A recent article on The Telegraph’s website stated that in Hong Kong people who are not superstitious could purchase homes at discounts of up to 40%.
Although a relatively rare occurrence, UK house purchase solicitors do occasionally work for buyers of apparently haunted properties. However, in China conveyancing solicitors are much less likely to ever be contacted by people wishing to buy a haunted home (hongza).
In China, house buyers are reluctant to take on a property believed to be inhabited by ghosts, or where the previous tenant had suffered an unnatural death, because they consider that whatever bad luck befell the unfortunate preceding householder will be passed on to the new resident.
A spokesperson for a property website states, “Hong Kong people are sensitive to ghosts and bad luck. They believe in feng shui. If something bad happened in a home, people won’t take it.
“But Hong Kong is small and very expensive so if a good discount comes, there are others ready to make the investment.”
There are reportedly some Hong Kong investors who purchase these unwanted homes and rent them out to foreigners who do not hold the same superstitious beliefs as the Chinese residents.
However, anyone who has been searching for a property at a reduced price may not have to look as far as Hong Kong as, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, even in the UK “unusual happenings, such as hauntings or reported crimes, can dramatically affect the saleability of a property”.
For anyone who is not worried by a home’s potentially sinister past, there may be the perfect house on the market, available at a spookily low price.