The Numbers Game

Most cultures have a belief in lucky or unlucky numbers – but when it impacts on your choice of house, or the price of property, has the numbers game gone too far?

In Chinese culture, most of the prime numbers have associations with them, but by far the most well known are numbers four and eight.

The Number Game

Fateful Number Four

    Number 4 (四, sì in pinyin) is considered to be unlucky because it is a homophone – it sounds like but has a different meaning – of the Mandarin word for death (死, sǐ in pinyin).

Auspicious Number Eight

    Number 8 (八, bā in pinyin), on the other hand is considered to be a good or lucky number, because it sounds similar to the word for wealth or prosper (财, fā in pinyin). In the dialect of Cantonese, the word ‘eight’ sounds similar to the word for ‘fortune’: faat.

Unlucky Number Thirteen

    In the Romanised world, the number 13 is considered unlucky, although there are conflicting theories where this belief came from, it is the only number to have its own phobia: Triskaidekaphobia – the fear of the number 13.

Counting the Cost

    In countries or areas with a majority or large numbers of Chinese, belief in the power of numbers can even affect real estate. Hong Kong, probably one of the most superstitious cities in the world, some office and residential buildings miss out any floor with the number s‘4’ and ‘13’ in it, so that homes and offices are not tainted by association.

    Belief in numerology is so prevalent that numbers can affect house prices, In Vancouver, Canada, the University of British Columbia reported that “in neighbourhoods where the percentage of ethnic Chinese residents exceeds the regional average of 18 per cent, the study found that houses with addresses ending in the lucky number eight sold at a 2.5 per cent premium, while those ending in the unlucky number four sold at a discount of 2.2 per cent.”

    One culture’s superstitions, are an others’ opportunity, and in Taipei, Taiwan, Thomas Northway, a British expatriate working in the hospitality sector was able to secure a large three-bedroom condominium apartment for 50% under the market rate. The address was 414 – there had been no Taiwanese takers for several months, scared off by the negative connotations, and the landlord was desperate for someone to rent.

Number Protection

    If your house has some association with the number 8, then you are in luck, not only is it an auspicious sign for your home but mobile phones and license plates with multiples ‘8’s’ on them have sold for large amounts in China, and there’s every chance it will increase the property’s value.

    Should your home have a number 4 or 13 in the address, then feng shui experts recommend drawing a circle around the house number – wherever it appears in order to contain the negative energy. Some hardware stores even sell customised house number plates that are enclosed in a circle, so you don’t have to despoil the front of your house.

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*Please note that information provided is as it is basis, whilst every effort has been made to provide up-to-date information. The author is not responsible for inaccuracies or whatsoever as a result from using this information.


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