Samih Sawiris is causing rents and property prices to explode in Andermatt

Since Samih Sawiris (64) started the major investment offensive in Andermatt UR in 2009, a new wind has been blowing in the farming village. New hotels in the upscale segment, new holiday apartments and villas, a concert hall, a golf course or new ski lifts and slopes: the face of the transit point on the way to the Gotthard Pass has changed drastically.

The population is feeling this in an ambivalent way. Sawiris has torn the whole Urserental from its slumber for tourists. But with the pure luxury strategy of the Egyptian billionaire, rents and property prices are skyrocketing. That doesn’t go down well with everyone.

Andermatt is becoming an expensive place

The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts examined the long-term consequences of the tourism project in several studies. On Friday, she presented the fourth and final partial study for 2019 and 2020.

According to the study, rental rates have risen by around 45 to 50 percent since 2010. A price increase was especially noticeable from 2017 onwards. For comparison: In Altdorf, the capital of Uri, rents rose by only 5 percent.

There were also sharp price increases for residential property. The prices for single-family houses soared by up to 500 percent – and that within 14 years! Even the prices for condominiums rose by 200 percent in the same period, making them an unaffordable commodity for many Andermatt residents.

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