Taichung Apartment Rent Guide

Taichung Apartment Rent Guide

 

I spend a lot of time thinking about real estate in Taichung, so I’ve made a simple Taichung Apartment Rent Guide.  I wanted to share what I’ve found about the cost of living here in Taiwan.  Costs range quite a lot here in Taichung, but this should give you some idea about apartment rental costs.  If you’re looking at Taipei, costs are double or even triple that of Taichung, depending on what part of Taipei you’re looking at.  For those unfamiliar with Taichung’s layout and population density, I suggest reading this.

Taichung Apartment Rent

Taichung Apartment Rent is extremely affordable, but a lot depends on personal preferences.  How close do you want to live to center-city?  How new/modern do you want your accommodations?  These are important factors in terms of both your rent and overall living cost.  I find Taichung to be one of the best cities to rent in – it’s a renter’s market and you can get almost anything you want for excellent rates.

Area is described in “ping” (坪).

1坪 = 35ft² = 3.3m²

For your convenience reading this, I’ll describe the size in ft² and m².

Low-End Apartments

Apartments range in the low-cost end: you find a lot of older low-rises and cheap mid-rises.  Old low-rises were built 50-or-so years ago; these buildings are usually between 5-7  floors and are usually walk-ups.  Apartments are often around 1000ft² (93m²) and are super affordable; I find a lot of expats living in these older places paying only US$300-US$400/mo for a 3-bedroom.  The cool part of these older places are the huge spaces – you can get a 2000ft² (186m²) for US$400/mo if you hunt.

Another option is an older mid-rise or, more rarely, a low-rise, with small studio apartments – 100ft²-300ft² (9m²-28m²).  These are a steal in total cost, only; inch-for-inch, they often cost as much as luxury high-rises.  You can pay as little as US$60/mo for one of these.

Mid-Range Apartments

The mid-range is comprised mostly of 30-to-50 year-old mid-rise buildings (10-20 stories) in good condition, though some nicer low-rises still make it into the mix.  These places tend to have some amenities, such as security, underground parking, and some recreation facilities.  These are often a good compromise for people who don’t want to live in a walk-up and don’t want to pay the cost of a newer place.  It’s possible to find small studios in these mid-range buildings for US$150/mo, but it will take some hunting.  Finding a 3-bedroom in a mid-range mid-rise usually costs around US$400-US$600/mo.

High-End Apartments

Luxury living in Taichung is pretty awesome.  Taichung offers brand new high-rise buildings with amenities you can’t believe – 30-seat movie theaters, private KTV booths, private bars, indoor/outdoor swimming pools – there is some very high-end living here in Taichung, if you’re willing to pay for it.  A small studio might cost you US$300/mo and a 3-bedroom could run you over US$1000/mo, but it’s amazing what you get for it.  You’ll be paying a dollar a square foot, but you’ll also be living in a high-rise with a movie theater in the basement and an infinity pool on the roof.

A Simple Breakdown of Low/Mid/High Costs

Taichung Apartment Rent Guide 1

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So What’s Right For You?

If you’re comfortable living in a 15’x15′ room, you could find it in a 50-year-old mid-rise for US$100/mo or a 5-year-old high-rise for US$300/mo.  But that same US$300/mo would get you a 3-bedroom place in an old low-rise building, or you could spend $400/mo and possibly find a whole floor of a building to rent, if you’re willing to live a little farther from city-center.  Or spend that US$400/mo to get a 2-bedroom in a decent mid-rise…or spend US$600/mo for something bigger or closer to the hot parts of the city.  But I’ve seen sick one-bedroom luxury high-rise apartments go for  US$600/mo, or you could spend US$1000/mo and get a 3-bedroom.

It’s easy to see where, if you have roommates, your living also changes a lot.  The same building where you rent a closet for US$300/mo, you could rent a 3-bedroom with a living room and kitchen, have the same size bedroom, but have three roommates, and pay the same cost per-person.  Most expat teachers in Taichung shoot for between US$100-US$300/mo in rent.  I pay US$400/mo for my 1100ft² (100m²) mid-rise 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 2-balcony, but I think it should cost me closer to US$500/mo, so I’m not complaining.  For me, it’s simple: I hate roommates and a mid-rise gives me a standard of living I can comfortably accept.

Here’s Another Simple Breakdown

Taichung Apartment Rent Guide 2

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What Do You Really Want?

