Real Estate Transactions with a Special Focus on Hotel Acquisitions
Despite the considerable rise in mortgage interest rates over the course of 2022, the Swiss real estate market is holding up robustly overall. Compared with other countries, the real estate market is developing relatively solidly and there is unlikely to be a major price collapse. This is because inflation in Switzerland is only a fraction of that abroad and the rise in interest rates is therefore less severe.
However, access to these attractive investment opportunities has been restricted for foreign investors in Switzerland for many decades. In particular, the Federal Law of 16 December 1983 on the Acquisition of Real Estate by Persons Abroad (better known as the Lex Koller) restricts the acquisition of real estate for residential purposes. This will be discussed in more detail in the course of this chapter. This restriction inevitably leads to foreign investors having to focus on the acquisition of commercial property for the time being. For this reason, the chapter focuses on real estate transactions in the area of commercial property. Since it has also transpired in the past that foreign investors in Switzerland are increasingly investing in hotels, a separate section of this chapter goes into more detail on hotel transactions.