Swiss Home Prices Approaching 1989 Bubble Levels, Warn Swiss Banks

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By Vittorio Hernandez | August 7, 2014 1:33 PM EST

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at the entrance of an office building in Zurich July 29, 2014. UBS booked a 254 million Swiss franc ($280.79 million) charge in the second quarter mainly to settle claims it helped wealthy Germans to dodge taxes, the latest in a string of lawsuits that have targeted its private banking business. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (SWITZERLAND - Tags: BUSINESS LOGO)
The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at the entrance of an office building in Zurich July 29, 2014. UBS booked a 254 million Swiss franc ($280.79 million) charge in the second quarter mainly to settle claims it helped wealthy Germans to dodge taxes, the latest in a string of lawsuits that have targeted its private banking business. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (SWITZERLAND - Tags: BUSINESS LOGO)

Risks of an impending housing bubble are threatening Switzerland's real estate market following mortgage and property price jumps during the second quarter that surpassed economic growth, Bloomberg said in a report.

The report, which cited data from UBS AG, said risks "increased marginally" from 1.22 to 1.24 points in three months ending June on the UBS Swiss Real Estate Bubble Index. Readings exceeding 2 points on the index represent a bubble.   

Bloomberg noted that the Swiss National Bank's monetary policy has successfully kept mortgage levels down which in turn caused a surge in home prices. In 2013, mortgage growth outpaced that of the economy, it said.

"At its policy review in June, the Zurich-based SNB urged banks to allot credit prudently," the report added.

"Risks for the Swiss economy have thus remained virtually constant at a high level for four quarters," Matthias Holzhey and Claudio Saputelli of UBS were quoted saying in the report.

Earlier in January, Bloomberg BusinessWeek noted that Swiss home prices are nearing 1989 bubble levels as property valuations trend five percent "lower than the market's peak," citing a report from the Swiss Bank. 

Property investors in Switzerland looking for a safe haven could take cues from foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2014 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, foreign buyers account for $92.2 billion worth of real estate transactions this year.

Real estate agents in the U.S. can tap Swiss real estate investors by using video marketing technologies and virtual tour platforms developed by RealBiz Media Group, Inc. (OTCQB: RBIZ) to market their listings.

RealBiz Media's consumer site Nestbuilder.com is a place where agents can create sophisticated virtual tours, video listings, and professional agent profiles that would allow them to build their reputation and generate new leads from around the world.

RealBiz Media also operates a Television video-on-demand network through its HomeTourNetwork division. It plans to expand its digital video network into more areas to reach over 70 million households in the United States.

According to the company's web site, its client base consists of over 60,000 real estate agents and brokers.

RealBiz Media is expanding with new key partnerships with a number of real estate and digital media companies including forms software developer zipLogix, and Atlanta-based Coldwell Banking Residential Coverage.

The company is the go-to digital marketing provider of nationally-recognized real estate firms such as Keller Williams, Era Real Estate, Century 21, and Prudential Select Properties.

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The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at the entrance of an office building in Zurich July 29, 2014. UBS booked a 254 million Swiss franc ($280.79 million) charge in the second quarter mainly to settle claims it helped wealthy Germans to dodge taxes, the latest in a string of lawsuits that have targeted its private banking business. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (SWITZERLAND - Tags: BUSINESS LOGO)
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