Indian and Chinese property buyers increasingly show interest and demand for Vastu and Feng Shui-compliant properties in Dubai.
Real estate industry insiders say that some Vastu-compliant homes are available in Dubai, but developers don’t prioritise or categorise Vastu or Feng Shui-compliant homes.
Vastu or Feng Shui are ancient Indian and Chinese practices used to maximise the use of space and objects that are in harmony with the environment and bring peace to the residents.
The rationale behind Vastu or Feng Shui-designed homes is that they’re easy to use, excellent in terms of utilisation of spaces, proper ventilation of air and light, bringing in natural light, incorporating natural elements like plants and use colours that can help increase feelings of positivity among others.
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According to Jeetu Punjabi, private office advisor, Engel & Völkers Dubai, incorporating Vastu principles in villa design is not just a passing trend but reflects a deep-seated belief in its ability to bring good health, wealth, happiness, and harmony. This approach is not limited to the layout and design but extends to details like the room shape, furniture arrangement, and the direction of rooms. The principles of Vastu are believed to influence the positive and negative energies surrounding humans, potentially affecting their daily lives and overall well-being.
Dubai’s overall property market has witnessed unprecedented demand in the past two years, pushing prices to record as buyers from different cultures across the world flocked to the emirate to buy properties. Indian buyers topped the list last year, while Chinese buyers were also among the top 10 nationalities.
“There is indeed a growing interest in Vastu and Feng Shui-compliant homes in Dubai, particularly among Indian and Chinese nationals. We see a high number of inquiries for these types of units. Given my experience with clients seeking Vastu-compliant units in north or northeast directions, it’s clear that there is a significant niche market for properties adhering to these principles,” said Punjabi.
He said the demand for Vastu and Feng Shui-compliant homes is driven by cultural beliefs and the desire to align living spaces with principles believed to bring harmony and prosperity.
Svetlana Vasilieva, head of secondary sales at Metropolitan Homes, also confirmed that they’re receiving a high volume of inquiries specifically related to Vastu homes.
“Vastu-compliant homes are primarily purchased by Indian clients, accounting for 50 per cent to 70 per cent. They are typically end users seeking self-occupancy rather than investors,” she said.
Echoing his peer, Jacob Bramley, leasing manager at Betterhomes, said they regularly receive inquiries specifically for Vastu-compliant homes but not for Feng Shui.
“Vastu is practised by Hindus, so we find that a lot of Indian and Pakistani clients tend to focus their search on homes that are Vastu-compliant. Feng Shui originated from China, so it would be more commonly practised by Chinese clients,” he said.
To make the search as stress-free as possible, he suggested buyers establish the exact requirements that define a Vastu home with the broker so that they can then focus the search on these features. “From my experience, the factors vary from person to person, so an agent can’t know from the outset of a search what to look for unless they are specifically told.”
Supply and prices
Bramley said it can be challenging to find fully compliant homes, so it is at the discretion of the individual client how much he/she is willing to compromise on the principles.
“Due to high occupancy rates in Dubai, there is an undersupply of homes that are fully Vastu-compliant.”
He does not see a difference in pricing between compliant and non-compliant homes.
Svetlana Vasilieva also said there are currently not enough Vastu/Feng Shui-compliant homes available in the market as each master plan typically offers a limited number of units catering to both Vastu and Feng Shui principles.
She said developers do not categorise homes based on these specific characteristics. However, owners often seek a higher price during resale, particularly when the potential buyer is specifically interested in a Vastu or Feng Shui-compliant home.
Jeetu Punjabi added that Vastu and Feng Shui-compliant homes in Dubai may be more expensive than regular homes due to the need for specialised design, consultation, and customisation to align with these ancient practices. Any home that has been upgraded according to this standard can easily charge a premium price.
Integrating Vastu-compliant homes
Punjabi has been working with a client with budgets from Dh3 million to Dh100 million, specifically looking for three units in one community by integrating them and making them Vastu-compliant as they cannot get a single Vastu-compliant unit.
“The trend in Dubai’s real estate market shows an increasing integration of Vastu principles in home designs, but the availability of these Vastu-compliant homes might not be sufficient for all interested buyers, prompting them to consider custom-building their homes.”
Jeetu Punjabi told Khaleej Times that the current supply is not fully meeting the buyers’ demand for homes of this type.
“This supply and demand gap leads some buyers to opt for customisable homes, plots, or homes they can renovate according to Vastu principles, particularly since finding such properties in gated communities might be challenging.”
Are developers building such homes?
Private office advisor of Engel & Völkers Dubai believes that developers are not focusing enough on Vastu and Feng Shui, although there are villa communities where they have dedicated units following the principles.
Svetlana Vasilieva added that developers generally do not prioritise the launch of such homes.
“To our knowledge, only two major developers pay attention to Vastu considerations as the majority of buyers for the projects are Indian nationals. Most property owners, including Chinese clients, tend to personalise their homes based on their preferences after moving in. This includes considerations like Feng Shui, but the initial purchase decision seems less swayed by pre-existing alignment,” she added.
Although there are Vastu-compliant homes available, according to Bramley, they haven’t come across any developments where this has been a major consideration in their designs.