Are you looking for an apartment and plan a move in Bern, 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 Bern.

The housing market in Bern

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.

In the canton of Bern, the total number of vacant dwellings according to the building and housing statistics (StarBL) was 9312 on 1 June 2021 and 8633 on 1 June 2022. Thus, the vacancy rate fell from 1.61% to 1.48% between 1 June 2021 and 1 June 2022.

Three-room flats are the most available on the Bernese real estate market, accounting for 3112 vacant units out of the total number of available units.

How to find an apartment in Bern?

Determine the search criteria at the beginning

First of all, you should carefully consider which criteria an apartment in Bern 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

As always, the Internet is the best address when it comes to finding accommodation in Bern. The following portals are available to you:

As you can see, there are many ways to find an apartment in Bern on the Internet. But during your research you will soon notice that the same apartments are advertised on most portals. A sensible tip for finding accommodation on the Internet is therefore to create a search subscription. Most real estate websites offer this option. The search subscription searches for suitable apartments according to the criteria you have specified and sends them to you by e-mail. This saves you time and tedious scrolling through the offers.

Look for an apartment on “Ron Orp Bern“. Under the heading “Real Estate” private persons can advertise apartments and/or shared flat rooms. Go there every now and then when you are looking for an apartment, it is certainly worthwhile.

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 Bern.

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 Bern

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 Bern. 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 Bern and are moving to Bern, 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 Bern 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 Bern 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 Bern 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.

Bern Tenants’ Association – The first point of contact for problems

If you have found your dream apartment in Bern, then hopefully everything is fine and you will be able to move without any difficulties. However, if problems arise again and again with the property management or the neighbors, please contact the Tenants’ Association of Bern. The tenants’ association is the first point of contact in rental disputes and problems and specializes in questions regarding rental law. On the website you will also find numerous articles on the topics of rent and tenancy law. You can also find your answers in our section on rules in rental properties.

Information: If the move to Bern is imminent, you will find here the most important addresses in Bern.