There are basically three major types of apartments in Shanghai. They are service apartments, newly built communities, and old simple apartments.
For example, the Chang Fa Garden (map) at 290 Pan Yu Rd. has good location. They have satellite TV and large clubs (in a five star hotel nearby). The rent price is 6000-8000 RMB per month for a 100 sq. meter apartment with two bed rooms and a guest room. Many foreigners choose this kind of apartment. They offer hotel like services.
There is a piece of very interesting history service apartments like Chang Fa Garden. If the service apartment was built before 2000, chances are, they were foriegner-oriented apartments, which only foreigners could buy. Meanwhile, foreigners were not allowed to buy non-foreigner-oriented apartments. There is a big price gap between. Chang Fa Garden was label a price of 3000 USD per sq. meter when it was sent to market while local apartments nearby only costs around 5000 RMB per sq. meter in 2000. If you are interested, the current sale price for Chang Fa garden is around 10000 RMB per sq. meter.
These apartments tend to be old and the furniture may be out of date. However, they have very good locations. There are some newly built service apartments and their price will be higher.
Newly Built Communities
Vanke Waltz Garden, which I bought, is an example. These are very good choice since they offer good view, safety and brand new houses. It takes 5000-6000 RMB to rent an 98 sq. meter apartment there, although this is already relatively far away from Xujiahui (3.3 km).
Old Simple Houses
In Shanghai, the most impressive buildings were the Old houses. I mean the house built after 1950. They look ugly and are similar. They are typically 6 stories with a flat roof. Local people will choose these apartments and seldom do I see a foreigner will like it. It should cost 2000 RMB to rent a small apartment with 60 sq. meter around the area of Chang Fa Garden (I marked it in the map in my second paragraph).
Where should I look for Apartment
John sent me mail and asked (quoted with permission)
I am regular reader of your website. I love it. I would like to ask you a few questions about apartment in shanghai. I will be moving there soon to live. Can you recommend me a few websites that I can go and rent an apartment. After work, I need night life to survive, so i really need something close to bars, night club, disco, shopping and foods etc… do you know which area is best for me? oh, safety is also important for me.
Thanks so much!!
I would definitely suggest the Xuhui District, Jin’An District and east part of Changning District. I marked the “good areas” in my mind in the map below.
If night life is important for you, never think of living in Pudong. The quite and dark night there will kill you.
Update: Open for Apartment Submission. May 27, 2004
Since this page is No. 1 search result in google for keywords rent apartment shanghai, it may be a good service for people renting aparments and people who look for an apartment in Shanghai. If you have an apartment to rent, please submit your apartment infomation to me via Apartment Offered Form.
Update: December 2, 2004
A cheap house at Panyu road available for rent immediately. 360 USD/month (Rent out. Not available now)