Just two years ago, I wrote about our last search for a piece of domestic tranquility in the housing market (Wanted: Sanity in the Housing Market). Although we found a reasonable solution to our would-be rent hike of 50% back then – we moved – two years later, we are faced with a similar problem. Our current landlord, who we actually get along with well enough, has decided he needs to raise the rent to the market rate after we kept it locked down in a two-year contract (he wouldn’t acquiesce to three years). The proposed increase in rent of RMB3000 represents about a 35% increase. Sadly, this would put our flat at the going rate for our neighborhood. In fact, for the past two years, we have been paying lower rent than our Chinese neighbors. This makes it difficult for me to be upset with the landlord, who deserves to get what the market will bare, but frustrates me no end that someone can think it reasonable to try and increase rent by such an absurd amount. My Middle Kingdom for rent control!
Clearly the solution to this conundrum is to simply move, but moving the three of us two years ago was bad enough. Now there are five of us and I’m not really that eager to move apartments again. Still, there are 3000 reasons a month to at least look into the housing market again. Sigh.
The sad truth about Beijing is that the cost of housing, education, and inflation for basic things like, oh say food, are outpacing what would otherwise be considered great annual increases in salary. Unfortunately, 3000 reasons to move is also another 3000 reasons to leave for saner pastures.
photo by Flickr user oscareph