Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Beijing 9th Most Expensive City

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

For RMB2.00 (USD0.30) you can travel to any location on its extensive (and growing) subway network. Lasagna at a good Italian eatery in Beijing’s CBD costs only RMB 70 (USD10). How can Beijing¬† be more expensive than London? That’s what Mercer LLC’s 2009 Expatriate Cost of Living Survey says.

Beijing rentals droped 15-20% over the last year, but this year’s summer surge in relocations has caused minor rent increases at the more popular housing developments. Waiting lists at WAB & ISB, the city’s two main international schools, have all but disappeared. Yet fees remain static. The survey uses a standard expatriate basket of goods to measure price levels across the globe.

Mercer says the strengthened US dollar (to which the RMB is closely linked) has had a significant effect on rankings. The survey is intended as a guide for assessing expatriate remuneration levels.

Beijing expatriates who buy local products (groceries & petrol) and services (restaurants, drivers & maids) must be smiling.

Read more about Beijing’s expatriate cost of living here: http://www.lihong.biz/beijing-cost-of-living

Raw material shortage?

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Danish housing billboard  Danish housing billboard - close up Flying out of Copenhagen airport after the holidays, we spotted the above ad from a Danish real estate & relocation firm surprisingly targeted, not at clients, but at potential house owners about to be posted abroad, it reads:

“Would you like to lease out your home when you move abroad? Let us find a tenant who will appreciate your home as much as you do.”

In Beijing, a majority of high-end landed properties are investment properties (as are high-end apartments). In Denmark, most houses are owner occupied. Investment properties are commonly urban apartments. Denmark has traditionally had a very Danish work-force. The first batch of Indian doctors arrived last year.

On another note, my chemist cousin PA was also on the flight to Beijing. His company had put up a similar sized billboard very near the gate SAS uses for its Beijing flights. Thought it might be to impress Chinese clients coming on visits. Yes, but not quite. The firm needs people and the billboard targets potential recruits.

10 beds in 2008 [Olympics Part I]

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Last month we received an inquiry from a Danish broadsheet. They were sending 10 journalists out to cover next year’s Olympics and would need accommodation for a month. Their soon-to-be Beijing correspondent was coming out on a fact finding trip for his colleagues (and also to find his own long-term housing). Peter was consulting.

Beijing’s serviced apartments are only just starting to publish their rates for short term (1 month) guests. Rates are currently at 3-4 times the norm. Most require half of the total rent to be paid on booking and the rest on arrival. One bedrooms at the city’s mid-tier serviced apartments now rent for around RMB10,000/month. It’s not going to be cheap next year.

At Athens the Danes rented a house together that was an hour’s drive from the city. They were looking for something similar here. We put our thinking hats on. There is a house in the first phase of a Shunyi villa compound that rents for a very reasonable RMB700/day. It’s a bit run down, but perfectly inhabitable. The landlord’s representative verbally agreed to lease it to the journalists for the standard rent. Mission accomplished, the Dane returned home. A few days later, Peter calls to confirm the booking and but is told that it’s not going to happen. It will be for lease, but the landlord hasn’t decided how much he wants to charge. It won’t be RMB700′day. The Client isn’t happy.

Less price sensitive corporate guests who book early will be catered for next year. At the other end of the spectrum, less discerning back packers will (as always) be able to find shelter. Expect a myriad of home-stay and low-end homes for short-term lease. However, there will be a shortage of mid-tier options.

In Athens, a teacher could pack his personal items into his garage, lease out his suburban home at a premium and fly off to Florida for four weeks with his family on the proceeds (and have change to spare). Daily expenses would be steal for Euro earners. It won’t happen here. Middle income accommodation would be deemed unacceptable by their middle income counterparts abroad. There is a plethora of mid-tier homes for rent in the city. However, the landlords would have to forgo or shorten leases commencing August 2007 and even if the property happened to be vacant next summer, there are other factors weighing against leasing to Olympic guest. A one month Olympic lease would entail a property being de-facto unleasable for 4 months - not to mention the bedding and kitchen utensils that would have to be provided. Would you set aside r your investment property for rent during the Olympics, or rent it out next week at the standard rate to an expatriate?