(Bloomberg) -- Switzerland’s national benchmark for mortgage costs rose the first time in its history, setting up thousands of tenants on the country’s high-price housing market for rent increases.

After years of decline, the reference interest rate for rents ticked from 1.25% to 1.5%, the Federal Office of Housing said on Thursday. Under Swiss law, a benchmark increase by a quarter percentage-point allows landlords to raise rents by 3%.

The increase — valid from Friday — is driven by the Swiss National Bank’s increase of borrowing costs to fight inflation. Even so, economists have warned that the subsequent wave of rent hikes might itself fan consumer-price growth.

The quarterly-calculated benchmark was introduced in 2008 and is based on the average interest rate of domestic mortgages in Swiss francs. Economists predict a further increase on at least one of the next two publication dates on Sept. 1 and Dec. 1.

While rents are set to rise, prices on Switzerland’s real estate market show signs of weakening.

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