Superstitious buyers ensure No 13 houses are cheaper

What’s in a number? About five grand, according to one property website which claimed house-hunters who show scant regard for superstition and buy ‘number 13’ could save money.

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To coincide with Friday the 13th, Daft.ie says that it has carried out a regression analysis on almost one million properties listed on the site since January 2006, which has shown the value of homes at number 13 is typically €4,700 cheaper than the average property.

The influence of triskaidekaphobia — the fear of the number 13 — goes beyond the value of house number 13, and also extends to the day houses are bought and sold.

Daft also found that there have been about 13.7% fewer transactions on the 15 calendar dates ‘Friday the 13th’ that occurred since the start of the property price register in January 2010, when compared to regular Fridays.

Ronan Lyons, an economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of The Daft.ie Report, said the findings are evidence that superstition can make an impact on the market.

At the top level, the housing market is governed by forces outside of the control of any individual. At the moment, both sale and rental markets suffer from a lack of supply, for example, that is pushing up prices,” Mr Lyons said.

“Nonetheless, for specific individuals, homes and transactions, lots of little factors come into play. Here, we can see clear evidence of superstition at work in the housing market.

“This is true both for prices, with properties numbered 13 cheaper than the average, and quantities, with fewer transactions on a Friday the 13th than on other Fridays,” he said.

A Daft survey also found that 9% of people would look to avoid buying or moving into a property with the number 13.

Martin Clancy, from Daft.ie, said that there could be advantages there for those who are less superstitious.

When it comes to superstition and property, triskaidekaphobia appears to be having an impact on not just perceptions but actual property prices.

"Our research shows that properties at number 13 are 1.8% cheaper than the average Irish property, which could provide a saving to savvy house hunters with no superstitions,” he said.


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