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Housing Market in Lausanne

The market of short term and long-term housing in Lausanne is not well organized; this is mainly because the number of foreign students in Lausanne is growing as do the city. There are different websites that offer places but without efficiency and rental prices are growing up. What we propose in this project is to organize the market of housing by joining lenders and tenants in organized public auctions. We settle groups for participants in order to make fair auctions. Problems in the current market Below, we specify some renting problems that exist now in the market and the way they can be solved with our auction. One of the major problem is that people ask for preferences (the owners mainly prefer girls, French speakers, also some specific nationalities). Organizing an auction offers equal opportunities to everyone. The web-sites that distribute the existing offers in the market are mainly written in French, so the site would provide offers that have to be written in two languages (English, French). For instance, the standard options of the apartments will be written in these languages (the optional part of the description will be written at the preference of the lender/seller). Agencies ask for fees from tenants/lenders, sometimes before the agreement is made (between tenant and lender for example). Our solution will not ask for such fees, although a fee will be paid after the agreement will be made. As an initial stage we think that this fee could be erased in the first stage of the implementation of the project, in order to have more participants. Another problem is that sites are not updated frequently and may contain old information that is not available anymore. After the auction, if the apartment is not longer vacant, the apartment disappears from the offers database (the information will be consistent and the server will not be filled with inaccurate information) and the tenant’s application for a house is deactivated. On the existing sites, each lender asks for different documents and requirements. This is not flexible and is time consuming, as the tenant should prepare different applications for each room. A standardized format where a fixed number of documents/requirements are asked for both the tenant (ID, e-mail, etc) and the lender (standardized pictures, description) would make the application faster and fairer. In the description of the apartments there is an option to put additional information about the property (for instance, information about neighbors and services, stores, hospitals, etc) The government does not have control of the housing and the law protects more the lenders than the tenants. By having the support of the government we make people trust our project and use our site. If the project is just implemented for students’ accommodation, the support of the University (EPFL, UNIL) could be enough. Some people have an access to private information about availability of the apartments and sometimes the tenant selection process is not public, in this case the auction makes everyone equally informed. Another advantage of the auction is that it states true prices for the apartments with such differences as view from the window, the amount of sun entering the house, the location relative to WC, the dimension of the kitchen etc. For instance, FMEL offer fixed price for all rooms, but someone

vd. Therefore. we run the auction every two weeks (and more frequently on August and September) in order to provide fair process of establishing the price.9 new housing units per 1000 residents (in 2010).can afford paying a little more to have such opportunity and the auction give a chance to adjust prices for these conditions. The statistics of dwellings in Lausanne during 2000 was: Total 69.093 which represent 32. the total number of free rooms available in Vaud is 32. from which 9. The auction sets reasonable price for an item if there are many participants (if there are few people they can negotiate previously to make an agreement about the price).109. apart from the points where it is additionally specified).scris-lausanne. she will apply only for the specific apartments she is interested in. There were built 2. to see the details see table1 in the appendix.admin.660 6.aspx?DomId=1612 2 .bfs. because otherwise she will not take it seriously.bfs. The change of population during 2000-2010 was 10.487 #rooms 199. the number of residents per room is 0. The number of residents in Lausanne at the end of June 2011 were 135 432 2.031 were rented and the mean per meter squared was 14.asp Source des données : Ville de Lausanne .1% through migration.admin.993 61.18 francs. In this way.html http://www.pxweb.115 16.393 rooms.261 179.ch/Default. Facts about Lausanne We present some statistics of the mobility and houses in Lausanne (All numbers are taken from the official government sites1.5%.6.840 1.479 Total number of dwellings Permanently occupied Lived temporarily (HT) Unoccupied For more details Table 2 in Appendix From these dwellings 57. One person has the possibility of participating to at most 5 auctions. The number of available flats in canton Vaud in 2011 was 11.Contrôle des habitants http://www. 1 http://www. Hence.661 3.ch/bfs/portal/en/index/regionen/regionalportraets/waadt/blank/key. Concerning the housing.ch/Dialog/Saveshow.

