But now, the cities' mid-tier office drones, some of whom may not have enough cash saved to "commit" to an apartment, have a new low-cost housing alternative. They're called shared compartments, and they're are popping up in office buildings around Shanghai. Users pay to sleep in the compartments for a set amount of time. They're given disposable bedding to make sleeping more comfortable, and the compartments are disinfected automatically by ultraviolet light after each use.
They have been rising precipitously now for at least a decade, with an average 1,000 square foot apartment in Shanghai going for $725,000, or around five million yuan. Shanghai's average salary per month is 7,108 yuan ($1,135) or 85,300 yuan a year. That puts local property in Shanghai at about 50 times median salaries in the city, according to Forbes. By comparison, housing prices in New York City are 32 times salaries of average New Yorkers.