Shanghai’s landlords face difficulty seeking tenants as rents fall as much as 20% in the city amid COVID-control measures. 

The South China Morning Post cited a property data provider, creprice.cn, reporting that monthly rent in the city fell 5.6% in September to $14.20 (103 yuan) per square meter. 

A real estate agency owner in Shanghai told the news outlet, “Homeowners are disappointed” with the falling housing demand.

He added, “High-end homes cannot find tenants unless the landlords agree to cut the rates by at least 20%.”

Four months ago, when the authorities lifted a two-month lockdown that confined 25 million residents to their homes, the monthly rent for a three-bedroom apartment in downtown Shanghai was about $2,760 (20,000 yuan). 

Today, the rent for the same apartment is about $2,070, as vacancies have surged across the financial hub. Moreover, as authorities strengthen COVID-control measures, many residents and foreign ex-pats leave the city to avoid being trapped again, causing more rents to decline.

In late March, the financial hub imposed sweeping two-month lockdowns, severely disrupting business operations and residents’ daily life activities.

Even after the lockdown was lifted, Shanghai gave no sign of relaxing the “zero-COVID” policy as it planned to build a permanent quarantine center that can house thousands of people. 

Earlier this month, Shanghai and other megacities saw infections surge after a week-long national holiday. As a result, authorities required schools, bars, entertainment venues, and tourist spots to shut down. 

The city announced that all 16 districts would undergo routine COVID testing at least twice a week until November 10.
Earlier this month, Reuters cited data from the China Index Academy, reporting that Shanghai property sales by floor area dropped 47% during the National Holiday.

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