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The AXA Occupational Benefits Mortgages Switzerland investment group invests in accordance with AXA's risk-aware investment philosophy in mortgages secured in Switzerland. The focus is on residential real estate with a low average loan-to-value ratio. The real estate that serves as collateral is very conservatively valued relative to the market by AXA's real estate appraisers. This approach results in an approximately 25% lower lending basis and provides investors with increased security. The mortgages are issued in accordance with AXA's risk-aware corporate philosophy via its distribution network across the whole of Switzerland. AXA manages mortgage volumes in excess of CHF 11.5 billion in total and has been investing in mortgages for more than 50 years.
AXA applies a risk-aware investment philosophy, and this is reflected in the AXA Occupational Benefits Mortgages Switzerland investment group. The product features the following characteristics:
Swiss mortgages are being used as an attractive investment alternative that offers security comparable with CHF-denominated bonds. Viewed historically, the yield to maturity of ten-year Swiss mortgages is around one percent higher than that of ten-year Swiss government bonds. This means that investments in mortgages can yield an extra return.
as of 12/31/2022
On the one hand, mortgages increase the level of diversification in portfolios and thus make them more stable. On the other, the period of low interest rates accelerated the shift to a preference for mortgages. Pension funds were almost forced to structure their portfolios more efficiently while interest rates remained low. The excess return of around one percentage point that mortgages offer compared with Swiss government bonds is also sure to have been a factor driving the strong demand.
The Investment Foundation AXA Occupational Benefits Mortgages Switzerland measures mortgages at market value, just like bonds. This means that changes in interest rates can cause fluctuations in the portfolio. Duration is thus a key factor with regard to mortgages. For example, AXA Occupational Benefits Mortgages Switzerland has a shorter duration than the leading benchmarks and is therefore less sensitive to interest rates, i.e. it shows less fluctuation when interest rates change.
Mortgages are also less liquid than bonds. Investments in the Investment Foundation AXA Occupational Benefits Mortgages Switzerland are possible monthly. Redemptions can also be made monthly, subject to three months' notice. Other factors to bear in mind include which types of property are being financed, where they are located, and how they are used. Residential property, for instance, is classed as less risky than commercial property. Loan-to-value ratios are important too. They are a means of gauging the probability of default on a mortgage and thus of calculating its risk.
In the case of Swiss government bonds, the borrower is the Confederation. For corporate bonds, it is a company. Swiss government bonds are seen as safe because their probability of default is very low.
When it comes to mortgages, the borrower is the individual customer. However, unlike government and corporate bonds, the loan is secured by the property it is used to finance. The mortgage lender's terms and conditions and the quality of the property are thus vitally important in terms of minimizing the risk of default.
AXA maintains high standards of security in its mortgage lending, and these are reflected in a selective approach to accepting borrowers. For example, it only allows borrowers to withdraw occupational benefits early if they have already provided at least 20% of the purchase price from their savings as equity. AXA also finances mainly owner-occupied residential property and completely excludes, for example, luxury property, vacation homes, and industrial facilities.