Last year’s data from Diyi Caijing puts Beijing’s average rent in the not-so-desirable spotlight as China’s highest. The average rent per month, per square meter in our fair city was RMB 71.24 in 2016, an increase of 13.46 percent year on year. That puts a 130-square-meter three-bedroom apartment of at approximately RMB 9,000 a month.

For anyone living within the Third Ring Road, that’s likely to be much lower than what you’re paying, but bear in mind that this information includes data from the further outlying districts of Tongzhou and even Changping, where the cost of living is much lower.

The only city that comes close, as you might have already guessed, is our arch rival Shanghai, with RMB 66.34 per square meter per month on average in 2016, also up more than 13 percent when compared to data from 2015.

Placing themselves in third and fourth place on the list of China’s most expensive places for rent, we have the southern cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, coming in at an average of RMB 66.25 and RMB 44.47, respectively.

Capping off the list is Shijiazhuang, the capital of neighboring Hebei province, where you can find a house for almost a quarter of what you’d pay in Beijing, the only downside is that you then have to live in Shijiazhuang (sorry, SJZ, we love you really).

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