Are you looking for an apartment and plan a move in Basel, but don’t know where to start looking? We have the right article for you. We give you an overview of the housing market of Basel as well as a list of the most important online portals and places to look for an apartment in Basel.

The housing market in Basel

In general, we observe a clear decline in the number of empty dwellings in Switzerland in 2022. On 1 June 2022, there were 61 496 empty dwellings in Switzerland according to the Federal Statistical Office. This was 1.31% of the total housing stock (including single-family houses). The dwelling vacancy rate has thus fallen 0.23 percentage points year-on-year. Such a large year-on-year decline was last observed 20 years ago

Basel-Stadt is an exception to this trend. On 1 June 2021, the number of vacant dwellings was 1235, which represents a vacancy rate of 1.10%, whereas on 1 June 2022 the number of vacant dwellings was 1328, which represents a vacancy rate of 1.17%.

On the contrary, the number of vacant dwellings in the canton of Basel-Landschaft decreased from 1404 on 1 June 2021 to 1353 on 1 June 2022, representing a vacancy rate of 0.93% on 1 June 2022.

How to find an apartment in Basel?

Determine the search criteria at the beginning

First of all, you should carefully consider which criteria an apartment in Basel should satisfy. Having a list of a few criteria makes the apartment search significantly easier. The main criteria generally include: 

  • the size of the apartment
  • the location
  • the rent
  • other criteria like a parking space or the proximity of a school 

Search for the right apartment on search portals

The Internet is still the most important source for finding a suitable apartment in Basel. There are numerous real estate sites where private individuals or real estate companies can place advertisements from Basel-Stadt or Baselland. Below we have listed the most common pages for an apartment search in Basel:

As you can see, there are numerous real estate platforms on the Internet that offer apartments in Basel. But you will soon notice that on most pages more or less the same apartments are advertised. Some platforms therefore offer searchers a subscription to search for apartments according to the previously defined criteria. These will then be sent to you by email. This will save you a lot of search time and effort. 

Other platforms offer flats for rent like Ron Orp Basel and Unimarkt Basel. On both of these portals, it is mainly private individuals who publish their soon-to-be-available properties free of charge, especially if the tenants have to find a successor themselves.

Flat search on social networks

Nowadays, social networks are a must, even when looking for a flat. On facebook for example, you can find groups such as where ads for flats are posted directly by individuals. You can also post an ad directly, describing your personality and what you are looking for.

It may turn out that these groups require a prior application to the group owner to become a member.

Notice board – traditional but still relevant

It has lost much of its importance nowadays, but in some social places, housing is still advertised on the notice board. You will find them in busy places like supermarkets, shopping centres or universities. On these boards you may find an advertisement for a flat in Basel.

You can also post an ad on these notice boards mentioning the accommodation you are looking for and your contact details so that landlords can contact you.

Use your network to find a flat in Basel

Your circle of friends will increase your chances of finding a new home. Tell all your colleagues and friends that you are looking for a flat in Basel. In the best case, they will then tell their friends and acquaintances. In addition, if your relative knows the person who is vacating his or her flat, you can ask him or her to recommend you.

If you already live in Basel and are moving to Basel, contact your local housing authority. They will most likely have a large number of properties in the area and will have contacts to give you.

If someone moves out of a flat managed by a housing association, the association will be the first to know, even before an advertisement is published. It is therefore in your interest to contact your housing association to find out if a flat is going to become available soon.

Local newspapers in Basel and their advertisements for housing

Some people still use newspapers to advertise accommodation. For this reason, take the time on the tram in the morning to look at the advertisements in the local Basel newspapers. You may find a flat that meets your criteria. Find out more tips and tricks for finding a flat.

Have you just found a flat in Basel that you like?

You are interested in a flat: now what? Contact the real estate agency or the owner of the property in question and arrange a flat viewing. Be prepared for the visit and bring your application file containing an extract from the register of debtors, a letter of motivation and a copy of your identity card. Check whether you have a rental application form on the platform to fill in and submit with your application.

The Basel Tenants’ Association – In case of problems

Once you have found an apartment in Basel, everything is hopefully fine and you are happy in your new home. If this is not the case and there are disputes between you and the landlord or the property management, it is best to contact the Basel Tenants’ Association. They are the first point of contact for tenants in Basel with questions and problems relating to rent and tenancy law. On the website there are numerous informative articles on the subject of renting. You can also find your answers in our section on rules in rental properties.

Information: If your move to Basel is imminent, you can find the most important addresses in Basel here.