In many Asian cultures, great significance is placed on the meaning of numbers. Did you know that pronunciation of the number “4” in Mandarin, Cantonese, and several Chinese dialects is very similar to the word for “death”? Conversely, the number “8” sounds very similar to the words for prosperity and wealth.
These beliefs are very strong for many Asians to the point where they will not purchase a home whose house number ends in “4”, and they would greatly prefer to purchase a home whose number ends in “8”.
Something that has become quite popular in recent years in regards to real estate is practicing Feng shui principles. Feng shui is an ancient Chinese tradition that is used to balance energies in a room and bring good luck. Even if you are not a believer in Feng shui, there is a good chance that it is important to the person who is buying your house. Feng Shui also put emphasis on numbers, believing that some will bring good luck and others will bring bad luck. And once again, “4” is considered bad luck and “8” is good.
But really, can a house number affect how much your house is worth? Is good or bad luck real or just perceived? We looked at several interesting studies:
Hedonic Prices and House Numbers: TheInfluence of Feng Shui: This study looked at house sales in Auckland, New Zealand. They found that houses with lucky numbers sold for an average of 2.4% more than average!
The Pricing of ‘Luckiness’ in the Apartment Market: This study looked at apartment sales in Hong Kong during a real estate boom. They found that apartments on floor numbers 8, 18 and 28 sold for significantly more than average!
Superstitions in the Housing Market: This was the most interesting study that we found. This large study looked at house sales in Vancouver which has a relatively high Chinese population. They concluded the following:
- Houses whose house number ended in 4 sold for 2.2% less than average.
- Houses whose house number ended in 8 sold for 2.5% more than average.
What about house prices?
Does it matter if the house price ends in a lucky or unlucky number? We were unable to find any studies that looked at the significance of the price of a property. However, it makes sense to us to avoid ending a house price in the number 4. This may be a turn off for people who abide by these beliefs. Quite often, we will price a house at a number ending in 8 (such as $420,888 or $408,000).
What do you think?
Do you think the last number in the price of a house will make a difference in how attractive the house is? We would love to have your comments below!