but also there are many private schools such as Business School Lausanne and École hôtelière de Lausanne.12%.48% in average. During 2011 there were around 78 empty dwellings and the percentage of vacant housing in 2011 was 0.30% 0.557 people (given a total number of 713. we notice that the 82% arrived during September and October. The following figure shows that the non-permanent population is mainly represented by young people between 16-35 years old.20% 0.281 of people living in canton Vaud).70% 0.50% 0.90% 0.80% 0. meaning 10. In addition.10% 0. In the Table below we summarize the School .The number of non-furnished empty flats in Lausanne behaves during the last 10 years as in the next figure: 0. EPFL and UNIL.40% 0.00% 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 Table 3 of Appendix to see the details From the figure above we can observe the lack of empty places in Lausanne. Considering the new arrivals and the available housing in Lausanne we consider that the market is not complete and people with a dwelling have to be m Statistics of Students There are two large Universities in Lausanne.60% 0. The immigration has been growing through the last years. mainly foreigners arrived and Suisse people departed (Table 4). The percentage of change in population during last year was 1.

b) www.unil. we analyzed a survey of them to settle the current market and to find which problems could be solved.number of students and percentage of foreign students. The selection of the people who gets a place is not public.000 2.ch The website of EPFL and UNIL offer rooms and studios which belong to private lenders.500 1. In the case of UNIL they received 3’279 new students during last year.500 2.ch Key Statistiques EPFL. 3 http://www.000 Bachelor & master 1. they don’t show basic characteristics of place such as surface in m2 neither pictures of rooms. They present multiple options of rooms. a) FMEL (Fondation Maisons pour Etudiants) The website is in English and French. 3 Master 6. There are places that are available and there are not published. Key statistiques .000 PhD Total Foreign students Enrolled students 500 0 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 Table 5 in Appendix to see the details. As a student you can register and apply for a room. although some descriptions are just in French.117 1806 50 86 Foreign Students 36% 18% 74% 60% EPFL UNIL BSL EHL EPFL received 2. The description of the rooms are not standardized.356 new bachelor & master students in 2011 from which 52% were foreigners and 495 PhD students from which 79% were foreigners. leases and fees. Each lender fills a standard form and optionally they can add more descriptions and pictures.325 9620 100 186 PhD 2. Current market There are many websites and estate agencies in Lausanne. studios or flats. The number of foreign students in EPFL has been growing as we show in the next graph: 3.unil-epfl-logement. contracts. In UNIL we group the students of joint programs with other institution like the programs of HEC (Faculte des Hautes études commerciales).

fireplace. price. 8. rent requested. etc. move-in date. 4.The tenant can choose between flats and dependent rooms and order his preferences by price. Advantage: 1. general information about the place for rent (standard format that will be showed in different languages). Info in English. The option to add to favorites the room you searched for. Design Participants: The main feature of the project is that we will joint lenders and tenants into an organized market. Standard description: available date. street view). 7. email. Information about how much do the neighbors pay and for what type of flat. The option to compare private liability insurance and a tax calculator. from the description of the room’s page. The data basis is taken from different sites. 2.ch gathers all the advertisements of the 17 largest Swiss property market places at a glance. to maintain the liquidity of the market. they have to provide their enrollment certificate. Detailed pictures of the place (room(s). pets allowed. kitchen. we are planning to establish a fixed term of 1 year for each. dishwasher. the starting data of availability. Optional description: additional details. the private lender have to compete in prize and quality. The lenders form. tenants have to provide a proof of income (salary. corridor(s). Both parts have to register into the database. The main problem is that the offers of flats and rooms are not update. the type of accommodation and the number of rooms in the flat. comparis points and other options can sort the results. Surname. WC. Does not provide pictures mandatorily. You have the option to buy/rent a house. parking place. location. Students have to sing in. number of rooms. In the case of FMEL places. They manage around 53500 advertisements. salary of their parents or scholarship attestation). 5. given that the prices of FMEL are competitive for students. the living area and some standard (balcony. the limits of the price. 6. size of the apartment. so people who look for a room waste time e-mailing and lenders with old announcements would receive a bunch of mails for a room that is not available. The web-site does not present the offers in a standardize format and you cannot make parallel comparisons between rooms. The form of tenants includes Name. In addition. 3. . specify the town. lift. telephone. contact information of a person who will support the tenant in case of any difficulty. suitable for wheelchair) and optional requirements (lake view). with their gaspar account for EPFL and similar for other schools. includes contact information. 3. Almost all the offers are in French and the website does not offer other option of language. address. The option of requesting by mail a price alarm when the price of the flat has changed. Optional description in French. Publication date. terrace. from which in Lausanne there are 1050. in the case of students. The lender can include comments or additional information of the place. 2. Provide the data at which the announce is published Disadvantages: 1. c) Comparis. so it may be not consistent because of possible duplicates. We consider FMEL as a participant in our market. washing machine. before the auction. address.

