Swiss Life pays the SRG 81 million Swiss francs on a vacant Area of 6369 square meters. 12’717 CHF per square meter and the rather not-so-trendy Leutschenbach district in the North of the city of Zurich.

unveiled As the Sunday view the Deal, shook even to industry experts, the head: “Of such a price, I heard in one of the suburbs such as Zurich-Seebach never”, says Peter Schmid (59), former President of housing cooperatives in Switzerland, the regional Association of Zurich.

Less surprising is the fact that, of all things, Swiss Life paid this price, and the contract has been awarded to The life insurance group is the owner of the largest privately held real estate portfolios in Switzerland.

doubling in a decade

across The country are owned by Swiss Life 1245 property, 80 per cent of them in cities. Whether in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Bern, Lausanne, Winterthur, Lucerne, St. Gallen or Lugano, TI, Swiss Life has everywhere top-quality properties in Prime locations.

However, the real estate hunger of the life insurer is not satisfied! His property, managed by the subsidiary Livit, is every year greater. In 2009, owned, Swiss Life investment properties – real estate with rental income should be generated – to the value of eleven billion Swiss francs. By the end of 2018, this value climbed to 25 billion Swiss francs.

Why the Swiss Life, but other insurance companies and pension funds, not so keen on investment real estate, is obvious: real estate offer in times of negative interest rates, attractive yields. But why it succeeds, Swiss Life again and again, in the highly competitive real estate market, all the other interested parties out?

self-financing as a big trump card

An important reason is that the group is able to Finance its land purchases from the funds of their Insured themselves. Who is to rely – such as housing cooperatives – loans can never pay such high prices. For lenders, typically banks, to calculate the value of a property is significantly more conservative. Moreover, the banks calculate the amount of mortgage costs with a Five percent interest rate, although the current level of interest rates is significantly lower.

“these are big benefits for self-funded insurance corporations and pension funds”, says Peter Schmid. He knows what he’s talking about: The Baugenossenschaft “More than live”, which is the SRG-land adjacent to and whose President he is, was interested in the Area: “We could have a purchase price of 81 million Swiss francs, but never paid for.”

The Swiss national Bank and the financial Supervisory authority (Finma) have warned for years against excessive prices and growing risks in the Swiss real estate market, particularly in the area of investment real estate.

the SNB and the Finma therefore demand stricter rules for mortgage lending. The Problem: insurance companies such as Swiss Life, which are on the market for investment property is particularly active, would be the concern. You are not dependent on mortgages.

long-term investment horizon

Swiss Life sees no reason to restrict the acquisition of such properties: “The long-term investment horizon of real estate fits very well to the long-term liabilities from our insurance business,” says media spokesperson Tatjana stem. With real estate, the group achieved safe and long-term recurring revenues for its customers and the Insured.

In addition, the company denies that drive the prices up and to beat habitually other interested parties. Master: “That is not so. We verify all sorts of properties very accurately. In significantly less than ten percent of the real estate and projects, which are offered to us, it comes to the purchase.” This documents that Swiss Life will proceed with the selection of buying the objects selectively, and that the competition between the institutional investors working continues to be good.

If the contest also works from the point of view of the non-profit housing cooperatives, and from the point of view of the tenant, is of course a different question.