According to the survey by the Tsüri.ch portal, 60 percent of participants assume they will not be able to find another apartment in Zurich the next time they move, while three quarters expect that they will eventually end up having to move to a nearby suburb or a smaller city such as Baden, Winterthur or Schaffhausen.
And 92 percent of respondents are concerned about rising rents; half said their rents are too high – on average, they pay about 650 francs too much per month.
There have been frequent reports of Zurich residents – young and elderly – being forced out of their apartments for a number of reasons, including higher rents and making room for refugees and migrants. While some choose to turn their backs on the city, many residents feel their hands are tied.
Their reason for staying? For one, the sheer lack of (affordable) housing available in Zurich. Moreover, Zurich households that have not changed residence for a long time pay less rent than those who move around.
In Zurich, everyone is affected by the rapidly increasing rents, including families, students, single parents, poor, middle-class singles, pensioners, migrants and even businesses.
Earlier this year, the Limmattaler Zeitung reported that musical merchandise retailer Musik Hug has decided to terminate its rental agreement which ends in 2025. The retailer had rented the premises at Limmatquai 28 for an astounding 150 years.
According to the survey participants, responsibility for the housing crisis lies with politicians, who have not undertaken any effective measures to remedy the situation.
Investors such as banks and pension funds, which own many residential buildings, are also to blame, respondents said, as they continue to raise rents in order to achieve higher returns.
As for the solution to the housing shortage? The survey’s 10,000 respondents agreed on a number of solutions, such as capping rents, providing more cooperative and city apartments, controlling returns, banning Airbnb, and expropriating Credit Suisse properties.