during August and September. We provide a forum.Market dynamics We identify four groups of people for the auction. One tenant can participate in maximum five auctions at one date. or bid unserious high prices on flats where lenders do not ask for a guarantee. The lenders have the possibility to ask for a guarantee from the tenant. They are going to bid as one single tenant. If the guarantee is not paid. such as number of rooms. as now they are speculated. After the tenants depart. Our purpose is to solve the allocation of houses problem. We need more tenants to compete and to offer a good and fair price that will satisfy the lender. This is a proof of seriousness that we and moreover. 2003 . parking place. they are going to be equally informed. because otherwise he will not take it seriously. number of rooms and type of contract). and possible. would not gather enough tenants and also enough lenders. Although it is the most used. that the tenant should pay in one-week term. where they can discuss and meet each other in order to apply for a flat for the entire group. By organizing an auction. two lenders. so tenants will bid with their estimate of the price for the flat and at the end. In each auction. In addition. A sealed-bid second price auction is going to be organized. Therefore. because if they would be more often. the prices will not converge to the fair ones. the person that have bid the highest price will receive the flat at the second price offered (second after the highest). bachelor and master students. we think that the English auction is not proper for our case. one week. We will have two markets. such that: in one auction enter flats with similar features. balcony. by sending them an e-mail. we put them in the same auction. the lenders. we ask for a feedback of the room they have rented. in order to give a fair renting of that house (not only the appreciation of the lender himself). number of bathrooms. John and Marta have two. there will be several markets.4 The auctions are organized from two to two weeks. We are going to give points for each characteristic and so we put in the same auction flats with similar number of points (that we consider should have similar prices). but also similar qualities like surface. the lender’s accommodation will enter in the auction the next week (or the following auction organized). He can enter an auction and forget about it. terrace. furnished/not furnished. We chose this period. but also drag down the prices to the fair ones. the preferences problem that exists now will be solved. as the demand for houses grows in that period. The auction is second price. The tenants have the possibility to enter an auction as a group. just to make a joke. request from the tenants. 4 Swiss Federal Statistical Office-Rental prices. given that all the people will be treated equally. in which tenants will enter and bid. given that the bidders will pay more and more to receive the house. We set a centralized system where lenders are going to propose offers and tenants search for a room. The purpose of our solution is that prices of the flats sold in the auction should be fair (pay similar price for similar quality. more often. We need also many lenders. As an example. in order to compete between them and to offer a satisfying low price enough for the tenants. respectively one flat with two rooms and similar features. one for the two flats of John and one for the single flat of Marta. each for one specific lender. PhD and nonstudents. etc.

the competitors will have to set their limit of prices accordingly (the lender chooses the minimum price). but the information will be deactivated. Example of implementation. so the preferences problem is solved. . Additional information is written in preferable language (for example.4 rooms – 1-10 5 flats . respectively.4 rooms – 1-10 Estimated Price 500-700 CHF 700-900 CHF 800-1000 CHF 1000-1100 CHF 1100-1300 CHF 1300-1500 CHF 1400-1600 CHF 1600-1800 CHF 1800-2000 CHF Advantages. 10 of them between we fixed the range 700-900. The table below shows the implementation: Auction number Auction 1 Auction 2 Auction 3 Auction 4 Auction 5 Auction 6 Auction 7 Auction 8 Auction 9 Number of flats in the auction and description of them (number rooms + score) 10 flats . so that both Swiss people and the foreigners have equal opportunities to find the room they prefer. The system updates the information fast. 10 with 3 rooms and 15 with 4 rooms. and English. German. Our solution will need to be promoted in order to gain confidence. Moreover. For all the others. until the flat become free again and. The sealed-bid second price auction offers the tenants the possibility to bid the price they can afford to pay. The tenants will receive also information about similar houses as their favorites if they want. The system is designed in four languages: French. he will give optional details about the apartment in French). given that the prices will be lower. 10 with 2 rooms.1 room – 1-5 10 flats . Then. Then from the 1 room flats received a score between 1-10 and range of prices 500-700. Also. in the sense that after we match one flat of a lender with one tenant. We provide a score to each flat. we estimate that the tenants will move to our market. if a French speaker lender wants to rent his house to a French speaker. given that the demand will not exist anymore in their market. Italian.3 rooms – 5-10 5 flats .2 rooms – 1-5 5 flats .  The auction offers equal opportunities to each tenant.  The prices will be fair. We make one auction for the 1 room flats with range 500-700. considering its characteristics and the lenders selects in a group of prices according to the minimum rent they can accept. We will gain first the students. a fair price is also given by choosing the second highest price to be paid. each of them for each flat. given that FMEL houses will also enter the auction and people have a good estimation of how much they value. Prices will not grow up. we apply the same algorithm (we put in different auction flats with different number of rooms and different qualities). the tenant is looking for a new accommodation. In this auction we have ten markets. The lenders will have to move also to our market. so we are going to ask for the support of the government or EPFL/UNIL. both will remain in the system.3 rooms – 1-10 5 flats .2 rooms – 5-10 5 flats . We have 200 flats. like they would do if the tenants would start competing between each other. The idea is that the estimated prices of all the flats that enter in one auction to be the same.1 room – 1-10 5 flats . This feature is realized for standard information.4 rooms – 1-10 5 flats .one week before the auction they are going to enter. 20 with 1 room.

