Home | Properties Overview and Descriptions | International Schools | Our Services | Our Fees | Contact

An Overview of Shanghai's Properties

Where to Live
Leasing Process
Short Term Rentals
Reading Room
Our Referrals

Serviced Apartments
Old Properties



Must Haves :
Language Learning
Shanghai Maps
Shanghai History
Chinese Phrasebooks
Mandarin Dictionaries


  Shanghai offers an amazing variety of rental property options - from luxurious modern houses to 50th floor serviced penthouses to 1930's lane houses to simple studio apartments and everything in between. This website will hopefully serve as a guide for some of these choices, and for whom each may be best suited. If you have questions, feel free to use the information express box located below or simply click here to contact us.
   Shanghai is a very large city with several distinct areas which offer their own housing options. As a general rule, where you live in Shanghai should usually be addressed before you decide what type of property is ideal. This will cut down on extensive commuting time for you or your kids, ensure you're living in an environment that supports your family's lifestyle and will generally ensure a much happier relocation for you.
   That said, here is a general overview of Shanghai's properties.

The Emerald

Shanghai Links

Hong Qiao Villa

  In Shanghai the words "house" and "villa" are often used to mean the same or similar things - a detached residential building. In Shanghai there exists over 300 developments which have attracted expatriate residents. Most villas are located in the suburbs of Shanghai with Hong Qiao, Pudong,  Ming Hang and Jia Ding having the most choices. The majority are located within gated neighbourhoods which are each centrally managed - some better then others . It is very common for each neighbourhood to have its own grass fields, pools, gyms and small stores. Each community also has its own security guards which monitor who can and cannot enter the premises.
  Over the past ten years specific developments and areas have attracted people from different nationalities. Often this also occurs because families will live near the respective school that offers the curriculum that they are most comfortable familiar with. Please contact us (click here) if you are looking for housing in a community amongst people of a similar nationality.
  Houses range in size from quaint 150sqm 2 bedroom cottages to enormous 9 bedroom 1100sqm houses with pools and garages.
  The interiors of houses vary wildly. Most centrally managed compounds tend to lean towards more inoffensive and subtle tones and textures, often with hardwood flooring and off-white walls. Privately owned villas often reflect the owner's taste which can vary from extremely tasteful to...well..you can imagine.
   In our experience 90% of expatriate families with kids opt for villa housing.

Miami Waters

Parkson Townhouses

  Townhouses are also often called duplexes and usually involve two attached dwellings in one free standing structure.
  In general townhouses are located in the same types of compounds as villas (see above), however it should be noted that approximately only 20% of all villa complexes offer townhouse options. There are a few developments which only offer townhouses.
  These tend to be popular with expatriates with younger kids or for couples who prefer not to have an apartment lifestyle. Most townhouses offer some small private yard areas and the option of car parking if necessary.
  Townhouses are generally smaller then villas, with most being two or three bedrooms. Because they are smaller they are generally more affordable then houses and can range from $2000 to $6000 USD per month, depending upon the location.

41 Hengshen

Shanghai Centre

  Shanghai has an incredible assortment of apartments. Due to the lack of space for villas and detached housing in the downtown areas, apartments offer a great housing alternative for expatriates who wish to enjoy Shanghai's nightlife and cultural offerings.
  There are also apartment buildings in several of the villa and townhouse complexes which are located in the suburbs. Some of these are more affordable then their downtown counterparts.
  Serviced apartments generally refer to hotel-like accomodations with a range of full service features which may involve cleaning, laundry and utility management. All units within a serviced apartment will be under the central management of one company. While often more expensive then privatey owned apartments, serviced apartments generally are much more "hassle-free" and can accomodate leasing terms of less then one year. Most serviced apartments have a gym, and often also a swimming facility which is located on the premises. Leasing contracts in serviced apartments tend to be signed between the tenant (or company) and the building management. Depending upon size, serviced apartments range in rental rates from $1000 to $11,000 USD per month. For more information on serviced apartments, please view this overview.
  "Apartments" or "non-serviced" apartments often refers to privately owned units. Most apartments in Shanghai fall under this category, and they tend to be popular for people with budgets of less then $2000USD. While private apartment tenants tend to miss out on the pre-provided cleaning and management services, these can often be arranged with outside agencies for very low costs. For more information on non-serviced apartments, please click here .
  Leasing contracts in private apartments tend to be signed between the tenant (or company) and the (often Chinese) owner of the unit.

Restored 1930's House

Old lane house

Old Lane House

  Shanghai's downtown and particularly  the French concession area have a wealth of restored older properties which are very sought after. These can range from a small single studio apartment to an entire mansion.
  The majority of these properties are from around the 1930's, when Shanghai was parceled between many colonizing nationalities. While ensuing years after 1949 lead to the destruction and damage to many of these establishments, some have been restored and returned to their glory in the past decade.
  Prices vary with old renovated properties, mostly depending upon the condition of repair, the location, the neighborhood and the view. Houses with gardens command an extremely high premium. Most lane houses will have two to four bedrooms, while detached houses will usually have three to six. The price range for old apartments tends to start at around $1500USD with prices going as high as $18,000 for complete restored houses.
  Renting old renovated properties is not for everyone, and in general we advise people who aren't sure to try something a little more predictable at first. If you are sure it is for you, we can definitely help you out.
  Leases for old properties tend to be signed between the tenant (or company) and the property owner. Usually the property owners manage the properties themselves.


Information Express
We understand how busy you are, and how time consuming it can be to research properties and schools in Shanghai. Feel free to simply ask any questions you may have and our expatriate agents will respond as soon as possible:

Your Name:
Email address: (where we will send your information)
I'm specifically looking for:


Rental Properties, School Searches, City Tours and Orientations and More!