Giant on the move
Landlords cash in on tourist influx
All the tourists, athletes, journalists and other hangers-on flooding to Beijing for the Games need a place to stay, and with hotels already filling up fast, some landlords are more than just rubbing their hands at the prospect of a little extra cash.
One friend is desperately hunting for a new apartment after her landlord said her rent would jump nine times if she wanted to renew her contract this summer.
Beijing is worried greedy businesses could ruin the image of the Games and so hotels and restaurants have mostly promised to cap rates at high but just about reasonable levels.
The only possible consolation for those squeezed out by greedy landlords is that their former homes may end up like the hotel rooms in Athens which sat empty during the last Olympics
because of sky-high prices.
The increase in rents is not bad for all Beijingers though — and some of those who own their properties or have more reasonable landlords are getting in on the moneymaking themselves.
Property pages are scattered with ads for Olympic rentals.
And one friend has managed to hawk out his two bedroom apartment — usual rent about $1,000 a month — for $2,000 a night. More than enough to keep him and the landlord happy,
though he might not be offering to share.
Picture by Reuters/stringer