An assignment in Asia presents a huge opportunity for early career employees, it also presents some very big challenges. Housing costs in cities like Tokyo or Shanghai often don’t align with internship salaries. When one bedroom apartments come at a premium, looking outside that market to new housing models during the home finding can be a solution for many.
Small studio hotel rooms have served as the next-best option for lower budget properties. For those assignees dedicated to privacy, these properties are a great solution. If, however the option to share some amenities is agreeable, more doors can open.
Developers in cities such as Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing have seen the need for affordable housing and are leading the way with a good solution: shared spaces. In these large cities there are actually now some quite attractive options if assignees are willing to share some facilities, such as dining and living areas, kitchens, clothes washing facilities, and in the many cheaper options bathrooms and shower/bathing facilities.
There are a plethora of options and kinds of shared housing to choose from, but in many cases properties have been re-furbished especially for house share models. This means each room is completely separate and secure. For a slightly higher fee, often these separate rooms will have their own toilet and showering facilities. These are the more expensive shared facilities. It is also very common for shared facilities to include toilets and bathing, in which case prices are a little lower. However, in most cases, the room contracted is “owned” by the individual, and is typically accessible by key or other secure means, so that personal items can be kept safe, and residents can sleep with security.
There are a large range in prices which depend on room size, location, the facilities, location and quality of construction. Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing have units available anywhere from USD $300.00 per month up to USD $1,000 per month for a shared room. Of course, as the rooms get bigger (or if there are 2 rooms for example) pricing can become closer and closer to traditional furnished apartments of 1 or 2 bedrooms. This occurs more frequently when there are option priced between USD $1,000 and USD $2,000.
Opting for a shared space does come with it’s own set of challenges. Language barriers can make securing properties a challenge as well as making sure to avoid any unfavorable lease terms or, in some cases scams. Whether a local provider is found or one of the growing number of internationally-run establishments is uses, support for navigating these options can still be critical.