Mortgage interest rate update and what mortgages have to do with sustainability

After the ECB announced at the end of October that it would not be raising interest rates any further for the time being, the Fed also announced on 1 November that it would not be raising its key interest rate this time. These decisions also have an impact on mortgage interest rates in Switzerland.

A few weeks ago, the average for a 5-year fixed-rate mortgage, for example, was still just under 2,50%. In the meantime, depending on the provider, it is already possible to fix at just under 2.0% with optimal financing. Depending on the situation, a fixed-rate mortgage is therefore once again more interesting than the SARON variant. Here, the key interest rate remains at 1.75%, plus the lender's margin. Based on the recent decisions by the ECB and FED, it can now be assumed that the SNB will also leave the key interest rate at this level for the time being. However, similar to Thomas Jordan's last decision, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also reserves the right to raise the rate further.

The Fed is leaving its interest rate arrows in the quiver, but is ready to shoot another one at any time.

commented economist Bastian Hepperle, for example. The coming months will show whether the decisions taken so far are sufficient to achieve the desired inflation target. What is clear is that we still have a long way to go and various current events whose development is difficult to predict.

Sustainability and mortgages

At over 25%, the property sector is now increasingly identified as one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions. The demand for financing in the property sector remains high, but the pressure from customers, regulators and the public has intensified significantly.

The fact that the property sector plays a significant role in climate change also requires a rethink in the world of finance. Banks and other lenders must not only satisfy customers' need for housing finance, but also make their contribution to CO2 reduction by promoting and supporting energy-efficient refurbishment measures wherever possible and sensible.

From a risk perspective, banks are faced with the challenge of dealing with the environmental and social risks associated with property investments. Lenders must include environmentally and socially responsible criteria in their evaluation and risk assessment. Banks are therefore forced to adapt in the areas of advice, processes and products. They need to develop more sustainable mortgage solutions that encourage customers to make more environmentally friendly decisions. Advice on green property and energy-efficient renovations is becoming a key component and is already firmly established today. Swiss Banking - ESG Guidelines. (Environmental, Social and Governance). Consultants therefore sensitise, motivate and inform their clients early on in the process about the options for energy-efficient renovations. Various lenders are already supporting them today, for example by covering the costs of clarifying such refurbishments, providing the relevant tools or granting interest rate reductions.

Tax deduction for sustainable refurbishments

Tax deductions for sustainable renovations should also be considered in more detail in advance. Each canton has a different interpretation of what can be deducted from income tax or later from property gains tax and in what proportion. There are also different regulations regarding subsidies.

How your financial planner can help you

Your financial planner is able to draw your attention to various aspects, including property and mortgages, as part of a holistic financial planning process. They will point out possible risks or opportunities based on your personal circumstances and help you to prepare for them in the best possible way. Under you will find more helpful Guidebook for the topics of taxes, pension provision, estate planning, real estate and investing.