A Shanghai Daily story provides example number 1,029,349 why the Shanghai real estate market is so ridiculously inflated. With 47 square meter, semi-serviced studio apartments at Shanghai Centre going for $2,300 a month, it’s no wonder Shanghai consistently manages to rank as one of the most expensive cities in the world … all with the help of clueless foreign companies throwing piles of money at employee housing. According to the story:
The Shanghai Center has a range of apartments available, from studio sized 47 square meters to a four-bedroom, 384-square-meter penthouse. Rentals for the apartments range between US$2,300 and US$15,000 per month (based on yearly rental fees).
With an open living and dining area, the apartment featured has two separate balconies which look over the terrace garden and swimming pools. All of Shanghai Center’s serviced apartments come fully furnished with twice-weekly maid service and linen changes, satellite television, 24-hour customer and concierge service and use of the eighth-floor grassed terrace and children’s playground.
The best thing about these apartments, however, is that they come complete with membership to the Portman Ritz Carlton’s health club.
$15,000?! For that kind of money, Shanghaiist had better be getting Christian Bale as a personal body guard, a shirtless Brad Pitt to feed us peeled grapes, Tom Cruise to feed us our anti-depressants and Paris Hilton and her enormous feet to clean the toilet.
Shanghaiist finds it impossible to justify these kinds of prices for some of the oldest premium real estate available in the city. No one can complain about the Centre’s prime location on the bustling Nanjing West Road. (But Shanghaiist remembers an awful lot of complaining about the place when a steam pipe exploded — fortunately on a weekend when the office was empty — in the library of our first place of employment at Shanghai Centre. The place is falling apart, people.) Seriously, though. For half of the price of rent for a 47 square meter studio apartment at the Shanghai Centre, Shanghaiist guarantees we can pay for everything required to live comfortably in Shanghai for a month.
And what if our boss offered a $2,500 a month housing stipend? Damn right we’d take it! Unfortunately, Shanghaiist’s boss is actually kind of smart. Sigh.