Spooked by high prices, Hongkongers buy haunted homes

Stigmatised properties appeal to buyers priced out of the market

Skeleton decor during Halloween celebrations in Hong Kong. seaonweb/Shutterstock

Residential property prices have risen so high in Hong Kong that buyers are willing to snap up relatively cheap but “haunted” units, reported Bloomberg, citing a survey by REA Group Ltd.

Fifty-four percent of respondents would consider purchasing a haunted flat or one stigmatised by a history of murder, suicide, and supernatural events. Around 65 percent said pricing considerations would mainly motivate them to buy one.

“Property prices are still way too high for most people living in Hong Kong, so many have started to explore other alternatives,” said Kenneth Kent, REA group country manager for Hong Kong, in a statement.

“A new concept of co-living is gaining awareness in the Hong Kong market, and more than half of the respondents are taking an open attitude, there is big potential in this area.”

More: Hong Kong flat prices more than twice those in 1997

However, few of the respondents were willing to take on a purportedly haunted unit at full price. Respondents on average expressed the caveat that they would consider purchasing one if it had a 37 percent discount.

Forty-five percent of respondents would only purchase a haunted house with a discount of at least 40 percent, while 40 percent would only buy one with anywhere from a 20 percent to 39 percent discount.

Only around three percent of respondents would consider buying a haunted flat with less than 10 percent discount.

Buyers of a certain age are more open to purchasing a haunted Hong Kong flat. Property seekers aged below 40 tend to find haunted units more appealing than older buyers, survey results showed.

Ninety-two percent of respondents believe property prices have become too high in the Chinese SAR, up two percentage points from the second half of 2018. The average age expected to be able to purchase a property in Hong Kong is now 44.