Much as in most other large cities, the rent in Shanghai varies greatly depending on the size and type of apartment you want and even the specific location. It also depends on whether or not the apartment is serviced, comes fully furnished, or has any other features that make it unique. In Shanghai, you can spend as little as $700 per month or as much as $14,000 or more for an apartment so it’s good to do your due diligence so that you can become familiar with the market and the price ranges.
If you’ve asked yourself how much is rent in Shanghai, you might be surprised by the choices you have available. For instance, some apartment buildings specialize in low-cost housing options, which means that it is possible for you to pay less and still get a decent apartment. There are some small two-bedroom apartments around People’s Square that cost around $1450 per month so if you don’t mind a smaller apartment or a roommate, you might want to look in that area.
If your budget only allows you an apartment that costs $1000 per month, it is usually best for you to contact a company whose job is to find apartments for people because finding these apartments on your own may not be easy. Keep in mind that a lot of wealthy people from all over the world come to Shanghai to live every year and just as in nearly anywhere else in the world, those people can always get a very nice place to live. Unfortunately, this can make the prices in the area rise for everyone else and that isn’t always a good thing for people on a limited budget.
Something More Specific
So the answer to the question of how much does an apartment cost in Shanghai is “it depends.” To show you how big the selection and price ranges are, here are a few apartments currently for rent in the city:
- One-bedroom loft, roughly 215 square feet, minutes away from two universities: $1550 per month
- Two-bedroom suite, roughly 500 square feet: $2770 per month
- Three-bedroom apartment, roughly 500 square feet, located in Xintiandi: $5770 per month
- One-bedroom apartment, roughly 165 square feet, located downtown: $1400 per month
- Six-bedroom house, roughly 1050 square feet, located in FFC: $15,700 per month
As you can see, the Shanghai rental market varies greatly when it comes to prices of rentals. Some of the things that directly affect the price include the exact location, how big it is, the age of the apartment building, whether it’s furnished or not, whether it’s serviced or not, whether it’s just a room or the entire home, and whether or not the apartment building caters to students, expats, or some other group.
Some apartments are leased on a per-night basis but if you’re going to live in Shanghai or stay there for long periods of time, you’ll want to avoid this arrangement because it can become too expensive for you in no time.
Before you rush out there and start looking for apartments, rooms, or houses for rent in Shanghai, there are some things that you can do to make your search much easier on you so that you’re more likely to find a home you love. These include:
- Ask as many questions as you can. You never want to sign a contract or agree to anything until you get all of your questions answered. Write the questions down so you don’t forget them.
- Test out the routes. If you want an apartment close to where you work, start by driving from your workplace to that apartment building. If you do this during work hours, it’ll give you a better idea of how long it will take you to get to work each day.
- Drive by the apartment building or house at night. This way, you can see for yourself how quiet the area is and what goes on around there after dark.
- Visit the apartment in person. Never go by pictures in a magazine to rent an apartment. Go there and see it in person so you can learn for sure if it’s the one you want. While you’re there, check out the appliances and electrical outlets to make sure that everything is working properly.
- Consider all of the types of homes available. You may want an apartment, condo, villa, house, serviced apartment, or something else. Decide beforehand what you want so that it’s easier to find it.
Many of the people looking for a place to live are expats; fortunately, there are leasing companies specifically devoted to finding these people a great place to live. Although not all expats live in the part of Shanghai known as the “city center,” many of them do. Shanghai apartments for rent for expats can include serviced apartments or shared rooms. Extra high-quality apartments for expats can cost as much as $4500 per month. However, there are also three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes in the area that cost around $2100 per month; again, a lot of it depends on the exact location and whether the apartment is furnished or serviced and how big it is. As you can see, you’ll always have a lot of options to choose from when trying to find the perfect place to live in Shanghai.
In reality, the “average” rental price for Shanghai is difficult to pinpoint because the variety of rentals is so vast. Nevertheless, it’s much easier once you become more familiar with the area and work with someone who knows just what you need.
Here are some English Speaking local house agent resources for your reference: