Ep. 20: Are Startups Behind the Rising Rents in Beijing?


In episode 20 of TechBuzz China, co-hosts Ying-Ying Lu and Rui Ma look into the alleged causes behind the recent 22 percent year-on-year increase in rent prices in Beijing, a rise which has sparked outrage in citizens. In addition to blaming real estate startups, some headlines have also proclaimed that the influx of venture capital and private equity into the tech sector is at the root of the problem.

In the episode, Rui and Ying-Ying take an analytical approach to break down the factors affecting the rental market — or rather, largely the middle range of the rental market — in Beijing. They start by giving an overview of the market, including citing average rental and purchase prices as a percentage of take-home pay — and the numbers aren’t pretty. Unaffordable housing is a destabilizing factor for cities everywhere, but especially in China, where overpopulation is still a nationwide challenge and home ownership is particularly prized. Our co-hosts then focus on the impact of government policies on creating opportunities that were promptly capitalized on by real estate brokerages, which spun out consumer-focused products that fit the millennial and digital native lifestyle.

Listen to the newest episode of TechBuzz China and join our co-hosts in delving into the business model of long-term rental platforms such as Ziroom and Danke, which cover about 120,000 apartments in Beijing, or about 2 percent of the market. What has been their impact on both the tech sector and the residential rental market in Beijing? Decide for yourself: are these startups really the culprits behind the spike in rents?

As always, you can find these stories and more at pandaily.com. Let us know what you think of the show by leaving us an iTunes review, like our Facebook page, and don’t forget to tweet at us at @techbuzzchina to win some swag!