Think of how much space you want.  Then ask yourself what condition you want the place to be in and are willing to pay for it.  There are lots of 3-bedrooms out there.  Do you want a run-down 3-bedroom for US$300/mo…or a nice mid-range 3-bedroom for US$600…or do you want a luxury high-rise 3-bedroom for US$900/mo?  As an outsider, your mind must reel at these prices.  It’s crazy enough to think there’s anywhere that isn’t a crack den that costs US$300/mo for three bedrooms…but, on the other side, the thought of paying a grand for a 3-bedroom high-rise in a city of 3 million people is also pretty outrageous.  You see what I mean about Taichung being an amazing place to rent in.  What’s also true is that you’ll see few foreigners in the luxury places.  Most expats live in cheap low-rises.  A typical monthly salary for an expat is US$1500, and many look to pay only 10% of their monthly income to their rent.

It’s Different In Taiwan

A few years ago, I was living in a 1000ft² (93m²) 3-bedroom low-end apartment; it was on the 4th floor in an older low-rise, though it had an elevator.  One room was occupied by a Canadian guy and the other was an American/Taiwanese couple.  I considered the rent was overpriced at US$400/mo, so one day I mentioned an idea to them about living somewhere else. I knew of some brand-new 3-story townhouses (plus rooftops) with private underground garages going for US$600/mo.  The idea was totally shut down – the thought of paying 50% more in rent to get a significantly nicer place was outrageous to them.

You see a lot of that.  I can’t find many foreigners willing to spend over US$10 on dinner, ever.  “Cost vs Value” is something that is important to grasp when you are in Asia, because costs are so low and some products so flimsy that you really must be diligent about what you’re paying for things.  There are moments where you will compare what you’re buying to other things in Taiwan and there are times when you will compare it to prices back in The World, and both of these comparisons are good to make, to keep you fully grounded.

Let’s Go Hunting

With all that being said, I suggest that you go to the following website: http://rent.591.com.tw, which I have linked to Taichung.  It’s all in Chinese, so you’ll have to “make-do,” which should become second-nature if you plan to move here.  I recommend using Google Chrome, as it has a decent automatic translation function.  Keep in-mind that, on 591, the area of the apartment is in “ping” (坪).  Again, keep in mind that

1坪 = 35ft² = 3.3m²

Another place to look (though it has far fewer options) is http://www.tealit.com.  Using those sites, you can be in an apartment within a week of arriving in Taiwan, or you can hire my company, Sentient Solutions, LLC, to set something up for you so you can move in the day you arrive (and save a lot on hotel costs).

 

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Good luck finding the right apartment for you; I hope this Taichung Apartment Rent Guide has been of use to you.

32 thoughts on “Taichung Apartment Rent Guide

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  6. Hey man good information thanks for all that. I came upon your site and must say I enjoy your writing. I just moved to Taichung and I’m going through the shock right now, it’s quite entertaining actually. So far the I like Taiwan a lot, the people are just what I thought they’d be, quirky and friendly.

    I am looking at apartments in Beitun area for various reasons and was wondering if you had any idea of the prices in that section of the city. I would like to spend around 7000 for a studio or one bedroom and be near beitun road (because of the buses). Would you recommend any good high rises in that area? Also, do you think that 7000 is too high end for an average studio?

  7. @Myles

    Great question! First things first: Beitun.

    Beitun is a gigantic district; a lot of your pricing will depend on how far out of the city you are and how close you are to Beitun Lu. A good rule-of-thumb would be, if you’re “inside” WenXin Lu, you’re going to pay more, but depending on your situation, it might be worth it. If you plan to bus instead of scoot, you might want to look at something inside WenXin, as there will be more resources within walking distance of wherever you live.

    In terms of pricing, as this guide suggests, a lot has to do with where you choose to live. It seems you are wanting something more luxurious, which means $7000 probably isn’t terrible. A lot of studios in older buildings up there will run you $5000, actually. Like I said in the above piece, you tend to get more for your money, the more square-footage you get. I also think the offerings up in Beitun suck, especially if you’re wanting to be close to or on Beitun Lu and trying to keep to a budget (if you wanted a bigger place for $15,000, that’s very doable)…but I’m totally a West Side snob. haha

    So, having said that, take a look at this one, on ChongDe Lu.

    http://rent.591.com.tw/rent-detail-2393643.html

    It’s less than a block from the ChongDe Carrefour, which is pretty great. It’s a nice place – 25th floor – inside WenXin Lu – move-in-ready – just over 200 sqft – and even has a small sitting area. It’s over your price-range at $8500, but that includes your management fee. In my opinion, you won’t find a better deal, especially since it’s perfectly-situated between WenXin and ZhongMing (or whatever that road is called, on that side of town).

