2nd edition Real Estate Panel of discussion – October 7th 2020

To buy or to rent? This has been one of the main questions addressed in our 2nd edition of the Real Estate Panel of Discussion held last week at Geneva Business School and moderate by Francesco Perrella.

How to understand the real estate market in Geneva? Our panelist Vincent Clapasson showed us very interesting data on economic indicators and construction activity which contributed to the answer.

For example, it should not be a surprise that demand of residences in Geneva, being this city the hub of many international organizations, is historically boosted by strong immigration. Nevertheless, this trend is decreasing since 2015, despite mortgage rates at historic lows, probably because of flattering employment rates since then. On the opposite the offer is increasing, with number of units under construction tripling since 2010.

The trend is still bullish, and our second panelist Philippe Favarger reminded us differences of prices among neighborhoods and showed historical data to support the case that only 17% of properties are owned by private owners nowadays. Tax and laws overcomplicate the situation, as they are issued to avoid big investors to come and speculate in the Geneva market, but seem to not take into consideration private buyers’ needs.

How price is set seems still ambiguous for a potential buyer trying to understand what is behind the value of a building plot of 900sqm vs a single-family house. Nevertheless, it seemed very convenient to buy a property 20 years ago, while the economic burden of engaging in this process nowadays is almost comparable to that of renting.

To you, YEX members, the final choice. And if you need more time to think about that, you might end up having more questions for our experts next year, since we will keep this annual event in our YEX calendar thanks to you and your constant attendance – in full safety despite COVID-19.