This story seems to come up every year. We have reported on it before. With housing costs high in Hong Kong, superstition is not such a big deal anymore. Someone died there? It’s still a nice place.
The city’s property boom is so powerful it has scared away the ghosts.
No matter what happened to real-estate prices in this superstitious Chinese city, the one surefire way to get a cheap apartment was to move in with a ghost. Websites track “haunted houses” or hongza, as they are known in Cantonese, which typically sell or rent for discounted prices.
But the latest boom in real-estate prices has nearly wiped away Hong Kong’s haunted-house discount.
That has been bad news for Ng Goon Lau, 62 years old, who made a career—and a tidy fortune—braving the supernatural. For more than 10 years, he says he has bought and sold apartments where a tenant died an unnatural death, paying a third less than the market price and later selling at a healthy profit. Meantime, he says, he rents to expatriates, who tend to be less superstitious than locals.
Some people are sensitive about this stuff. Others, not so much. And some, just if the price is right.