Superstition in the Housing Market

20 Pages Posted: 9 May 2014

See all articles by Nicole M. Fortin

Nicole M. Fortin

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics

Andrew Hill

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics

Jeff J.S. Huang

University of British Columbia (UBC)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2014

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 “4” are sold at a 2.2% discount and those ending in “8” 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.

JEL Classification: D03, R2, Z1

Suggested Citation

Fortin, Nicole M. and Hill, Andrew and Huang, Jeff J.S., Superstition in the Housing Market (July 2014). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 52, Issue 3, pp. 974-993, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2434882 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12066

Nicole M. Fortin (Contact Author)

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

997-1873 East Mall
Department of Economics
Vancouver, BC V6T1Z1
Canada
604-822-3222 (Phone)
604-822-5915 (Fax)

Andrew Hill

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics

Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
United States

Jeff J.S. Huang

University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )

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

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