November 7, 2010

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What Friday 13th Means for Property…

Friday 13th has historically been associated with bad luck, particularly in English speaking countries. Phobia of Friday 13th or “Paraskevidekatriaphobia” persists, despite a lack of scientific evidence.

Many take it so seriously they put off making decisions or doing things – even staying away from work – and this can have a massive flow on effect for businesses.

Wikipedia quotes figures from the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, that reveal an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear Friday 13th. Some of them avoid doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed on Friday 13th and it’s been estimated that US$800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day.

A survey from UK home move website found that fear of Friday 13th also stretches to property related decisions, with 45% of respondents claiming they would rather delay their move than move home on Friday 13th. Almost a quarter, or 22%, went so far as to say they would not consider buying a home that was number 13.

Conversely, some consider 13 to be lucky, rather than unlucky. And other numbers are also prone to superstition: Tetraphobia or fear of the number 4 is common in East Asia, meaning some buildings often skip numbers 4, 13, and 14 in highrises in order to satisfy everyone’s superstitions about 4 and/or 13 (see image).

So businesses might lose out because of fear of Friday 13th. The flipside is that for the non-superstitious the lack of business being done could work in their favour and get them a good deal.

Jonathan Turpin, Chief Executive of, said:

“Moving home can be a stressful experience so it’s no surprise that superstitious movers are shying away from the added stress of moving home on Friday 13th. However, with some careful planning and assistance from professional movers, this Friday is as good a time as any other to move home. In fact, with many removal companies noticing a drop in demand on this date, those prepared to take their chances may be able to negotiate themselves a great deal.”

[image: Lift in Shanghai, Wikipedia]


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