UBC study links Chinese number beliefs to home sale prices
Chinese cultural beliefs about how lucky or unlucky certain numbers are can affect residential-property sale prices, suggests a new University of B.C. study.
The study examined home sales in neighbourhoods where census figures show the proportion of those who self-identify as ethnically Chinese is higher than the average in the region.
Almost 117,000 real-estate sales in Metro Vancouver from 2000 to 2005 were reviewed.
The study found that properties with street addresses that ended with the number eight—which can have a positive association—had a 2.5-percent boost to their price.
Meanwhile, those that ended with the number four—which can have a negative association—had a 2.2-percent markdown.
Based on a $400,000 single-family home, that can mean a fluctuation in sale price of up to $10,000, the study says.
The authors discourage any suggestion that everyone of Chinese heritage has preferences for certain numbers.
“Obviously, there will be differences from person to person,” Jeff Huang, an honours economics student at UBC, says in a news release.
“Our study suggests these numbers are significant to enough people in these areas that there is a corresponding impact on real estate prices.”
Nicole Fortin, a UBC economics professor and the study’s lead author, is expected to present the findings in January at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting in Denver, Colorado.