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Places to Live in Shanghai


Shanghai is booming. There are an incredible number of new expatriates moving into Shanghai and the most popular housing developments are now running at 95-100% occupancy. Villas in prime areas are particularly affected in this respect, as are high-end luxury apartments in prime locations. Shanghai is divided into two large areas: Puxi and Pudong. Puxi is the older area on the west of the Huangpu River, while Pudong is the newer area on the east.

Due to the shear scale of building, there are so many more properties in the lower - lower-middle budget range for apartments ($1,000-3,000).This is because many of the better quality local apartment buildings are also available for lease to foreigners.

Generally speaking, singles or couples prefer living in apartments close to their office, while families with young children may prefer the suburbs because the housing compounds are enclosed and children have more freedom to ride bikes and visit other neighbors, as well as proximity to more international schools.

Pudong District

Pudong is the largest Shanghai district and lies on the east side of the Huangpu River. Although it was mostly farmland not too long ago, today it is China’s biggest commercial and financial centre. Pudong is home to the Lujiazui Financial Zone, The Stock Exchange tower and most of Shanghai’s famous buildings, such as the World Financial Centre, Jinmao Tower and Oriental Pearl Tower.

Public transport between Pudong and Puxi is excellent. There are three tunnels and four bridges (Nangpu, Yangpu, Xupu and Lupu) as well as many subway lines that reach Pudong (2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13). In particular, Line 2, which is the world’s longest at 60 km, links the city’s two major air hubs – Pudong and Hongqiao airports.

Lujiazui Area: Lujiazui Financial Zone can be seen on the east side of the Huang Pu River and is Shanghai’s most impressive finance and commercial area. It has the offices of most foreign and domestic banks, the Shanghai Stock Trade Centre as well as the new World Financial Centre and Jinmao Tower. Besides impressive office buildings, this area houses a number of well-managed residential compounds for both apartments and villas, making Lujiazui the recommended area for those wanting to live in downtown Pudong.

Jinqiao Area: This is an organised area with a suburban feel. Jinqiao Export Development Zone was developed to provide tax incentives for large multinational companies. There are plenty of villa compounds and a few high-end apartments. The area provides a large Carrefour supermarket, restaurants, bars and sports grounds. Two international schools (Dulwich and Concordia), sports grounds, and a park are all located here. Conveniently, residents are close to the Pudong Airport. Jinqiao is an idea area for families.

Kanqiao Area: This is an Industrial Zone located at the south of Pudong. There are a number of villa compounds and supermarkets due to the presence of a few international schools, such as BISS and SCIS. Compared to Jinqiao, this area is more spread out and not as well planned, with a slight rural feel. Nevertheless, Kanqiao includes some newly built shopping malls and a large number of expatriate families enjoy living in the area.

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