For most of us, successfully buying or investing in property comes down to a few things – prior planning, organisation, knowledge, negotiation and a bit of luck.
For Chinese property investors, luck plays a much larger role than you might realise. The fortune and energy associated with a property can help a Chinese investor determine if a property will be a good investment and can often mean the difference between making a purchase or walking away.
In recognition of Chinese New Year (the year of the rooster begins on the 28th of January 2017), we take a look at some of the property superstitions Chinese investors consider when buying or selling property.
- Numbers and chi
- Property is a numbers game
- Feng Shui and the block of land
- Road type and house positioning
- Home layout and inside the home
Numbers and chi
While there a lot of factors that determine if a property is lucky or not, it generally revolves around two main Chinese belief systems – feng shui and numerology.
Feng shui is about balancing the energy (positive energy is called “chi”; bad energy is “cha”) in any given space to ensure good fortune, while numerology refers to the significance of numbers and the relationship between numbers and real life events.
Many Real Estate agents in Australia – and around the world – are increasingly considering these beliefs when selling property to the growing Chinese property investor market and incorporating them where possible in order to cater to this type of buyer.
Property is a numbers game
For Chinese, certain numbers are associated with good luck with others signify bad fortune and are avoided. For example, six and nine are generally considered lucky numbers and eight is the most auspicious number of all, as when spoken aloud it sounds similar to the Chinese word for ‘fortune’ and ‘prosper’. On the other hand, the number four is considered unlucky and avoided as it sounds like the Chinese word for death.
So how does this affect a property purchase? It could relate to the street number of the house, the selling price, the date of an auction or purchase date, among other things.
While it may seem straight forward, numerology is often more complex than certain numbers being either lucky or unlucky. Numerology varies between individuals and is calculated using complex maths taking into account one’s birthdate, family information and other information relating to the property.
Feng Shui and the block of land
The shape and orientation of the block of land in question can tell a Chinese investor a lot about that property’s fortune. A yard that slopes up is auspicious as it signifies that the land’s value will also go up. A rectangular block is considered good luck while a block of land that is wider at the front than at the back will often be avoided as it suggests a lot of show with not much substance.
Road type and house positioning
According to feng shui principles, homes at the end of T-intersections or on long straight roads should be avoided. This is because chi accelerates too quickly along straight paths and can turn into negative energy (sha). Chi is said to travel in a natural curve, so a house on a gently winding street is ideal. It should also be a quiet street as heavy traffic can also disrupt the natural flow of chi. Furthermore, homes below street level are avoided as they can create relationship tensions, as should north facing homes which can bring ruin to a family.
These next factors suggest why some locations are more popular with Chinese investors than other locations. A home that has water views is considered highly lucky as water is one of the only bodies that can hold chi. A mountainous backdrop is also desirable as it will protect a home from strong winds which can carry good luck and energy away.
Home layout and inside the home
As already mentioned, Chi is said to travel in a curved or winding shape and for this reason it is also considered lucky to have curved architecture or spherical shapes in a home. But there are a few big feng shui no-nos to consider when it comes to a home’s layout. It is bad luck for the front and back doors of a home to be aligned, as any money or luck that flows into the home will flow straight through and back out. A staircase positioned directly at the front door or entry also signifies a loss or money. Be mindful of bedroom layout too – the foot of a bed should not directly face the bedroom door. This is highly symbolic of death and encourages death to come and visit in your sleep. The entrance of a home will also tell a Chinese investor a lot about its fortune. It is ideal if the entry door is placed towards the left hand side of the home with a curved path leading to it – a straight path can lead evil spirits straight into the home. Furthermore, a lamp post positioned directly in front of a home can bring misfortune, while a tree at the entrance can affect the balance of energies.
Happy Chinese New Year to all – may this year bring good fortune in all aspects of your investing.
If you’re now panicking about your north facing, main road property at number 44 with its aligned front and back doors, make your own good luck and request a property depreciation estimate today.