Feng shui’s several thousand year history is still being practiced today with a similar objective, but in an unfamiliar frontier. The traditional Chinese art of making a home more livable—that is, more agreeable to the nature of its inhabitants or, more technically put, better accommodating for the flow of energy (qi)—is being passed on in the United States.
Naturally, this growing trend amongst American developers and real estate agents starts with immigration. With more Chinese moving to the states, more Chinese culture has been imported as well. Feng shui is a prime example, and it’s becoming a stronger selling factor for U.S. homes.
In the past year, Chinese have spent over $28 billion in real estate in the States. They have on average outspent America buyers by over a multiple of three (average home price for Chinese buyers is $831,000 compared to an average of $256,000) and the markets are realizing that the traditional practice of feng shui is a major selling point.
Thus arises an assortment of oddities such as a feng shui themed McDonald’s in Southern California, but the owner’s intentions were not that dissimilar to various real estate agents—he wanted to meet the needs of his district’s changing demographics. In truth, the rise of feng shui’s popularity appears to be a combination of Chinese influence and personal interest. For example, non-Chinese practitioners of feng shui have begun offering services and English language classes are available for the curious.
The bottom line is that feng shui is going to change the American real estate market. A recent survey conducted by the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate found that 86% of Chinese American home buyers consider feng shui an important factor in their decision and 79% are willing to pay more money to own a home that meets its principals.
Interestingly, it appears that by the virtue of market factors, an age old Chinese philosophy has found itself propping up on the other side of the globe.
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