5-year price growth: 27.5 percent
As home to some of the world's most expensive cities with some of the world's most coveted real estate, Switzerland has seen property prices boom in the past five years.
Ultra-low interest rates meant to put a lid on the surging franc and slowing growth have sparked the surge. A real estate bubble index published by UBS hit its highest level in nearly 20 years in the fourth quarter of 2011. The index rose to 0.80 points, close to 1, when the market is considered risky.
The Swiss National Bank has also repeatedly pledged to stem what it views as excessive mortgage lending. The OECD, meanwhile, warned in January that Switzerland needed to take steps like phasing out tax allowances on interestexpenses to rein in credit in order to avoid a housing bubble.
According to Knight Frank, out of 63 cities surveyed worldwide in 2011, Switzerland's St. Moritz, Gstaad, and Geneva were among the 10 most-expensive places, measured by square-meter costs.
The average square-meter price of a prime property in Geneva was $31,900 in the fourth quarter of 2011, while the square-foot cost was $3,000.
Pictured left: Switzerland's Lower Engadine Valley.