Expensive homes leave the cash-strapped in outer orbit

( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-03-11 09:23:55

Zhao Xudong says he has shown so many apartments, either to buy or to let, to clients over the past four years that he has lost count, but he is sure of one thing: finding a home in Shanghai is fiendishly difficult.

"It's extremely hard to find the right house, especially if you are on a tight budget," says the 27-year-old, who has worked as a property agent for Shanghai Sinyi Realty Agency and Consulting Co since 2013.

Most homebuyers regret not having bought a home earlier, he says. For example, an apartment in Shanghai's downtown Xuhui district priced at 6 million yuan at the start of 2015 was selling for 10 million yuan by the end of last year. Zhao says his Chinese clients, regardless of age, income or marital status are all are trying to buy an apartment of their own in Shanghai.

"This is because Chinese people feel that if you own an apartment in a city, no matter how small, they own their own home. This is extremely important for someone coming from another city with no relatives in the new city."

The rentals business is much more stable than the overheated property market, he says. However, of all those he has helped find a rental apartment, those choosing to rent something downtown have done so only because they cannot afford to buy a home there, he says.

"I now live in an apartment far from town, but my goal is to buy a 2 million yuan apartment somewhere within the city's Outer Ring area."

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