Market analysis

Digital atlas of the Swiss real estate industry

With a 16 percent share of Switzerland's gross domestic product (GDP), the real estate industry is highly relevant to the Swiss economy. The Digital Atlas has been providing a digital overview of the most important figures since 2020.

The economic importance of the real estate industry for the Swiss Confederation is immense. It employs well over half a million full-time jobs and comprises up to 3 million buildings. Between 2011 and 2021, real estate-related gross value added increased by 23 percent, outpacing the economy as a whole (+17 %). The construction and real estate sector can therefore clearly be described as an anchor of stability for the Swiss economy.

Back in 2014, pom+ and Rütter soceco compiled a basic report on the economic importance of the real estate industry. In 2020, the report was updated for the first time on behalf of the Federal Office for Housing (BWO) and the Swiss Homeowners' Association (HEV), expanded with cantonal data and supplemented with the "Digital Atlas of the Swiss Real Estate Industry". In 2024, the latest figures were published retroactively to 2021.

The Swiss building stock comprises around 2.8 million properties with a value of CHF 3,100 billion and a floor area of 1.1 billion square meters, mainly for residential purposes. The real estate stock increased by 160,000 buildings between 2011 and 2022, with apartment buildings growing faster than single-family homes. Around a third of all buildings are located in the cantons of Bern, Zurich, and Aargau.

There are currently 592,000 full-time jobs in the construction and real estate industry. This corresponds to 14 percent of all employees in Switzerland. The economic importance of the construction and real estate industry varies greatly between the cantons. In Basel, it accounts for 8 percent of GDP, whereas in Glarus it accounts for 22 percent. Revenues from real estate taxes account for 11 percent of Switzerland's total fiscal revenues, although tax revenues have increased overall, keeping the relative share of real estate taxes constant.

This means that the real estate sector accounts for a total of 11 percent of Swiss GDP. If rental income and owner-occupied rents are included, the share rises to 16 percent. The detailed figures and the newly updated report are available on the BWO website.

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Dr. Joachim Baldegger

Head of Service Unit Future Lab

Dr. sc. techn., dipl. Ing. ETH

Location Zurich