The Swiss Chapter of FIABCI, The International Real Estate Federation, had to forgo its traditional physical kick-off event in Neuchâtel this year due to the pandemic and chose an online format for the joint exchange. FIABCI-Suisse President Thomas H. Henle was able to welcome over 50 members, partners, and friends of the network via the Internet. He looked ahead to the new year 2021, in which the Swiss representation of the "Fédération Internationale des Administrateurs de Biens Conseils Immobiliers" hopes to be able to hold real events and meetings again as soon as possible, such as a FIABCI lunch including a keynote speech in Bern on April 22. Thomas Henle named as other possible stops for real get-togethers the MIPIM international real estate trade fair in Cannes, France (June 7-10, 2021) and the FIABCI-Suisse General Assembly in Zurich (10.06.2021), and the 40th FIABCI Leadership Summit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (16.11. – 19.11.2021).
At the online kick-off 2021, FIABCI member Stefan Fahrländer of the company FPRE Fahrländer Partner Raumentwicklung again presented the key statements, from the freshly published Real Estate Almanac 2021 on the forecasted market developments in the Swiss real estate market. With negative inflation for the first time again in the past year 2020, an increased unemployment rate, and a continued very low-interest rate level, the question of the consequences of the Corona-induced recession arises on the local market. In his presentation, Fahrländer said that massive fiscal policy measures had helped to prevent or cushion the worst. In addition, from a global perspective, governments and central banks are still determined to provide countermeasures in the form of expanded market support programs.
In the next two years, the construction of new residential space in Switzerland will continue to decline slightly. Nevertheless, around 45,000 units would still be newly built each year (2020: 48,000) and the vacancy rate in rental housing would continue to rise last year. "Due to lower net in-migration and the overproduction of apartments, vacancy rates in rental housing increased, especially outside the large-central agglomerations," Fahrländer explained. However, the market expert went on to say that new housing construction in peripheral regions was having fewer absorption problems than a few years ago. All in all, however, despite a moderate decline in residential construction activity, there will still be a supply overhang.
Looking at the Swiss transaction market with real estate, Fahrländer noted that about three-quarters of the observed price increase in income properties over the past 20 years was due to falling yield expectations. "Especially investors with regular cash inflows, such as pension funds, insurance companies and accumulating investment foundations, were willing to pay almost any price." In the meantime, however, investors have become more cautious, especially when it comes to investments in peripheral regions, Fahrländer explained at the FIABCI 2021 kick-off.
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