Swiss property drive shows how 50p tax is driving homebuyers cuckoo

Elizabeth Fournier
INTEREST in Swiss properties has surged by 174 per cent in the last two years, as high-net-worth individuals run for the hills to escape the UK’s 50 per cent tax rate.

According to research by property website, from December 2008 to February 2009 the number of searches for properties in Switzerland rose 43 per cent, jumping by another 93 per cent the following year.

Since the UK rate hike came into force in April 2010 for those earning more than £150,000, several Swiss cantons have stepped up efforts to promote themselves in London as an attractive destination for finance professionals.

Zug, a sleepy canton in central Switzerland, has attracted an influx of global companies with its low tax rates. It now boasts around 24,000 jobs and 12,900 registered companies for its 25,000 residents.

The Swiss Federal Migration Office says that 383 British banking and financial services professionals have moved to Switzerland in 2010 – a 28 per cent increase on 2009.