In an article on the Toronto Star on November 8, 2010, they are reporting that a home seller is requesting the local council in Markham to change the No. 4 home address to another number so that he can sell his house faster in a Cantonese-speaking area. Further bad news from the realtor agent is that having a 4 in the address can lower a home's value between $25,000 to $35.000! The explanation is in Cantonese, the word "four" is a homonym for "death" - different meanings, same sound. The irony of this story is the sellers has been living happily in the house, successfully raised a healthy son and daughter, nothing related to "death" ever happened to them. While on the other hand, recently in a house address of 238 Helen Ave. in Markham have a deadly home invasion where the wife was shot dead and the husband serious wounded, and now the daughter has been charged for the murder! Go figure!
It is really shocking that this kind of superstition still exist in this modern world that we live in. In fact, this behaviour has been classified as "Tetra phobia" - an aversion to or fear of the number 4, this kind of superstition most common in East Asia regions such as mainland China, Hong Kong, island of Taiwan, Japan and Korea.
The reason that I have to bring this up is I really do not want to see the feng shui haters saying that people has been fooled by feng shui again. As this kind of "sperstitious" behavior of some Asian property buyers also witnessed recently in New York. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/realestate/25feng.html
In fact, traditional feng shui has nothing to do with numerology. All the numbers that it used are based on Hetu (河圖)where the numbers from 1 to 9 are representing the directions and elements of the ba gua. For example, No 4 and No 9 represent the west and its element is metal. Therefore, rather than saying that No 4 is not auspicious because it sound like "death" in Cantonese, it stated that if the birth element of a person is water, it is instead considered auspicious
because "metal carries water" under the concept of Five Elements Cycle.
Not surprisingly, in the article they also reporting that Paul Ng, an authority in the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui, whose his house number is 24, explained that "from the strict feng shui point of view, the number 4 means scholarship". He also saying that he would never live in a house without the number 4!