Dec 2010 2

How Much Is Your House Number Worth?

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Billetes con macro by Manuel Delgado Tenorio Billetes con macro by Manuel Delgado Tenorio

If you have house number ending up with 8, and you live in a part of Vancouver with higher concentration of ethnic Chinese, consider yourself lucky. You will make several thousands more when selling your home. On the other hand, house numbers with 4 on the tail have to be ready to go with discount.

Prof. Nicole Fortin, a Professor of Economics at the University of British Columbia, gives answer, which was already known by some Vancouver realtors. Number 8 is phonetically similar to the Chinese word for 'prosperity'. Number 4 sounds Chinese two, unfortunately this time its similar as Chinese expression for 'death'.

Prof. Fortin studied Greater Vancouver housing sales statistics from the years 2000-2005 and discover positive correlation between price and house number in neighbourhoods with larger ethnic Chinese minority. Number 8 adds 2.5% premium, which is around $10,000 for an average priced house. Number 4 will cost you 2.2% discount, or $8,000 for an averagely priced house. The trend is obvious in Richmond BC, where the flood of house number change request from its 50% Chinese population forced local authorities to prepare special brochure on this topic. However, house number changes are usually refused, because logical numbering is required for smooth and fast operations of fire fighters, paramedics and police.

The superstition is not related to the house numbers only. Various Vancouver loft and condo buildings have no 14th or 24th floor. However, it is not only Chinese, who are superstitious. Prof. Fortin found the very same pattern for traditional 'western' number 13, which is accompanied by 2.2% discount.

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