dropping below 1% in 2024, which is unprecedented since the late 1980s.
Credit Suisse experts believe that the cause of this shortage is regulatory rather than financial. Indeed, the Spatial Planning Act (LAT) which came into effect in May 2014, aimed at combating the scattered development and measured use of soil resources, has led to a reduction in the number of new constructions. Although the law itself is not bad, its implementation has taken a long time and is not yet completed at the municipal level, which has dampened the enthusiasm of developers. The revised LAT and its implementation by the cantons and municipalities have a direct impact on the availability of building land, which has complicated the reclassification of land for building since its entry into force.
To address this housing shortage and accelerate densification, Credit Suisse experts propose four targeted measures. The first is to combat the holding of building land in reserve by removing incentives that favor this practice. The second measure is to modify regulations related to building zones by simplifying and accelerating administrative procedures. The third measure is to offer tax incentives to homeowners to encourage them to densify their existing buildings. Finally, the fourth measure is to encourage the construction of student housing to alleviate the shortage in this sector.
However, even if these measures can be effective quickly, their implementation in Switzerland can take time. Therefore, it is important that the authorities act quickly to avoid a housing crisis and respond to the growing housing needs of the population.
Source | Immoday | La pénurie du logement approche