The Swiss authorities online

Jump to content

Buying a house or apartment in Switzerland as a foreign national

You are a foreign national wishing to buy real estate (house, apartment, land) in Switzerland. Under certain circumstances, you will need a permit.

You live in Switzerland

EU/EFTA citizens

As an EU/EFTA citizen living in Switzerland, you enjoy the same rights as Swiss citizens when it comes to buying real estate, meaning you do not need a permit.

Third-country nationals

You do not require a permit to buy a main residence (e.g. single-family house or owner-occupied flat) or building land where you live if you meet the following requirements:

  • You hold a valid residence permit, generally a B permit for foreign nationals.
  • You will live in that main residence for as long as you hold residence in that location.
  • If you wish to build on the land that you have purchased, you must do so within one year.

You will require a permit in order to purchase the following types of apartment:

  • Holiday apartment
  • Housing unit in an apparthotel (hotel with flats)
  • Second home

Owning real estate in Switzerland does not confer any entitlement to a residence permit.

You live abroad

If you live abroad, you may purchase real estate but certain restrictions apply. Contact the cantonal authorities for more information (land registry office or inspectorate).

No permit is needed for the purchase of land to be used for economic activities.

How to proceed?

If you wish to buy a house, flat or land, contact the authorities (land registry office or inspectorate) to find out whether you meet all of the necessary requirements or whether you need to obtain a permit.

Land registry office/land registry inspectorate