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Housing in Lugano

Lugano is a city with some of the most beautiful scenery in Switzerland; taking the plunge and moving there will not disappoint. Here in our guide, you will find information on visas, permits, and housing to help you with your relocation.
Homes on the shore of Lake Lugano are notoriously expensive.

Where to Live — It All Depends on Your Budget

Lugano’s most desired neighborhoods are usually those overlooking the beautiful panorama of the lake and offering close views of either Mount Brè or Mount San Salvatore. Therefore, the slopes of these mountains typically offer the most stunning — and most expensive — homes.

If you do not have an extensive budget, avoid the south-facing residential areas of Castagnola, Montagnola, and Ruvigliana. Instead, try to aim for areas within Lugano itself. This will give you better access to public transportation and the conveniences of city life. The suburb Massagno is also particularly popular among newcomers to the city.

The Big Question: Rent or Buy?

It is an interesting fact that just under 60 percent of the Swiss population rents, rather than buys, their property. This makes your accommodation arrangements more flexible. Rental agreements are often open ended with a legal minimum notice period of three months.

Given the city’s standing as a popular tourist destination, the overall value of property is high in Lugano but still slightly cheaper than in cities such as Geneva and Zurich. Apartments are usually rented unfurnished, and the price will exclude both maintenance and utility costs.

If you are an EU/EFTA citizen with a Swiss residence permit and wish to buy property in Switzerland, you have the same rights as Swiss citizens. Third-country nationals, on the other hand, need a C residence permit in order to be eligible to purchase property. In other cases, or if you wish to purchase a holiday apartment or second home, the Swiss Federal Law on the Acquisition of Property by Persons Abroad applies, and you will require a special permit.

Searching for Property in Lugano

It is tempting to use a real estate agent to look for your ideal property in Lugano. They certainly have the advantage of breaking down the language barrier. However, real estate agents are known to be expensive, especially in Lugano. Using a relocation company is one alternative.

Or you can choose to search for your property in Lugano yourself. Of course, this will save you the cost of using an estate agent, but it also comes with some negatives. Even if property searching sites might be in English, the Swiss owners will most likely only speak Italian, or possibly German, so you should be confident in your language skills.

There is also the problem of viewing: it is not advisable to buy or rent a property without taking a look at it yourself. Best visit Lugano prior to moving to the city or take up temporary accommodation when you arrive to give yourself enough time to look for the perfect home in Lugano.

The following are some useful English-language websites for searching for property in Lugano:


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Andrey Vasilyev

"I was able to connect with other expats in Zurich who enjoy cycling as much as I do and organize weekly rides."

Elin Gustavson

"At the first InterNations event that I attended, I met my wonderful partner. We now live together in a flat next to the Limmat."

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