So, you want to find accommodation in Shenzhen, but you don’t know where to start looking. This blog is here to tell you how to get started, where to look, and tips about finding accommodation.
There are various websites that you can use that help you find accommodation. Some popular websites including www.shenzhenparty.com and www.rentinshenzhen.com. These show you apartment listings in the different districts of Shenzhen, all in English. In addition, there are Facebook and wechat groups who advertise accommodation as well, for example, there is the Shenzhen expat group on Facebook.
Although, it is advised not to take apartment listings at face value. Make sure that when you contact the agents, or landlords, you get a video of the apartment, as pictures can be photoshopped or faked a lot easier. Preferably, you would like to find a short-term accommodation option for when you arrive to Shenzhen, allowing you get used to the local area and then you can inspect the accommodation in person. There are many hotels and hostels, and you can find places through websites such as www.airbnb.com, where rooms on average are less than £30 a night.
With Keyword, however, you don't need to worry about the first month accommodation upon arrival. Every foreign teacher will be provided a decent single studio apartment, allowing you the time to find your ideal apartment.
Accommodation in Shenzhen consists of mainly apartments in high rise buildings, so it’s usually difficult to find houses for rent, with many of them having their own estates, complete with security guards 24 hours a day. It’s also different from the UK in the fact that the UK has a few main websites to use to find property, such as Rightmove and Zoopla. However, this is not the case in China. Even though there are the websites mentioned above, many expats find accommodation through Facebook groups and WeChat groups, finding different landlords and agents. In addition, Rightmove and Zoopla always show the real prices, where as in China the prices can be negotiated, and the advertised price normally is lower than the real price in order to attract more visiting.
Costs for apartments have a varying range of prices. The rent for a one or two-bedroom apartment can cost between 2000 – 10000RMB (roughly £225 - £1120), depending on the size and which district you live in. Typically, you will have to pay the price of 2 months’ rent up front as a security deposit as well as the first months rent and agency fees. It will be cheaper to get a nicer apartment if you decide to go for shared accommodation, allowing you to split the prices with others.
Shekou, Nanshan, Luohu and Futian are the more expensive districts of Shenzhen. They are all very close to the borders of Hong Kong with Luohu and Futian having a walking border. Shekou is very popular amongst foreigners, it has many western restaurants and bars located in the area, as well as international schools. Futian is home to such places as coco park, area with many clubs and bars, and the Pingan finance centre (the 4th tallest building in the world). Nanshan is a newer and greener are of Shenzhen, there are some high-end areas, such as Window of the World and Coastal City, as well as OCT (Overseas Chinese City), which known as a trendy place.
Many expats decide to live further out of the city due to the rising cost of rent. They may live in such areas as Bao’an, Longhua and Longgang. Bao’an is West of central Shenzhen, it’s a quickly developing area in Shenzhen, with its defining feature being the airport. Longhua and Longgang are further out from Central Shenzhen, making them the quieter areas, so suitable for those who do not want to experience the hustle and bustle of the more central areas.
Preferably, you would want to find accommodation that is near your training centre, or near a metro station, so it is easy to get to said centre. Accommodation near metro stations tend to be a little more expensive, but it’ll make life a lot easier. All the training centres are based in shopping malls, so they are usually close to metro stations, although some may need you to take a bus/taxi.