Here you will find useful information that should be taken into account when looking for an apartment or house. 



Living costs differ considerably, depending on where you choose to live. Properties in the countryside tend to be cheaper than in towns and cities. However, there are also considerable differences in rental prices between the cantons. For this reason, you should decide where you want to live and what your needs are early on. It is also advisable to seek the help of an expert that can provide you with information on the local accommodation situation. 

Popular accommodation search sites are: 



- Homegate 


Want to buy a house or apartment in Switzerland? You will need to take account of the following:

Do you have a residence permit for Switzerland?

- EU/EFTA nationals resident in Switzerland have no limitations in purchasing property. You therefore do not need a permit.

- Those from third states can purchase main residences (single-family homes and owner-occupied apartments) and building land at their place of residence without a corresponding permit under the following conditions: 

  • Valid residence permit This is generally a B-type permit for resident foreign nationals.
  • If you have your place of residence here, you must live in the home yourself.
  • If you buy a piece of land in order to build on it, you must begin construction within one year.

Third-state nationals require a permit for the following types of residence:

  • Holiday apartments
  • Residential units in a hotel (aparthotel). 
  • Second homes

Please also note that merely owning property in Switzerland does not represent entitlement to a residence permit.

Don’t have a residence permit in Switzerland?

Those that live abroad can purchase property under certain restrictions. The responsible authority in the canton will provide you with further information on this.

No permit is required for land used for economic purposes.

Accommodation for students

Students in St. Gallen or Basel will generally find it easier to find a suitable place to live. Finding accommodation tends to be more difficult for students from Zurich or Bern. 

It is generally advisable to note the following points when looking for somewhere to live:

1. Begin your search as early as possible. 

2. Ensure that you are on-site during the search. This is the only way for you to be able to attend viewings and get an impression of the accommodation and the person letting it. 

3. Make equal use of the platforms offered by the universities and by private providers. Popular search platforms for students are: 

  • Wg is a good option for those looking for a room in a shared residence. 
  • The platform also offers search options for student rooms.
  • looks for suitable places to live on all usual internet-based housing marketplaces. 

4. Turn up to viewings on time and with looking neat and tidy.

Living costs for students

Again here, rental prices can vary greatly. Depending on the distance from the university, situation and size of the accommodation, you should expect to pay 600 CHF to 800 CHF/month for a single room. You should be able to find a two-bedroom apartment from 1500 CHF/month.  

Different foundations fund cheaper accommodation for students: