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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Chinese buyers sue over 'unlucky' units

Townsville Bulletin: Chinese buyers sue over 'unlucky' units [ 12aug05 ]: "Chinese buyers sue over 'unlucky' units
By Larissa Cummings

CHINESE investors who bought units off the plan in a 'lucky' development are taking legal action to be released from the sales because of bad feng shui.

The move comes after the height of the building was reduced from 18 to 14 residential floors.

The investors, who purchased units in the 'Form' section of the Victoria Park development in South Dowling St, Zetland, claim they were attracted by good feng shui because the principal tower was to be 18 storeys.

In Chinese mythology, the number eight is associated with good luck, fortune and well-being.

However, in reducing the building's residential levels to 14, developer Waltcorp has linked it with death, as the Chinese words for the numbers four, 14 and 24 sound like the words for 'death', 'must die' and 'easy to die'.

Settlement of units in Form, a 219-unit complex of four buildings, began on Wednesday, but at least 20 investors are taking legal action to be released from their contracts.

One investor, who asked not to be named, said she did not know to check that the development application had been approved by council before signing up to buy a two-bedroom unit.

"When the sales people show [sic] us the model, it was 18 floors. They didn't mention it was subject to council approval," she said.

"This is very important for Chinese people -- to us, 14 storeys means it's like a dead building now."

The investor, who paid $600,000 for her unit, said the drop in value of the units added to her reluctance to settle.

She said she was promised that the value of the units would double within five years, but her apartment is now worth 25 per cent less than when she purchased it in 2003.

"They are advertising similar units in the next stage of the development for $150,000 cheaper than we paid for ours," she said.

Waltcorp managing director Colin Walters said he was aware of the investors' complaints, but after investigating their claims, the company's solicitors found no satisfactory reasons to release them from their contracts.

"The market is flat and they don't want to proceed with settlement," Mr Walters said.

"Buying property is like speculating on the sharemarket - you invest in a certain stock and you take a risk that that stock will go up or down in value.""

WOW!! Just goes to show that you always need to be careful with what you are buying, huh? Just because someone says its great doesn't make it so!

Sam, Feng Shui Tips


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