A study of numerological superstitions in the apartments market
In this paper we study the influence of superstitions related to numbers 13 and 7 on people's buying behavior in the apartment market. A unique feature of our methodology is that we use real sales data instead of survey or pricing data. Based on the dataset from Saint-Petersburg primary real estate market we compare the share of sold apartments on floor 7 with that of on floors 6 and 8, whereas floor 13 is benchmarked to floors 12 and 14. As floors are comprised by exactly the same apartments we manage to isolate the effects of the “lucky” and “unlucky” numbers. We have found a significantly negative effect of the 13th (“unlucky”) floor on demand for apartments in new apartment houses, but no significant positive effect of the 7th (“lucky”) floor. Possible implications of this result and directions for future research are discussed.