China Guide

Shanghai Real Estate Guide to Shanghai Property, Market Agencies

As one of the most westernised cities of China, Shanghai is a popular place for foreigners to buy property. Often regarded as the ‘Paris of China’, Shanghai offers a range of property from the most basic to luxurious apartments and villas. The biggest thing to overcome is the prices which have stayed inflated while many Shanghai real estate agents will hold out for those house hunters willing to pay the price. Therefore finding property owners willing to negotiate lower prices can be hard to come by.

Most expats choose to look for their Shanghai real estate in and around the French Concession, Luwan, Xuhui and Changning. Once you have decided which area to buy or rent in, it is best to get the services of a good real estate agent and lawyer. It is important that you be familiar with the rules and regulations surrounding foreigners buying or securing property in Shanghai before spending time and money on the search process. Usually foreigners need to have worked for over a year before they are officially allowed to purchase Shanghai property and often when renting, a six month contract will need to be signed.

Once you have assessed that you are legally allowed to rent or buy property here, finding a good real estate agency to help you in your search can be tricky. For the most part, the bigger name agents are what you should be after as they are often the most reliable and have a bigger network of contacts. Make sure you check their portfolios and websites while making an emphasis on how long they have been in business for.

Two places you might want to check out are:

Phoenix Property AgencyPhoenix Property Agency (1336 Huashan Road, Shanghai) they have been around for over ten years and is one of the biggest expat orientated agencies in Shanghai.

Shanghai Baihe Real Estate Co. LtdShanghai Baihe Real Estate Co. Ltd (1289 West Yan An Road, Shanghai) they can help with both renting and purchasing in and around Shanghai and are noted for their approachability.

After finding an agent, you can go out searching for that perfect property. Price wise, even through the economic challenges of the last few years, apartments have generally stayed at the same price with little change in the market.

When getting down to the nitty gritty, be sure to negotiate the price as the asking price is usually inflated. Try to get them to pay the property tax which is usually 1.5% of the total cost of the property and any other fees so you are not paying these on top of the property price. A good agent should be able to give you good advice on this however it can be worth getting a second opinion.