The first thing you do as an expat when arriving in China (or any country), is look for a home! Finding a home in China is easy. There are numerous property agents located at most street corners or outside apartment buildings. The only issue is that if you don't speak Mandarin or Cantonese, then you may need to take a friend or colleague with you. Most Western firms that send out expats have an HR personal responsible for the expats and they will take care of showing you the homes. The next big process is getting the medical, work permit and the resident visa- all of which can take at least two months to fully complete. So, if you are thinking of coming to China and work here, then be prepared to go through the long process of first settling into your new life.
The only major risk is going to be: if you are still in the probation period (which is at least 3-6 months), then you may risk renting a flat for a year if you don't pass your probation period (that's IF you decide not to stay in China or if you decide to move to another city in China). Most landlords require you to sign a one-year lease with a two month deposit - in Beijing you may be required to give a six-month rental deposit up front. So think very carefully of the financial and personal risks you may face if things don't go as planned with your job. China is NOT cheap anymore.
The cost of rental in Shenzhen is on the increase. Back in 2009, a one-bedroom home with a 39sqm would have been around 2,500RMB a month (250 GBP), however in 2015 it is around 4,500 RMB a month (approx. 450 GBP per month). For a two-bedroom home in a nice area, you are looking at paying around 6,500RMB a month: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
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If you are an investor or a trend watcher then you may find this website useful as investing has a lot to do with personal observations and finding the ideal trend or next big thing. The average human on the street frequently knows far more about the state of the economy than politicians, university professors, subject matter experts, and financial analysts who seldom travel, or if they do so, only from one hotel to another hotel! The pulse and vibrancy of an economy is nowhere more visible than on a country's streets.
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