Lucky numbers increase home prices?

Mortgage & Real Estate

While in Western cultures we normally consider seven a lucky number and 13 unlucky; as it turns out, China has its own lucky and unlucky numbers, according to an article by Yuqing Pan for realtor.com.

The recent surge of Chinese buyers in the U.S. market could even be changing home prices based on those lucky numbers.

In the Chinese culture, eight is the luckiest number. Many home sellers are taking advantage of this and pricing their homes at either $888,888 or $8,888,888, the article states. While there is no evidence to suggest the homes get sold significantly faster, it does serve as a way to get Chinese buyers to look at the home.

The real change in the market is actually out of the seller’s control – the address number.

From the article:

The real luck (and price premium) lies in the street number. A street number is gold among the Chinese if it’s crammed with as many 8’s as possible, and especially if it ends with an 8.

A Bel Air, CA, home with the address of 10888 Chalon Road was recently sold for $4,175,000—which was 36% higher than similar-size homes in the same neighborhood. We couldn’t confirm whether the deep-pocketed buyer was indeed of Chinese descent, because the home was bought by a limited liability company—a common practice for buyers to hide their identities.

But then the opposite is also true. Four is an unlucky number, and Chinese buyers often want these homes at a discount.

From the article:

Chinese people often have a visceral negative reaction to the numeral 4, which is pronounced the same as “death” in Chinese. For properties with a 4 in the street number, a Chinese home buyer might ask for a discount of 5% or even 10% on the asking price, according to [Tina] Ying [a broker with New Century Real Estate in the San Francisco Bay Area].

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