Are You Superstitious?

Oct 12, 2016
At a time when the property market can be affected by everything from increased stamp duty land tax to Brexit is there any place for superstition in the modern world of buying and selling?

You may be surprised by how before we even get to the point of instructing solicitors whether or not you have been successful in having an offer accepted for buying or selling a property has been subconsciously influenced by peoples’ biases. 

How does superstition affect the buying and selling of houses? It has long been a talking point as to whether the number 13 should be included in a door number or whether to leave it out when builders decide how they are going to number new properties whether by reference to plot numbers or postal addresses. It is commonplace for number 13 to attract less interest or lower bids as people unconsciously shy away from this number. In blocks of flats all over the world you may find floor number 13 missing altogether. These days, certainly in England and Wales some Local Authorities are clamping down on these practices as it causes significant logistical issues for postal deliveries and sequential street numbering however, this tends to be applicable to new build estates. These anomalies will continue to exist in second hand properties which are long established.

In other cultures you may find it interesting to know that the appearance of an 8 would bring you a greater asking price if your potential buyer is Chinese who considers an 8 to be lucky as it sounds similar to wealth and prosperity and the symbol itself resembles that for infinity; 4 on the other hand is very off putting with negative connotations. Some combinations of numbers are traditionally lucky such as 168. So it may be beneficial to put your house up for sell at £388,168.00 rather than £379,995 for example.  

Perhaps it may be a deciding factor not to exchange contracts or move on Friday the 13th! 

It is worth having these in mind as it may give you an edge in what is otherwise a tough market for buyers as well as sellers. 

What is interesting, is that even if people are not superstitious those who err on the side of caution will often find themselves reasoning that it is not taking the risk of choosing an unlucky number even if they don’t necessarily believe there will be a problem. 

One thing to understand is that the buying and selling of residential property is often an emotional event as we are talking about peoples’ homes after all. Logic and rationale may not always win through what is cultural and ingrained.  

Property is more than just bricks and mortar, people matter, join in the discussion let us know what your experiences are. 

Karen Chui

About the author

Karen Chui

Karen is an experienced residential property solicitor having qualified in 2006 with a varied background having previously practiced in commercial and agricultural property, personal injury ...

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