If they do not want. However. However. Drawbacks. so they will offer enough low prices to satisfy the tenant.  The lender cannot be sure that the person who won the auction is trustable for his room. . because we want to offer equal opportunities to everybody (so for example.   People can find faster a place to stay. The tenants will be happy entering our auction. the reason should be very good and fair. that will satisfy the lender.  The lender cannot specify the price that he would prefer for his house. given that they can bid individually and also join a group to bid together for an apartment. this is solved by establishing minimum prices that tenants can bid for the room (also maximum prices are set). to give their approval for each tenant. Many lenders will compete. preference for nationality/gender cannot be considered by us as a fair reason). Many tenants will enter the auction (we establish auctions from two to two weeks and also we assume we will reach many people in our market). such that the second highest will be very probable a pretty high one. The lenders will be happy entering our auction. We can solve this problem by establishing apartment visits with the presence of both tenants and lenders in order to offer the possibility for the lenders to know the possible tenants and also. they may ask us to forbid one person to enter in the auction. so the prices offered will be very diverse.

435 179.959 2.261 10.661 2.018 1.840 1.653 739 324 224 16.025 19.540 16.018 3.882 1.515 10. of rooms in a flat 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10+ Number of flats 2153 2853 2986 1643 761 341 148 99 49 60 Number of all rooms in all flats 2153 5710 8967 6588 3830 2082 1085 856 522 600 Table 2 Total number of residential units Permanently occupied Lived temporarily (HT) Unoccupied Total 69.772 23.139 22.993 61.585 14.610 2.620 1.224 7.545 40.Appendix Table1.115 7.487 1 piece 2 piece 3 piece 4 piece 5 piece 6 piece + Total rooms 1r 2r 3r 4r 5r 6r+ 10.704 199.943 4.660 6.764 4.523 16.628 61.422 43. Nb.708 2.278 67.479 478 886 918 592 335 270 Table 3 Total Logements de 1 pièce Logements de 2 pièces Logements de 3 pièces Logements de 4 pièces Logements de 5 pièces Logements de 6+ 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 534 279 80 151 161 165 169 227 41 75 121 78 222 131 27 42 51 32 55 73 13 16 31 28 147 84 23 31 19 41 27 54 13 23 28 13 130 43 18 41 41 50 43 45 5 22 28 22 24 14 8 19 27 28 25 38 5 6 21 12 9 6 3 13 18 10 13 13 3 6 7 0 2 1 1 5 5 4 6 4 2 2 6 3 .814 20.317 2.025 38.056 4.224 21.523 33.474 10.956 1.344 478 443 306 148 67 45 3.

257 116 755 2 641 3 016 648 . commune de Lausanne.107 31 343 1 384 1 588 294 86 201 347 173 77 .28 333 407 386 218 . 2000-2010 Suisses Total Etrangers Total Total Total Hommes Femmes Hommes Femmes Hommes Femmes 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 - 145 166 309 424 428 417 387 261 265 157 180 - 297 182 440 591 565 518 417 289 193 324 273 -1 - 442 348 749 015 993 935 804 550 458 481 453 117 499 716 810 646 310 418 604 1 649 1 745 474 383 383 787 764 642 368 502 701 1 450 1 752 627 1 1 1 1 3 3 1 500 882 503 574 288 678 920 305 099 497 101 .150 85 412 1 257 1 428 354 58 534 754 559 295 .Table 4 Mouvements migratoires(1) selon l'origine et le sexe.