Room price guide for shared apartments - September 2017

As a foreign student moving to Shanghai, it can be difficult to find a place to live, and even more difficult to find updated information on good locations for students and the average room prices one can be expected to pay. In this regard we have you covered! Check out this simple list of what an average room costs in a shared apartment. For the sake of clarity, we will present three different prices, namely cheap, high-end, and average. To give you an idea of what these things mean,

Cheap: older renovations, single bed/double bed, smaller apartment (<100 sqm), sharing a bathroom with 2-3 people.

Average: recently renovated, double bed, mid-sized apartment (~100 sqm), sharing a bathroom with 1-2 people.

High-end: newly renovated, double bed, larger apartment (>100 sqm), private bathroom or sharing with 1-2 people, sometimes serviced apartment.

Districts in the City Center

People’s Square

  • Cheap - 3500
  • Average - 4000
  • High-end - 4500+

French Concession

  • Cheap - 3200
  • Average - 3800
  • High-end - 4400+


  • Cheap - 2800
  • Average - 3550
  • High-end - 4300+


  • Cheap - 3000
  • Average - 3600
  • End-end - 4200+

Districts in Shanghai-West

Zhongshan Park

  • Cheap - 2200
  • Average - 2700
  • High-end - 3200+

Districts in Shanghai-North

Shanghai Railway Station

  • Cheap - 2200
  • Average - 2600
  • High-end - 3000+


  • Cheap - 2000
  • Average - 2500
  • High-end - 3000+

Districts in Shanghai-East


  • Cheap - 2500
  • Average - 3500
  • High-end - 4500+

Districts in Shanghai-South


  • Cheap - 2000
  • Average - 2400
  • High-end - 2800+

A few things to note

Bills are not included: Internet, Gas, Water, Electricity, and a weekly Cleaner will add 100-400 RMB a month depending upon personal usage.

House prices in Shanghai have risen over 30% in the last year, a dramatic increase to say the least. The good news is that rental prices do not rise nearly as fast, but in the last year rental prices for rooms in shared apartments have gone up about 5-10%, so in tangible terms an increase of 50-200 RMB in the monthly rent. This increase is more dramatic in the city center than it is in the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Many buildings in Shanghai, despite being less than 10 years old, look pretty run down. The outside of the building can be dirty, entrances can have broken tiles, handrails can be rusted to red-brownish hue, and elevators will have you wondering if these are the last moments you will live on this planet. Do not be discouraged! You will see the light of day when those metallic doors part. You will be pleasantly surprised when you open the door to the apartment, as the inside of these buildings are often newly renovated. These buildings are like so many things in life, ugly on the outside, beautiful on the inside.

Another nice option for students moving to Shanghai are studios in community living buildings. Typically in these buildings, you will have a private studio, with a bed, a living room, and a private bathroom. Often you share a large kitchen with the other building tenants, and the building features services such as a bar or a coffee lounge, projector screens for movie nights, pool tables, an outdoor terrace, and organized events such as parties or bongo lessons. Typically these community living buildings are located outside the city center, but the nicer living space and extra services offered change the price/quality/location decision, making the extra commute to University or your workplace worth it. These buildings are often located in districts such as Baoshan, Hongkou, and Pudong, and typically range from 3500 - 6000 RMB a month, depending on the size of the studio and the extra services offered by the building.

If you have any questions, or are looking for a place to live check out our listings or drop us a note at