Renting an apartment in Suzhou, China EXPAT

4 Replies

Posting this out of curiosity among other posters. I have been assigned to a temporary EXPAT in Suzhou, China for 18 months. Went house hunting in the land of "condos/apartment" living. Literally, every housing "compound" is a group of 10-15 buildings that consist of around 30 stories condos. Typically gym & pool is extra fee with several parks for kids. The large differences in living is how the utilities are managed; separate A/C systems in each room, separate water heaters in each point of use; i.e. bathroom & kitchen. One of the surprising parts is price, ranging from 6000 RMB-18000 RMB for 140sqm - 200spm, this translates to $950-$2812.5USD/month for rent and the purchase prices being around 1,500,000 RMB - 8,800,000 RMB or $203,000-$1,375,000USD. Definitely not investor numbers Bigger Pockets investors seek for... However, there are many units coming online and a lot of inventory with some compounds at 75%-80% occupancy.  From this sounds like the Chinese investors are speculative appreciation investors. Also, every house comes furnished and a lot of accommodating for different items that would never be considered in the US, i.e. negotiating hard/soft bed, larger fridge, installing oven & installing a dryer. 

Hope you enjoy my experiences!

The last photo is very cloudy, the AQI is improving much better around 45-80. Suzhou is just a very foggy/cloudy city that is surrounded by lakes. 

I spent a year in Hong Kong and mainland China years ago. My 600 sq/ft "luxury" apartment looked a lot like yours. I'm 6'3" and the bed was about 5'3" with walls on either end. Good times....

I used to think it was cloudy too until I realized that it was always clear on Sundays - that's when all the factories are shut down.

The pool and gym in my complex were closed daily from 11am-1pm so as "to give people two choices - a morning or afternoon session - instead of just one". 

I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Originally posted by @Ryan Murdock :

I spent a year in Hong Kong and mainland China years ago. My 600 sq/ft "luxury" apartment looked a lot like yours. I'm 6'3" and the bed was about 5'3" with walls on either end. Good times....

I used to think it was cloudy too until I realized that it was always clear on Sundays - that's when all the factories are shut down.

The pool and gym in my complex were closed daily from 11am-1pm so as "to give people two choices - a morning or afternoon session - instead of just one". 

I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

It definitely make you appreciate the quality of life in the US. Not even the AQI or the "apartments" but the clothing and food is very expensive! I can image Hong Kong is very cramped, at least this area the apartments are much bigger this one being 1500 sq ft. I am bringing a family of 5 to compound the experience. 

@Garrett Pyros

Welcome to China! I'm not too far from you, I'm in Shanghai, but we also have a factory near Suzhou (Changshu). 

You got it right, investors can't make money on these apartments from just rental income, they just speculate. You may get lucky and find an apartment where you put 30% down and mortgage the rest, and the rental income will cover the mortgage. Not sure how often that happens though.

The AQI will usually be worse in the cold months and windy days from my experience. Definitely worth buying an air purifier while you're staying here. You can find them online or second hand fairly cheap. 

Brian

I just spent 8 days in Shanghai. Came back with incessant cough and irritated throats. Air quality in China is really horrible. But a few more years of the current governments so called environmental policies and the US will not look much better!

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