Courier Mail Article 29/3/2014
Lucky Homes Tap into the Asian Market
THE right street number, block shape or door placement could be your home’s key to a sale.
Yong Real Estate Sunnybank Hills’ Tom Xiao Yi said superstition and Feng Shui could make or break a home contract for Chinese buyers.
He said the right street number “played a big part” in Chinese decision-making.
“Some people won’t buy any property with a number four in there,” he said.
The number four is considered unlucky as it sounds like the Chinese word for death.
Conversely, the number eight, which sounds like the Chinese word for prosper and fortune, is considered very lucky.
Mr Xiao Yi recently sold a vacant block at 8 Sakarben St, Eight Mile Plains to Chinese buyers for $557,000 or about $1039 per sq m.
He attributed the sale to its lucky street number and block shape.
“They like rectangular land and if it gently slopes up it is good,” he said. “If it slopes up, it means the value will go up.”
Harcourts Sunnybank owner John White said blocks where the front was wider than the back were least desirable.
“It’s like a lot of show but not much behind them,” he said.
Mr White said Chinese and Hindu buyers were the most superstitious but a feature that was off-putting for one buyer could appeal to another.
He said some people hired Feng Shui masters for pre-purchase appraisals.
One such master is George Bennis of The Feng Shui Advantage who said Feng Shui was more common in Australia than many people knew and he could have eight to 12 consultations per month.
Feng Shui is tailored to individuals but Mr Bennis said some common design rules included avoiding homes at the end of long, straight roads or built below road level.
“These types of locations can create tension,” he said.
“There is a chi (ambience) pattern that can contribute to relationship disharmony.
“The aim of Feng Shui is to collect chi.”
“The most expensive real estate generally has the best Feng Shui because its got the most beautiful locations,” Mr Bennis said.
He sometimes worked with developers and investors aiming to “maximise saleability” by catering to Asian markets but most of his clients were just designing for livability.
Architect Amy Chamoun is a repeat client of Mr Bennis’ and from the latter group.
She designs homes in accordance with Feng Shui.
“It depends on people’s professions,” she said.
“It depends on their birthdate and the period of the house. It’s actually complex mathematics.”
But Mrs Chamoun said a common Feng Shui faux pas was aligning the front door with the back door as money would flow in and straight out again.