It may not be everyoneâ€™s idea of a dream home, but for bargain hunters in Hong Kongâ€™s turbocharged property market apartments that belonged to the recently deceased are proving irresistible â€“ and the more gruesome the occupantâ€™s demise the better.
Popular belief in a city awash with superstition runs that the ghost of a person who dies in unnatural circumstances â€“ a suicide, murder or bad accident â€“ inhabits their home, passing misfortune onto the new occupants.
The threat carries weight in a city where feng shui consultants do brisk business; families placate the â€œhungry ghostsâ€ of their ancestors with offerings and people even refrain from whistling in the street in fear of disturbing lurking spooks.
By law, buyers are entitled to details on so-called â€œhaunted housesâ€ â€“ or hongza in Cantonese â€“ and many rigorously check the backstory to their potential purchase.
But not everyone is afraid of ghosts, and in the cut and thrust of Hong Kongâ€™s runaway property market some investors are actively following the tragedies, aware that dark incidents push the price down.
Photo by tinanwang.