Around the world in property numbers and superstitions

Around the world in property numbers and superstitions

Numbers can have significant implications in real estate, and can affect anything from the sales price, optimum sale dates, which buyer group to target your property to, the demographics in a particular suburb and much more.

From the number 13 to the number 8, we travel around the world to explore the significance of different numbers in different cultures.

What’s unlucky for some may be lucky for others

In our previous blog, we looked into how the number 13 was perceived as unlucky in Western culture, with the 13th floor sometimes completely skipped over in properties and streets missing houses with the number 13. 

But what’s unlucky for some may be lucky for others. For example in Italy, in contrast to many other countries, the number 13 is thought to bring prosperity and life. In the Italian culture, it is actually the number 17 which is viewed as unlucky, as when written this number is said to look like death. Due to this negativity, the Italians bypass this number - avoiding using it to number airline seats, flights or the floors in buildings. It goes so far as manufacturers avoiding using this number when naming products or assigning model numbers.

In Jewish culture, the number 18 is associated with the Hebrew word meaning “life,” so is a lucky number in their culture, and for some Russians there is a preference for the number 7 as it symbolises the creation of the world in seven days.

Another number that has an interesting split of opinion is 9. Whilst the Japanese dislike this number (due to its similarity to the word for suffering), much of the world view 9 as particularly lucky as it is three times the magical number three. It may even be what lends such positivity to the phrase ‘to be on cloud nine’.

Dichotomy between 8 and 4

Within Asian communities, there is a clear divide and significant meaning to the numbers 4 and 8

On one hand, 8 is considered extremely lucky due to its resemblance to the infinity symbol as well as the pronunciation of the word in Mandarin Chinese sounding similar to that of the phrase meaning "to make a fortune." On the other hand, 4, in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam is seen as unlucky because it sounds like the word for "death".

With increasing numbers of Asian communities within Australia, it’s a good idea to understand the nuances that a single number may mean, leading to certain homes looking more or less appealing to this demographic. Many immigrants bring their traditions and beliefs with them and this may influence a number of property decisions. Overseas investors are also a large consideration so keeping these superstitions in mind can give you extra insight into the market. 

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The team at Savills are experts in their respective fields, with extensive experience backed by 150 years of Savills industry knowledge. This makes us well placed to provide you with the most informed view of current trends as well as helpful guides and top tips across the commercial and residential property sectors.

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