What are some good real estate in Shanghai

There are now exactly 621 Chinese who own more than a billion dollars. Nowhere else in the world are there more super-rich than in the People's Republic. The world capital of the wealthy is no longer New York or London, but Beijing, which is plagued by smog. This is why real estate prices have skyrocketed in recent years. Prices in Beijing have long been similar to those in Paris or Los Angeles. With one difference: you cannot own real estate in China, the People's Republic is a socialist country. Real estate can only be leased for 70 years.

Only citizens of the respective city are entitled to buy in large cities such as Shanghai and Beijing - this right is usually inherited. If the parents are Beijing, so is the child. No matter where it was born. The other option: You must have paid income tax and social security contributions for at least five years before you can buy. Nevertheless, the demand is unbroken.

Sometimes even the mathematics is being undermined. Some apartments are so expensive that you would need more than 70 years with the rental income to pay off the loans. But: The yield on the savings accounts is low, the state banks keep interest rates low. Many have withdrawn from the stock market. And because of strict exchange controls, the Chinese are not allowed to transfer more than $ 50,000 a year abroad. Many hope for the housing market.

Jiang Xiaobei is one of those who can afford Beijing. The 41-year-old is an actor and director. He already owns four apartments in Beijing and plans to buy another for his daughter. She is of preschool age. Together with his wife Chen Rongrong, who works as a partner in a PR agency, he lives in the northeast of the city on 200 square meters, the residential complex is called "Bing He No.1". There is a guard at the gate and just beyond the entrance there is a pretty pond with a small waterfall. Children play with their nannies. Chen asks into the house, an English-style mansion, wearing a baseball cap and leather vest. "I have another apartment in the complex that I bought a few years ago. I think the area is beautiful," he says. From the window you can see his wife parked her massive Porsche SUV. "We are now planning to buy an apartment for our child near a school," he says.

They are still undecided where. The two best universities in the country, Tsinghua University and Peking University, both have their campuses in Haidian District, in the northwest of the city. So move to Haidian? The daughter has only just turned five. "Well, that's the way it is," says Chen, "the big universities cooperate with certain high and middle schools. Those who attend these have a better chance of studying at Tsinghua or Beida later on." In order to get to the secondary schools again, it is advisable to register your child in the right elementary schools. In Haidian, of course.

"I have a friend who sold his apartment and rented a tiny apartment near one of the best elementary schools," says Chen. The problem: Apart from the universities, there is hardly anything going on in Haidian. "I don't think it's worth reducing the quality of life that way. I would feel very uncomfortable." But they haven't made up their minds yet.

The agony of choice among wealthy Beijingers, Shi Liu hears about it almost every day. She has been working as a real estate agent in Beijing for three years. She comes from Liaoning Province, in northeast China, on the border with North Korea. Buying your own apartment in Beijing? Impossible. "I can not afford that." She recently bought her for 100,000 yuan in her home province. "A small apartment on the fifth floor with no elevator. I bought it without looking at it." So that the parents are satisfied. In Beijing she shares an apartment with two other women. For this she pays 2500 yuan a month, about 320 euros, pretty much her base salary. The rest is commission. In good months, she makes 10,000 yuan. "I work 14 hours a day, six days a week."

The most attractive customers include foreigners, especially managers who have been posted. From BMW, Siemens or Volkswagen. Most real estate agents know the corporate housing subsidies in detail and adapt the offers accordingly: 30 euros per square meter is not uncommon, and there is also the different interpretation of how to determine the size of an apartment. In China, all walls are included, including the thick outer walls, which are supposed to keep the cold out in the frosty Beijing winter. In addition, the basement, lobby and elevator are allocated on a percentage basis. So if you are looking for a one hundred square meter apartment, you should visit from 160 Chinese square meters upwards.

Shi Liu herself lived in four apartments in her three years in Beijing. "In the beginning on the outskirts, the house was demolished. For a mall," she says. This is how it can be done in Beijing. The rental agreements also offer little protection. They are usually completed for a year. Increases of 40 percent can occur after this. Sometimes even during the contract period. Because: If a party terminates prematurely, two months' rent is due. Some landlords do not mind that, if they find a new tenant who is willing to pay significantly more, you get the money and sit on the street.

Like Hua Li a few years ago. She, too, knows how rich Beijingers live. She cleans her apartments. Aunt Hua is called everywhere. "Once my husband and I were evicted from our room by the police because we didn't have a permit to stay in Beijing," she said. "We waited on the street until the police left and then moved back." She was born in the desperately poor Anhui Province during the Cultural Revolution. She can hardly read and write, she attended elementary school for a few years, then she had to go to the fields, to work. In 1999 she came to Beijing. The son was ten years old at the time. The daughter of six. Meanwhile her children are also migrant workers, they live in Nanjing. She became a grandmother a few weeks ago and has not yet seen her grandson. During the Spring Festival, at the end of January, the time will come when the family will gather in their hometown in Anhui. They bought a house there with the savings. It now belongs to the son.

In Beijing, her husband and she live in a village outside the city gates, where Beijing is very rural. Where the mountains begin and you can see farmers mowing the grass with scythes. They pay 800 yuan a month for the twelve-square-meter room in a two-story building. Five days a week she takes the bus to the terminus of the subway and then into the city, and then she is on the road for two hours. A little more than the average. In no city in the world is commuting longer than in Beijing. 105 minutes every day.

In this series, the SZ reports on the subject of living in major cities around the world. The following texts have been published so far: Rome (August 17/18), Madrid (September 7/8), Tokyo (September 21/22), Istanbul (October 12/13), Tel Aviv (2 September) ./3 November) and Bern (16/17 November).