Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Do unlucky numbers affect property prices?

By iProperty.com Singapore – December 25th, 2010
Houses bearing auspicious numbers have been sold for higher prices in some places. (Photo:Singapore Tourism Board)
Most cultures have a belief in lucky or unlucky numbers – but when it impacts on your choice of house, or the price of property, has the numbers game gone too far?
In Chinese culture, most of the prime numbers have associations with them, but by far the most well known are the numbers four and eight.
Fateful Number Four
Number 4 (四,  in pinyin) is considered to be unlucky because it is a homophone – it sounds like but has a different meaning – of the Mandarin word for death (死,  in pinyin).
Auspicious Number Eight
Number 8 (, bā in pinyin), on the other hand is considered to be a good or lucky number, because it sounds similar to the word for wealth or prosper (财,  in pinyin). In the Cantonese dialect, the word ‘eight’ sounds similar to the word for ‘fortune’: faat.
Unlucky Number Thirteen
In the Romanised world, the number 13 is considered unlucky, although there are conflicting theories where this belief came from. It is the only number to have its own phobia: Triskaidekaphobia – the fear of the number 13.
Counting the Cost
In countries or areas with large numbers of Chinese, belief in the power of numbers even affects real estate.
In Hong Kong, probably one of the most superstitious cities in the world, some office and residential buildings miss out any floor with the numbers ‘4’ and ‘13’ in it, so these homes and offices are not tainted by association.
In Vancouver, Canada, the University of British Columbia reported “in neighbourhoods where the percentage of ethnic Chinese residents exceeds the regional average of 18 per cent, the study found that houses with addresses ending in the lucky number eight sold at a 2.5 per cent premium, while those ending in the unlucky number four sold at a discount of 2.2 per cent.”
One culture’s superstitions are an opportunity for others.
For instance, in Taipei, Taiwan, a British expatriate, Thomas Northway, was able to secure a large three-bedroom condominium apartment for half the market rate. The address was 414. Scared off by the negative connotations, there had been no Taiwanese takers for several months. The landlord was desperate for someone to rent.
Number Protection
If your house has some association with the number 8, then you are in luck.
Not only is it an auspicious sign for your home but mobile phones and license plates with multiples ‘8s’ on them have sold for large amounts in China, and there’s every chance it will increase the property’s value.
Should your home have a number 4 or 13 in the address, feng shui experts recommend drawing a circle around the house number – wherever it appears – in order to contain the negative energy. Some hardware stores even sell customised house number plates that are enclosed in a circle.

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