Triskaidekaphobia and North American Residential Real Estate Prices


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James E. Larsen

317 / 329




International Real Estate Review


A previous study led its authors to conclude that superstition impacts price formation for single-family dwellings in the Vancouver area. Houses there with an address that ends in the “unlucky” number 13 are found to sell at a discount compared to otherwise similar houses. The primary objective of this study is to determine whether the previous results apply in another North American housing market. Hedonic regression is applied to single-family house transactions that occurred in Montgomery County, Ohio, to determine if houses with an address of 13 sold for different prices than houses that comprise the remainder of the sample. The same test is then conducted for houses with an address other than 13. No mispricing associated with the number 13 is discovered, but seven other addresses are found to be significantly related to price. As all but one of the significant house numbers identified in this study are not reputed to be particularly lucky or unlucky, we conclude that the price effects discovered are attributable to coincidence. The results of this first study to investigate the possibility of mispricing due to superstition about the number 13 in a residential property market in the United States are consistent with rational market behavior.

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Superstition, North America, Housing Prices, International Housing Markets, Hedonic Regression, Triskaidekaphobia

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