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Overseas Health Insurance News: Luxury home prices in Geneva suffer slump

The price of luxury homes in Geneva is currently experiencing a slump, mainly due to proposals to cut tax breaks in the city.

Traditionally Geneva has had the highest value properties in the country, but rich expatriates are being put off by the idea that they may no longer be immune to taxation.

Add to this the fact that fewer multinational firms are moving to the city and those selling houses are finding that they have to cut their asking prices.

Properties worth six million francs (£4.2 million) or more have declined by 25 per cent in many cases in the last year, according to Sebastien Rohner of Barnes International Luxury Real Estate.

He told Bloomberg: "I've never known a slump like this before. Wealthy people are still attracted to Geneva, but they are taking their time and renting before buying."

Having more than doubled in the previous 13 years, house prices in Geneva declined for the first time this year. The average property dropped one per cent, taking it to 2.6 million francs.

That is according to figures compiled by Wuest & Partner AG, which also found that prices in the rest of the country have risen 53 per cent during the same period of more than a decade.

Robert Weinert, a market analyst at Wuest & Partner in Zurich, told the news provider: "In regions like Zurich and Lake Geneva, where house prices have reached a pretty high level, there is stagnation or a modest correction.

"Prices have reached a level where not many people can afford them."

More than 900 multinational companies have a presence in Geneva, figures from Procter & Gamble suggest.

These firms benefit from low taxes and the political stability of the region and the staff enjoy a good quality of life.

Popular ski resorts, such as Verbier and Chamonix, are just two hours drive away, offering easy access to leisure facilities.

Despite this, Claudio Saputelli, an economist at UBS, said: "We're not seeing as many expats moving to Geneva. The market has become more and more difficult for high-end apartments."

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