In Hong Kong's Tight Real Estate Market, Death Is a Selling Point

Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Cultural differences are often reflected in attitudes toward real estate. Take Hong Kong, where space is tight and people live densely in high-rise apartments that make the typical Manhattan abode look spacious and cheap. Still, most residents of notoriously superstitious Hong Kong would rather not live in a hongza -- an unlucky home.

According to a recent article by Deutsche Presse-Agentur, these homes have been beset by misfortune, as when some poor soul jumps from the top of one of the high-rises and lands, splat, in front of your first-floor window. As the article notes:

"The term "hongza" derives from the Chinese word 'xiong,' pronounced 'hong' in the Hong Kong dialect, which means 'calamity,' 'violence,' 'murder.' 'Za' means 'residence.' "

In other words, a murder house.

As HousingWatch has reported, these tainted homes can be hard to sell. The thing is, in Hong Kong's tight real estate market, hongza have become sought after investments, especially by less-superstitious westerners and corporate investors, says the German news agency.