The real estate industry is an important part of the Swiss economy. According to a study published by the Swiss Homeowner Association (HEV), the Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE) and the Federal Housing Office (BWO), the real estate industry contributes 18% to Switzerland’s GDP and approximately one sixth of all Swiss employees is associated with this industry.
The pressure for digitization is also increasing in the real estate and construction industries. Building Information Modelling (BIM)-based planning, execution, management of real estate and the communication through social media between tenants and administration are becoming increasingly important.
Despite historically low returns, the trend towards real estate investments continues. However, this is more due to the lack of investment alternatives than to the market prospects in this sector.
While capacity utilisation in the construction industry is still high, future orders in this sector are uncertain. The likelihood of a downturn, especially in the fields of building construction, seems to be increasing.
Rising interest rates reduce valuations for real estate on the one hand and increase the attractiveness of alternative investment opportunities on the other.
The declining immigration, the trend towards innovative working models such as home office and the increasing relevance of online shops are leading to an increase in vacancies both in rented apartments and in office and retail space.
A higher share of administrative expenses in relation to total costs of a real estate companies reduces its market value compared to the net asset value. Therefore, real estate companies that can exploit economies of scale have a competitive advantage over small providers.
In March 2017, the insurance company Baloise acquired the PAX Anlage with a real estate portfolio of CHF 425 million.
In August 2017, Talbot made a public takeover bid for the outstanding shares of ImmoMentum. The acquired real estate portfolio had a value of CHF 266 million.
Polytech Ventures Holding SA promotes innovative start-up companies in the field of digitization. The acquisition is intended to accelerate the digital transformation of the Investits Group.