Alt Data on Rental Housing in China

China rental housing sector will be getting more attention with two major providers recently filing for the IPOs in the US.

Real Estate Foresight published a primer on the sector, “ULTRA China – Urban Long Term Rental Apartments” a year ago (available on request for institutional investors and funds). At Robotic Online Intelligence (ROI), we have been since tracking changes in the sample of the published asking prices for such rental apartments from a number of major players, gradually developing an alternative data set. As an illustration – the chart below refers to the listings from one of the providers across several major cities, for the shared unit product type – in terms of the July 2019 price (RMB/sqm/month) and the price percentage change since January. Only a slight increase in aggregate over the Jan-Jul 2019 period (mean +2.3%, median +1.2%) but lots of cases in the -10% to +10% range. Keeping in mind that this captures only those units that remained available on the market or went on and off with short leases.