Superstition in the Housing Market

41 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2013

See all articles by Nicole M. Fortin

Nicole M. Fortin

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics

Andrew Hill

University of British Columbia (UBC)

Jeff J.S. Huang

University of British Columbia (UBC)

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Abstract

We provide the first solid evidence that Chinese superstitious beliefs can have significant effects on house prices in a North American market with a large immigrant population. Using real estate data on close to 117,000 house sales, we find that houses with address number ending in four are sold at a 2.2% discount and those ending in eight are sold at a 2.5% premium in comparison to houses with other addresses. These price effects are found either in neighborhoods with a higher than average percentage of Chinese residents, consistent with cultural preferences, or in repeated transactions, consistent with speculative behavior.

Keywords: superstition, lucky Chinese numbers, housing markets efficiency, immigration

JEL Classification: D03, J15, R2, Z1

Suggested Citation

Fortin, Nicole M. and Hill, Andrew and Huang, Jeff J.S., Superstition in the Housing Market. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7484, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2293301 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2293301

Nicole M. Fortin (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Andrew Hill

University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )

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Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4
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Jeff J.S. Huang

University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )

2329 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4
Canada

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