More luxury real estate developers and realtors are applying feng shui principles to ensure positive “energy” — and attract Chinese buyers.
This year, China surpassed Canada as the foreign country spending the most on residential properties in the U.S., comprising 16% of international home buyers. Chinese buyers spent an estimated $28.6 billion on residential U.S. real estate between April 2014 and March 2015, according to the 2015 Profile of International Homebuying Activity.
The growing Chinese presence is partly why realtors selling luxury properties, in particular, are paying more attention to feng shui. A surveyof 500 Chinese Americans conducted by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and the Asian Real Estate Association of America found that 86% think feng shui will make a difference in their future home buying choices. Additionally, 79% of these Chinese-American home buyers said they would pay more for a house that followed follow feng shui standards.
Feng shui is a centuries-old philosophy, originating in China, that was used in homes and urban planning to create a calm, harmonious environment and improve the flow of “qi” or positive energy, which is thought to benefit the occupants. In modern homes, this flow is achieved by the layout and placement of furniture and other decor elements. Clutter-free environments are valued, and other key considerations include placement of mirrors (not across from the bed) and complementary colors. In feng shui-styled environments, the Five Elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, are used in combination to align a building, site, or city to a healthy balance.
According to the Better Homes and Garden Real Estate survey, three-quarters of Chinese Americans said they could see feng shui deal-breakers, such as a house’s location at the end of a dead-end street. Other feng shui buyer turnoffs include homes that have the front door and rear doors aligned.