A Brief Guidance for Foreigners to Buy or Rent an Apartment in Shanghai

Renting an apartment is the widest choice for foreigners who have just loaded in China. For foreigners, you just need to show your identity certification, enjoying the same policies with Chinese people. If you are just arrived, and do not know anyone or speak Chinese, the fastest way to find an apartment is to check the websites in English language.

Recommendable websites:

If you have some Chinese friends who can help you, you can also check some websites in Mandarin, which provide more choices for you.

Recommendable websites:

You can also find an agency if you have already decided where to live. You just need to tell them 6001877_779957the characteristics you want, and remember to specify your budget. Don’t forget to bargain the price. This is widely accepted in China and usually you will get some small discount (within 1% and 10% according to your bargain skills).

In Shanghai, you should pay the rent monthly or, at worst, every two months. And you should pay a security deposit. Remember that the landlord may ask you for a two or three months rent deposit. However, you shouldn’t accept to pay an amount of money higher than one month of rent as a deposit.

There are some expenses beside the monthly rent you should bear, the electricity, water, gas and internet bills.

After finding an appropriate apartment, signing a lease contract is crucial.
Some necessary parts on a lease contract (the contract should be in English, better in English and Chinese):
(1) The address of the apartment
(2) The name of the landlord
(3) The renting fee, deposit fee and renting scheduling
(4) The landlord’s and your responsibilities
(5) The consequence of default

With more and more foreigners moving to Shanghai, they are not just satisfied with renting a house, they want to own the property. Although they share the same policies with natives, there are some particularities that need to be mentioned:

1. Are you qualified to buy a house?

According to the Opinions on Regulating the Access to and Administration of Foreign Investment in 20看房归来_副本the Real Estate Market issued in 2006, foreigners can only buy one property in China. Also, keep in mind that you must live in the property you purchase. Please note that you are allowed to buy residential property, commercial properties are forbidden, unless you incorporate a company in China.
(1) You must be here for 12 months first-a work residency test is applied.
(2) Do not own a house property in China before.

Jing An, Xuhui, Baoshan and Pudong districts have banned second home buying to foreigners and overseas Chinese. Banks also restricted lending to buyers of third homes by increasing down payments to 50 per cent.

Property developers are not let off the hook either, they have to pay taxes of 5% on the selling price of residential buildings that are more than twice the average price from the previous year in the same area. This was imposed in 2010.

You are allowed to get a mortgage loan, but you need at least 30% cash deposit although some banks have verbally told us they require at the time of writing, 35% or even 40%.

2. Necessary Materials:

(1) Proof that you have been working or studying in China for at least 1 year- Labor contract or visa

(2)New commercial housing
(a) Identity Certification: Passport and Residence Permit for Foreigners/ Chinese version of passport and copies,.LV-pase-3_副本
(b) Examined by Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office
(c)Dealing with the Real Estate Transaction

(3)Second-hand House
(a) Notarized Sales Contract
(b) Examined by Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office
(c) housing assessment report
(d) real surveying and mapping certificate

(4) A Chinese name: Foreigners buying property in China are required to have a Chinese name which will appear on your Real Estate Ownership Certificate together with your original name.

(5)Marriage Certificate(If not, Single Status Certificate is requisite.)

Of course, finding a real estate agent will facilitate your transaction in terms of locating appropriate target houses, preparation of transaction documents and going through government filling procedures.

Some recommendable websites:

Convenience is the only thing you should consider in finding your ideal apartment, housing price is 20090613_093407(2)also an important factor. According to a newly report on Soufang.com, Jinan, Huangpu and Luwan Districts are leading the price, almost 40000rmb/㎡, Changning and Xuhui Districts follow closely, from 33000 to 37000rmb㎡, Yangpu, Hongkou, Pudong and Putuo Districts shares the price from 26000-30000㎡, the price in Minghang and Baosahn Districts is quite reasonable, around 20000rmb/㎡, Chongming, Fengxian and Jinshan Districts is the lowest, about 10000rmb/㎡.

Notice: The sales contract needs to be notarized.


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