Swiss Alps, Switzerland

yapan:: Iyna Bort Caruso

Mountains cover nearly two-thirds of Switzerland. The country’s defining geographical feature has been the backbone of Swiss tourism for more than a century.

This living postcard of a country has one of the highest rates of foreign residents in Europe--22.8 percent, according to Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The draw is no mystery. The standard of living strikes an enviable work-life balance with a low crime rate, high health care standards and famously beautiful scenery.

In the Alps, peaks like the iconic Matterhorn and Jungrau fire the imagination. Resort towns such as Zermatt, St. Moritz and Davos have built-in international cache. The region’s vast network of mountain trails attract outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes, and the well-developed infrastructure caters to the well-heeled.

The Swiss Alps real estate market has been a consistently solid one with few speculators. The influx of international buyers focuses on top-tier properties. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Swiss vacation homes are typically more expensive than their counterparts in other alpine regions.

Foreign nationals who live aboard are generally permitted to buy vacation homes in tourist areas, but purchases are regulated. Buyers face restrictions, which include quotas set by the federal government as well as limitations imposed by the local canton or state. Conditions vary. In some areas, buyers are prohibited from buying beyond a certain size, limited to residences that are already foreign-owned or re-selling within a certain period of ownership. Other areas are more liberal and non-residents enjoy a wider choice.

These days, mountain homes are being reinterpreted to expand on the vernacular architecture of Alpine chalets. Examples are the designs of Swiss Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor who built minimalist vacation cabins on a mountainside in the hamlet of Leis. Other visionaries have abandoned wood logs for sculptural forms in concrete. The result is Alpine chic.

YEREL IRTIBAT

Cardis Immobilier Sotheby's International Realty

Avenue Mon-Repos 14, CP 399
Lausanne, Vaud Isviçre  

­: ­+41 21 781 01 01


Cardis Immobilier Sotheby's International Realty

Rue du Théâtre 7 bis
Montreux, Vaud 1820 Isviçre  

­: ­+41 21 962 86 62


Cardis Immobilier Sotheby's International Realty

Rue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville 13
Vevey, Vaud 1800 Isviçre  

­: ­+41 21 925 33 55


Cardis Immobilier Sotheby's International Realty

Rue de Rive 26
Nyon, Vaud 1260 Isviçre  

­: ­+41 22 365 20 55


­