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Balancing Housing Affordability and Quality of Life in Singapore through the Lens of Feng Shui

The escalating costs of housing in Singapore, whether private or public, has brought to the forefront the global conundrum of housing affordability. Amid the robust economy and high homeownership rates, the challenge persists - are Singapore homes inherently expensive, or is the demand driven by more than just basic shelter requirements?

The Feng Shui perspective is enlightening here. In essence, Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of aligning the environment, including homes, to create harmonious energy flow, or Qi. It emphasizes both tangible (location, design, layout) and intangible aspects (energy flow, surrounding elements) of a dwelling place. When applied to the current housing market scenario in Singapore, Feng Shui principles can offer some intriguing insights.

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) report flags Singapore’s private homes as the region's priciest, with median prices touching US$1.2 million, and rental costs leading the region as well. Despite these towering numbers, Singapore also clinches the title of “most attainable” on ULI’s 2023 Asia Pacific Home Attainability Index, mostly due to affordable public housing.

What could be driving such a paradox? Could Feng Shui play a role?

The philosophy of Feng Shui extends beyond just the physical property and its internal layout. It also considers the environmental surroundings, both natural and man-made. This includes neighborhood qualities, proximity to amenities, and community spirit – features that add to the overall 'Qi' or energy of a place. These aspects not just fulfill more than basic housing needs, but also contribute significantly to the value of a property.

The resilience and allure of Singapore as a 'Superstar City', a term coined by researchers to denote cities with unique characteristics making them desirable living spaces, could also be interpreted through a Feng Shui lens. A city with a harmonious blend of infrastructure, economic opportunities, and societal integration resonates with the principles of balanced Qi, thereby attracting global talent and wealth.

While international demand can spur housing price booms, it's the local demand that's been the primary catalyst of recent price hikes. The expatriate community, coupled with high-net-worth individuals drawn to Singapore, makes a small fraction of the overall market. Instead, it's the domestic demand, fueled by inter-generational wealth transfer, that's been driving up the prices.

A parallel can be drawn here to the Feng Shui concept of heritage or ancestral Qi, wherein homes and wealth passed down generations are considered to harbor beneficial energy. This age-old tradition of wealth transfer, although economically nuanced, fits neatly into the framework of Feng Shui.

The challenge that lies ahead for Singapore is balancing housing affordability while acknowledging the aspirations of mid-to-high income Singaporeans. Just as Feng Shui encourages a balanced energy flow within a living space, the housing market must also strive for a similar equilibrium.

The government's role in this dynamic scenario is akin to a Feng Shui master, strategically aligning the housing market's energy to foster affordability, desirability, and societal prosperity. Measures such as the 2023 budget announcement and cooling measures hint at this intent, focusing on first-time homebuyers and curbing interest from foreign and second-home buyers.

As we move forward, decisions impacting housing affordability in Singapore must be made with careful deliberation, akin to a Feng Shui master's careful calculation of Qi alignment. Only then can we navigate the complex landscape of housing affordability, ensuring that Singaporeans not only have access to affordable homes but also ones that enhance their quality of life.

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At my practice, I use Ba Zi and Feng Shui to provide my clients with a comprehensive assessment of their lives. I take into account the unique energies of a person’s home and surroundings, as well as the energies of the environment and the person’s own destiny. With these insights, I am able to offer my clients assistance to help them reach their goals, and improve their lives.

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