The importance of positive energy
aware of its importance, and factor in a feng shui consultant if they wish to attract the lucrative Chinese market.
That means changing addresses if they feature the number four, which is considered inauspicious in China because it sounds similar to the words for “death”. Property developer Ballymore also commissioned a feng shui audit report for its Embassy Gardens project at Nine Elms in south London. The number eight is lucky, and Chinese buyers will often make offers on apartments with eight in the number or floor, explains Merlin Dormer, of buying agent Heaton & Partners.
“We also receive offers with eights in them from Chinese buyers,” adds Bertie Hare, from Strutt & Parker’s Knightsbridge office. “On the seller side, someone might decline a higher offer like £900,000 if a lower offer includes more lucky numbers, like £888,888.”
Mayfair and Marylebone-based agent Martin Kay, of Kay & Co, says that Chinese clients looking at high-end property will sometimes bring their feng shui consultant with them on viewings. “It’s nerve-racking as it can end a deal immediately if something’s not right, particularly if one of the couple is more superstitious than the other.” In one example, an enterprising (and not superstitious) wife managed to persuade her husband to buy a flat on the edge of Regent’s Park by convincing him it was on the fifth floor rather than the fourth. “She just counted from the ground floor up instead,” says Kay.
These days in London, feng shui requirements compete with another Eastern system of beliefs, vastu shastra, which is important to some Indian buyers, says Camilla Dell, of Black Brick, a buying agent. “One of the main requirements of vastu is that the front door should face south, which, in theory, sounds relatively simple but in London it can rule out whole parts of the city where the streets simply face the wrong way.”
Earlier this year, developer One Point Six took the unusual step of designing a luxury apartment on Pont Street in Knightsbridge according to vastu shastra before putting it on the market. While this remains a niche approach, agents have to find other solutions to remedy such concerns.
For one of Dell’s clients buying in a new development, this involved purchasing two flats opposite each other as well as the corridor space in between. By linking them together they were
The HSBC building next to the Bank of China tower, left