Australians adding Feng shui to lure Chinese Property Buyers

Home sellers across NSW are tearing up their gardens and rearranging their houses and, in some cases, changing their street address to appeal to a new wave of Chinese home buyers.

After failing to sell their West Ryde home last year, Alex Echt and his wife Iris decided to totally rework their house so that it appealed to the Asian market. It sold, to a Chinese buyer, something the couple put down to good feng shui.

The revamp included cutting back the hedges, putting a red doormat at the front door, placing wind chimes and lucky coins around the house and even using the energy of the property to determine the positioning of their signboard.

Despite having no registered bidders on the auction day, the house sold that afternoon for $975,000 to a Chinese buyer on first inspection.

”We got a really good price for the property and I believe the feng shui definitely helped with that,” said their McGrath agent Elizabeth Wiggins.

At a recent inspection at 6 Kylie Avenue, Killara, the 80-year-old former owner turned up and was befuddled by the fact that the street address was no longer number four. In Chinese culture the number four is considered unlucky because it sounds like the Cantonese word for ”death”.

The agent, Malcolm McCulloch of Belle Property Killara, said that house numbers could make all the difference to a sale campaign.

”If you have a house that is number eight you get a lot of Chinese coming to look at that because that is a very lucky number,” he said. The chief executive of the buyers’ advocate group Propertybuyer, Rich Harvey, said mainland Chinese had a ”strong wealthy middle class who love Australian property”.

The Chinese community is particularly active right now due to the Chinese New Year, a time when many believe it is lucky to buy property.

But immigration statistics indicate that the trend extends beyond the fortnight of frenzied buying.
According to the Bureau of Statistics, about 17,580 Chinese people settled permanently in Australia last year, up 11.4 per cent on 2011 and almost 20 per cent higher than 2010. This brings the number of Chinese-Australians in NSW to about 380,000.

Changes to visa laws are expected to lead to more Chinese buying in Sydney this year.

Meanwhile, it can pay to be aware of what Chinese buyers are after. ”Having a back door and front door in direct alignment, everyone thinks that is a bad thing,” Ms Wiggins said.

In Chinese culture it is believed that money will flow into the house and then flow out the back door.
”To help alleviate that, all you do is place a table in the hallway with some flowers on it to symbolically slow down the flow of chi,” she said.

But feng shui can only do so much for a property.
”There are certain things that you can’t change that Asian buyers are looking for.
”They want high side of the street, full brick and no swimming pool – and if you’ve got that, fantastic,” she said.

Leave a Comment