Entry suspended, market not upended. 

Although China has continued to suspend the entry of most foreigners, Shanghai’s expatriate-quality rental market was strong over the past months, primarily due to strong demand from wealthy locals.

According to Ricky Du of Cartus, some Chinese nationals are restricted by the city’s property purchase rules and cannot buy luxury homes in Shanghai, so they turn to the expatriate rental market to look for high-quality rentals. Some Chinese executives who were working overseas returned to Shanghai during the COVID-19 pandemic and they also rent expatriate-quality units while waiting to return to their host countries.

Joey Fang of Savills suggested that young entrepreneurs from industries such as e-commerce, healthcare, and finance have also driven the demand for good quality rentals. Due to travel restrictions, many of these professionals come from provinces near Shanghai like Zhe Jiang, Jiang Su, Hu Nan, and An Hui to seek business opportunities and they rent vacant luxury rentals very quickly. Joey noted expatriate demand is so low that wealthy Chinese are dominating the luxury rental market in Shanghai. For example, in some residential areas that were predominantly populated by expatriates, the proportion of local people has now exceeded 60%.


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On-site Insight: 

This post is part of AIRINC's On-site Insight series. On-site Insight provides readers with an exclusive “behind-the-surveys” perspective of new and existing expatriate locations based on commentary and photos from our global research team. Included is information on general living conditions as well as changing costs for both Goods & Services and Housing & Utilities, along with much, much more.


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