Year of the boar ushers in recovery
Joseph Wong 

As the boar displaces the dog as the new Chinese Zodiac animal, its influence on the property sector is expected to usher in more favourable aspects to the property market. The earth, wood and fire elements will bring better fortune to developers and property-related industry players.

The property market had entered a more challenging phase since 2016, but this year, despite facing further challenges, it will see positive signs emerging.

“It is still a buyers’ market, so when we come to this year, we should see some positive signs. For 2018, we saw the starting of the transformation of the new world order. In this transformation we saw a lot of changes,” says feng shui master Kenny Hoo, who is known for his unique combination of traditional feng shui methodology and modern, scientific tools and technologies.

He describes last year as one filled with challenges as evident in the economy and the property market.

“There was the oversupply of stock so there was a scramble for buyers with developers competing with each other which was good for the buyers.

“Developers gave out good rebates and promotions and there was even competition from the subsale market,” Hoo says.

Last year saw a change in government which was a first for Malaysia, he says.

“A lot of countries also changed direction. 2018 also saw the start of a trade war [between China and the United States of America],” he adds.

Each country continues to dispute tariffs placed on goods traded between them.

US President Donald Trump had promised in his election campaign to fix China's “long-time abuse of the broken international system and unfair practices”.

The economic disputes occurred before China’s entry into the World Trade Organisation but former US presidents George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama all failed to resolve the problems.


Year of integration

“We name this year as the year of integration. We are hopeful the world leaders will work together and with the emergence of new technologies, it will create new opportunities,” Hoo says.

He points out that 2019 has the number nine in it, which is a fire element that will trigger further development.

“This year is about innovation, creativity and technology. The nine will also breathe new life into the property sector,” he says.

The earth element, says Hoo, will be the most influential element and this will balance out the whole system.

He says earth-related sectors will be more prominent, for example, the government is likely to provide more support for the property sector, new policies to boost the market and financial solutions will emerge.

“The property industry is linked to some 200 other industries so the revival of the property market will also help the other industries as well. So 2019 will be favourable to the property market. We should see more after July,” he says.

The compositions of the qi (energy) in 2019 show that the west will not be favourable, he says, adding that there is more favourable qi for the north and south.

This means that property development to the north and south will see more activities this year.

Essentially, places like Penang will likely see more activity while Ipoh which is seeing good tourist numbers will see its property sector benefit from the tourism industry, he says.

Johor has a vibrancy of its own which despite the current overhang is expected to see a clearing up of its existing supply, Hoo adds.

Meanwhile, the west of Kuala Lumpur may see some issues which will affect the property market, he says.

“Favourability from the feng shui point of view means whether the dragon qi has access to the ‘favourable’ places. Feng shui is all about relativity studies,” he says.

Hoo points out that qi can be strengthened.

For example, some malls were quiet until the MRT linked their premises, bringing in people which strengthened the qi of the mall.

The Chinese boar’s ambivalent nature makes the property industry both predictable and unpredictable at the same time, making this year’s market an interesting one, says feng shui master Prof Joe Choo, who is also the Malaysian Institute of Geomancy Sciences president.

More significantly, 2019 is the year of the wood boar, which means the primary market of the property sector will see a better year ahead.

“Many people have assumed that this year is an earth boar but 2019 is actually a wood boar,” she tells FocusM.


Not good for sub-sale market

She points out that there is a strong wood element in 2019’s boar, making it a good year for developers but not so good for those seeking to sell their homes.

“The subsale market will not be good this year so sellers should seek to hold back on selling their property if they can. Unless they have no choice, it will not be a good year to sell and can be a painful exercise,” she cautions.

Given the current number of overhang properties in the market, this prediction makes sense as higher supply versus lower demand usually means lower prices.

Wood represents life energy, health and growth, she says.

“So developers will have a better year given that the elements favour new construction over what is already built. Property agents should also concentrate on selling new projects,” she adds.

For new home buyers, buying in a new development will also benefit them more, given that they will have to take other feng shui factors into consideration, she says.

While generally, people look for things like water in front of their homes, backed by a hill or mountain, and which direction they are facing, they need to look into their “gua” number too, Choo explains.

Having running water in front of a home is a good way to attract positive qi, abundance, and prosperity into it, which is why many feng shui practitioners build a fountain in front of their houses.

“If there is a river or stream, it is best to be located on the concave rather than the convex side. This is because qi flows into the concave side and away from the convex side,” she says.

In contrast, in the case of slopes, energy flows downhill but it is not advisable to live on properties that face high ground. The energy is much more conducive after it reaches the bottom of the slope and rebounds off a river or stream.

But the general consensus of feng shui masters is for buyers to look at their gua number when buying a home.

The gua number is a concept from the ancient Chinese cosmology that can be found not only in feng shui but in several Chinese martial arts.

It is a very complex notion that cannot be easily translated into one word but is generally accepted as the “life area”.

“This feng shui aspect on one’s lucky directions is heavily used when buying a home because ideally, you want your house’s front door to face one of your lucky directions in order to attract the most auspicious qi, or universal energy,” says Choo.

This gua numerology is also taken into consideration on the position of the bed to face one’s lucky direction or the direction of the desk when working, she adds.

“That is why for those seeking to buy a home to stay, getting a unit in a new development is the best choice. The good thing is that developers will have many different units with different designs and facing different directions,” she says.

This gives buyers a better option in selecting a unit that would best suit their gua number and ultimately their lives as they can channel the qi to their benefit, she says.

Unlike a subsale home, it is a fixed unit so there are fewer options unless that property happens to coincide with the buyer’s gua number, she says.

For investors, Choo says the property market is still one of the best ways to safeguard the value of their money.

“You can’t put all the money in the bank,” she says.

This is common sense as inflation would erode the value of money over time and the interest earned is seldom sufficient to offset this value erosion.

“Besides, developers will be offering many attractive packages and even financial aid to buyers in the year of the boar. This is good for the buyers.

“In addition, they will have many different choices that will best suit their budget as well as maximising the gua aspects of their home to increase their qi,” Choo explains. FocusM

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 320.