    On the other hand, there are spartan options out there, in older high-rises; this one is just over 300 sqft, but it claims to have a pool, sauna, and gym, is just a few blocks north of the one I just mentioned, on the outside of WenXin Lu, and is absolutely cut-rate at $5000 including fees:

    http://rent.591.com.tw/rent-detail-2349923.html

    Take a look at these, too:

    http://rent.591.com.tw/rent-detail-2404807.html
    http://rent.591.com.tw/rent-detail-2405560.html
    http://rent.591.com.tw/rent-detail-2411163.html
    http://rent.591.com.tw/rent-detail-2393791.html
    http://rent.591.com.tw/rent-detail-2391539.html

    ChongDe Lu seems to have more to offer than Beitun Lu, if you’re willing to compromise with location (IMO, it’s better over there, anyway).

    If none of those strike you as being what you want, your best bet is to find a friend with good Chinese skills (unless yours are passable) and go door-to-door, simply hunting for building that look to be 20+ stories and talking to the security guards. If you don’t have anyone, I’m sure my business could help provide translation assistance for you, whether it’s in-person or if it’s just a written sort of survey you could print out and hand to the guard to fill out (e.g. do you have studios, what floor, how much, any fees, etc.) so you could come back later and really negotiate.

    Hope this helps! Thanks for reading and welcome to Taiwan!

  8. Hello Mr. Fritz how are you? I have been reading your guides and they have been very helpful. I plan to maybe move to Taiwan to teach English in about 6 months or so. I’m wondering if it is easy to come by a low cost apartment where I would be able to live alone or with maybe just one other roommate? I don’t like living in yafangs (private bedroom/shared apartment). A taofang would be better, but I would still have to share the apartment with many people. I have done this before and people can be loud and make it hard to get a good night’s rest. How much would it cost for a private, low cost apartment with no kitchen, Chinese style bathroom, furnished? I don’t want to rent out a place where I have to go out and buy a bed, dressers, tables, chairs, etc. I would also preferably want to live within a reasonable walking distance from any metro station for convenience. Would this be difficult or easy to come across? Lastly, I might teach in Taipei, but any of the big cities are a possibility as they have the most job opportunities. Sorry for such a long post. I hope to hear back from you. Keep this site going please!

    Best Regards,

    Robert

    P.S. Sorry I posted this in the wrong section the first time.

  9. As the article shows, it very much depends on where you are and what you want. If you’re in Taipei, you might spend $10k-$15k a month for that; in Taichung, you should be able to get away with it for around $10k, give-or-take. If you’re 5th floor of a walk-up, you’ll get it for $7k; if you’re 14th floor of a mid-rise, it’ll be over $10k. Taichung has no metro stations so just read up about the parts of the city; stick to Nantun, Xi, Xitun, Bei, and Beitun, imo.

  10. Hello!

    I have enjoy reading your posts.
    I believe it is very helpful for people moving to Taichun to get an idea of how it is.

    I would like to ask you what would you recommend if I’m staying 2 months in Taichung. I don’t know exactly how to start looking for an apartment, I just need it to be close to “Bei” in a way to get there at least in 20minutes.
    I need a place for 3 persons.

    Do yo hace any suggestions?

  11. nicely, nicely done – I had been told to check out 591 when I am ready to find my own place, so this is a great foundation piece.

    One thing I am curious about: p/f and/or f/f places, and how much it ups the costs? I realize it will depend a LOT on the place and what is inside it – but just how common is it??? As of now, I don’t see myself buying furniture, if I am unsure how long I want to and will stay – and my previous experience in other countries has been exactly what you said: either you buy cheapola furniture, or you shell out for nicer stuff, but you just aren’t going to recoup anything of the cost when you leave.

    Or, if like in Korea, where there are large, government-run community recycling centers where things like this go to not die, then that would be a big help, too.

    • You can totally find furnished places here. I know a couple that just got a small apartment, brand new everything, furnished, 2bed/1bath/kitchen/living, <1000sqft, for $18,000/month. It's out in Taiping, which means it comes with an undergorund parking spot and includes fees, as well. I know brand new unfurnished townhouses (3 floors, 4bed/2bath, private garage) in the city that go for $18k/mo; furnished, I'd expect to pay up to $25k/mo, especially if it includes a flatscreen.

      As a rule-of-thumb, if an apartment is fully-furnished, I'd say increase a price of a place by 25% each month. Partially-furnished places are almost guaranteed to be everywhere, whether it's a fridge or a couch or whatever it may be, and it should rarely result in a price increase.

      I'd personally recommend finding an unfurnished place you really love and suffer for two months until you patch the furniture all together. You'd be amazed the random deals you find out there from departing expats - you can score their more kindly-used stuff pretty cheaply compared to what it could be worth if they didn't have two weeks to sell it before they're leaving the country. But it means living without things like a fridge, couch, microwave, or table for a month or two. But it usually works, because you're often out exploring, anyway.

