Finding an apartment in Shenzhen is easy! If you are very rich... Shenzhen is one of the most expensive Chinese cities to live. This is largely because of the ridiculously high housing prices. People earn a few thousand RMB per month, but one square meter will already cost 20.000 RMB and often more. A further complication is that Shenzhen is very big. Traditionally many foreigners live in the Shekou area, an area of Nanshan district in the south-west of Shenzhen on a peninsula close to Hong Kong. Still today most foreigners live in Shekou and it's a nice area, but why limit yourself just to one area, when Shenzhen has much more to offer? This article will give you an overview of the city to help you find an apartment and also give some advice about what to pay attention to.
Apartments for rent in Shenzhen
From left (West) to right (East) we have:
To the north of Nanshan is Bao'an district, but few foreigners want to live there because it's much less convenient. Take a look at my article about Shenzhen for a short summary about the three main districts. You can find more maps on the page dedicated to maps of Shenzhen.
Both Nanshan and Futian are good for living I think. Shekou is nice, but it's a bit further away from the main shopping malls and facilities such as library. It has more empty space which is good for cycling though and there are enough bars and restaurants for anyone :) Not so many live in Luohu, and those that do live there, mostly live close to the border with Hong Kong and Futian district I believe.
As I mentioned before, house prices in Shenzhen are high, but there are lots of different options from affordable to very expensive. You can rent a tiny 1 bedroom apartment of about 35m2 for about 2500 RMB/month in Futian or Nanshan district. I suggest that you go for at least 70m2 for a family of two though and that will probably cost you around 3500-4000 RMB/month. For larger apartments in normal Chinese communities you will have to think about 7000+ RMB/month.
Then there are the luxury apartments in various very good locations. Those often cost over 10.000 RMB/month and I have seen them go as high as 25.000 RMB/month, which i think is crazy, but if your employer pays for it, why not :) There are literally hundreds of small real-estate agents throughout the city.
Some English websites where you can look-up prices:
Keep in mind that these are often targeting (rich) expats. You do get nice accommodation, but the price is often a bit higher than what you could find if you shop around by yourself and bargain a bit. To help you with that, here are some Chinese websites for Shenzhen:
Read more about living costs here .
Utility bills + management fees
For two persons living in a 70m2 apartment in Futian district:
So you will probably pay at least 400 RMB, and likely around 800+ RMB per month in total costs.
For a long time the house prices have only gone one way: up! Since 2010 the government has taken various steps to try to control the rise of the house prices. I believe this is a good thing, because ordinary people cannot afford a house anymore. This makes it harder to predict whether or not you should buy a house currently though. The last couple of months the house prices have been stable, but the transaction volume has gone totally down. Almost nobody seems to buy houses now, everybody is waiting to see what happens next. Furthermore there are macro-changes in China related to the one-child policy. It was introduced around 1980 and it means that gradually the population growth is slowing and there will be less demand for houses. Some researchers believe the peak will happen within 20 years and after that there will be too many houses. Perhaps that will just mean the end of the one-child policy, but for now it means extra uncertainty. Take this into account before you rush to buy a house!
Example of real estate advertisements you will find everywhere in Shenzhen
On the top is the name of the community (red letters).
Next in blue how many rooms (for example 3 bedrooms, 1 living room) + size (100m2)
In black it says some characteristic about the house ('good decoration' 'quiet' or 'good light')
and then finally the price for renting per month
|Last Updated ( Monday, 06 December 2010 )|
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