Gong Hey Fat Choy! Gong Xi Fa Cai! Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!

“Gong Hey Fat Choy!” [Cantonese]; “Gong Xi Fa Cai” [Mandarin]; or is it “Kiong Hee Huat Tsai” [Fookien].   Well, Fookien, Mandarin or  Cantonese, it’s always:
“HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR” !

We begin the Chinese New Year of 2012 with Fun, Tikoy, Fire Works, Good Luck charms, Feng Shui, and Dragon Dances.

The Chinese Culture and Heritage has a strong Influence in Philippine Real Estate.  This is particularly evident in the popular practice of “Feng Shui”.

Whether you call it superstition, science or art, the fact remains – that decisions involving  real estate –investments, property location, use, orientation, among others–  need some kind of compliance with “Feng Sui” principles.

Will 2012 be a Lucky year in real estate? For me, the answer depends on the person.  Happiness, good health, wellness, and prosperity depend on one’s life style, actions, and practice of  “Good Energy”– chi fruits of good luck come from love, courage,  positive thinking, happy disposition, care & kindness to others…

All these are also rooted in the teachings of Confucius.

Confucius, the great wise man of China, gave practical advice in the areas of ethics, morals and good behavior –a major influence in helping build Chinese culture with respect for law, order and family.

What then will Real Estate be
in this year of the Water Dragon?

In Philippine Real Estate, for example, the condo price war has begun.  Now enters the “Water Dragon” and as I predicted three years ago, the high-end condo market in the CBD areas are in for a “Water Sale”.

One need not use NASA science to see the fact: an oversupply of high-end condos.
A simple analysis of supply, demand and absorption rates will show the slow phase of sales and market demand.

Another indicator is the “Dragon Dance” of prices and competitive pricing strategies being introduced by Developers.
“No Down Payment”, “Low interest rates”, balloon payment plans and other creative innovations of Real Estate finance is now the name of the game.

What one needs to watch and  take into account before buying are : the monthly dues, common usage and service area (CUSAexpenses or dues for the condominium expenses such as real estate taxes, insurance, security, maintenance, management fees.  When all these are summed up and taken into account, condo-living may turn out to be very expensive.
In fact, there are cases when the Monthly Dues are higher than rental fees…
This being the case, we ask: why buy when it’s cheaper to rent?!

Developer “O” claims to be building the tallest, best, most luxurious condo in the “Belly of the Dragon”; well, it’s sad to say but –that poor Dragon will end up with “indigestion”.

However, on a positive note, Real Estate investment has always been proven good.
This can be so if two basic conditions are met.
First –the investor can wait; the buyer has time to see the change in the cycle.
Second –the investor has enough Cash Flow to pay the amortization,  condo dues and other overhead expenses that come with condo ownership.

For the Real Estate Professional, the year of the Water Dragon calls for the need to be liquid in cash, action, mind and thought.  That is –to be open minded, optimistic yet ambitious and fearless.

The water dragon is known to be a motivator –outspoken, passionate, and imaginative.
Let us try to develop these traits as virtues to build up character with a professional personality.

The Competition in Real Estate will be tough. It will be those with  “Dragon Hearts” who will survive, be profitable and successful.

The “belly” of the Dragon is not just a location, but an attitude – that is to have the “guts” and “stomach” to survive the Roller Coaster Ride and Water Dance of the Dragon.

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