      No matter what, buy a $10k mattress (or at least a $3k foam mattress pad). Even if your bed is furnished by your apartment, it's almost certainly going to be like sleeping on a slab of wood. I've slept on carpeted floors that are more comfortable than any of the beds I've had in the three different apartments I've lived in, here in Taiwan.

      • great to know.

        Also, it isn’t up above, but are normal deposits and lease lengths? ARC/work permit/residency permit required to get a place? I’m sure the company can help on the negotiations end, but in general – 1 or 2-year leases? 1st months rent + how much deposit? I’m trying to do some budgeting before the first payday hits.

  12. Deposits are generally two months rent.

    Contracts vary from 6-months to 2-years.

    Every apartment I’ve rented, I’ve done so only by giving them a copy of my passport.

    Even if a landlord says they want you to have residency, they’d rather take your money and have you bail later and they keep the deposit, compared to sitting on an empty apartment with no one to rent it. I’ve never heard of a landlord here saying no to cash.

    If you want to look at budgeting, check out my other blogs, if you haven’t already:
    http://jsphfrtz.com/cost-of-living-in-taichung/
    http://jsphfrtz.com/teaching-in-taiwan-the-basics-before-you-come/
    http://jsphfrtz.com/moving-to-taiwan-avoiding-disaster/

    • Thanks for the follow up – I got the email regarding blog entry statistics, and have been progressively working through them. Great info, and would have been really useful before I arrived here! But I’ll get it all caught up soon enough. When I get sorted on transpo and make it down your way, it would be my pleasure to pick up the bar tab!

  13. Hi! I am finding your information very helpful. My family and I are moving to Taichung later this year and I have a question. As I look for apartments on the first site you listed I am wondering if the $ amount they are showing is TWD or Yuan? The difference is significant. I tried to research it, but am just getting more confused. Thanks!

    • The character you’re referring to, I assume, is “元.”

      That word is “yuan,” which basically means “dollar” or really just “unit of currency.”

      All prices in Taiwan are priced in yuan, using New Taiwan Dollars.

      When you say “Yuan,” you mean RenMinBi, correct?

      You will never see prices listed in RMB, in Taiwan; prices will always be in NTD.

      Good luck with the move!

  14. Hey great post and a lot of helpful info. My husband and I are traveling through Taichung and will be staying for 3 months only. We are interested in the luxury furnished apts with amazing amenities that you alluded to. In addition, near a bus route (no scooters for us!), walking distance to a night market, hi speed internet and a gym in the building or facility nearby would be really awesome. If it’s only for 3 months, perhaps we could negotiate a rate since it is low season. Do any luxury high rises come to mind? Thanking you in advance, we really appreciate your advice.

  15. Hi,
    I will be coming to the China Medical University Hospital, Taichung for a 1 yr fellowship. can you suggest some affordable accommodations nearby the hospital?
    Regards,

  16. Thank you so much for this guide – I will be in Taichung soon and am looking for apartments near Xinshe, are you able to recommend anything?

  17. Your info is most useful, I will be in contact as soon as the kids finish high school and are in uni….then the parents can run away…only 2 yrs, 5 months and 12 days to go.

  18. Hello,
    My wife and I are interested in renting an apartment or a house for six month to one year. We are from the USA and are not sure if any visas come into play. we are both retired and are not seeking work, just travel and enjoyment of you beautiful country. The medium range will be good for us. The last time we were there we stayed at the Fu King in Taichung and that was nice, but for a year we would require a little more space. Any suggestions that you may lend would be greatly appreciated., Our time frame will be sometime 2015.
    Thank you.
    Michael Zimmerman
    email. mz4392@gmail.com

  19. Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing renting information for Taichung. We currently live in Taipei and are planning to move to Taichung as we are tired of the rainy weather. Can you recommend a district to live in, preferably an expat area with bakeries, cafes, organic markets nearby? We are interested in either fully furnished high end Apt or town house. Thank you for much for your recommendation.

    Deborah

  20. hello,if you are searching for a house to rent , we can help you!
    we are a estate agency in Taichung city, if you have any question,please contact us!
    Tel:04-2233-1007 or 0909-313-636

  21. Your probably not looking at this thread anymore. But it looks like I’ll most likely be moving to Taichung in the last week of August. I will be university student at Providence for about the next 2-3 years in Shalu District. I don’t have an interest in living in dorms, as I’ve been in apartments for the past 4 years. Is there an option of renting a room in a 3 bedroom for about $300 USD Mid/quality or would it be better to just rent a single room/bath with no kitchen. I don’t really cook much, and suppose I could buy a mini electric stove if permitted.

    I’ll be sure to look into your company. This is extremely helpful thank you.

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