Haunted House Discount is No More in Hong Kong

You know when you're in a housing bubble in Hong Kong? When haunted houses no longer sell at a discount, as Te-Ping Chen and Jeffrey Ng explain in this Wall Street Journal article:

No matter what happened to real-estate prices in this superstitious Chinese city, the one surefire way to get a cheap apartment was to move in with a ghost. Websites track "haunted houses" or hongza, as they are known in Cantonese, which typically sell or rent for discounted prices.

But the latest boom in real-estate prices has nearly wiped away Hong Kong's haunted-house discount.

That has been bad news for Ng Goon Lau, 62 years old, who made a career—and a tidy fortune—braving the supernatural. For more than 10 years, he says he has bought and sold apartments where a tenant died an unnatural death, paying a third less than the market price and later selling at a healthy profit. Meantime, he says, he rents to expatriates, who tend to be less superstitious than locals.


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When I lived in Taiwan and China, I (and every other American I knew) always lived on the 4th floor. The rent is cheaper because locals don't like living on the floor whose name sounds like 'dead' in their language.
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