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March 22, 2022

Hong Kong housing comes cheap -- if it's haunted

You know, it was 2009, during one of the worst stretches of the recession, but we got some interesting results to a hypothetical on housing we posed here at the time.

The question: would you live in a haunted house if it came cheaper?

A quick browse through the comments from ’09 and they’re about two parts “ghosts aren’t real, of course I would” to one part “no, no, a million times no.” Though don’t tell this to residents of Hong Kong.

In one of the world’s most expensive real estate markets, housing can be had on quite the discount in Hong Kong if you’re willing to shack up with a ghost or two.

By one report, Hong Kong, which has seen its home prices spike some 70 per cent since 2009 – call it the anti-U.S.A. – has quite the niche real estate market going, probably the only one affordable to Everyday Joes in the city-state.

*Bing: How to save on realtor costs

As in most places, Hong Kong sellers are required to disclose whether the previous resident croaked in the home, though while North Americans may not care much about an in-home death (unless we’re talking Sharon Tate, or something), Hong Kongers appear to be a bit more superstitious.

So-called haunted homes in Hong Kong can be had for a reported 20-40 per cent below market value, a discount that’s drawing expats looking to buy up affordable property in one of the world’s least affordable regions.

As io9.com notes, you can look through many Hong Kong listings online, deciphering in a blurb on the home whether it’s too haunted, not haunted enough or just the right amount of haunted for you.

One home, for instance, explicitly explains:

“Young female texted and asked her boyfriend to meet her but he sent his sister instead. Victim jumped off the building in front of the sister.”

In other words: where do I sign?!

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...