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Will 2018 be a lucky year for Chinese property investment?

By Juwai, 23 February 2018
Chinese buyers lucky number 8

What’s behind a number? A lot, especially if you’re Chinese or an agent marketing to the China market.

Numerology has long played a huge part in influencing Chinese property buyers, and 2018 looks set to benefit from the lucky number eight.

After all, there’s no question that the Chinese do love the number eight – even more so when it comes on addresses, whether it’s the unit number, floor number, street number, or even the listing price or settlement date.

A great example can be seen back in 2016, when a Chinese developer made headlines by acquiring an office building in Sydney’s CBD for an auspicious price of A$88,888,888.1

 

8 (八; ) – how is it lucky for Chinese buyers?

As the luckiest number for Chinese, the number 8 sounds like ‘to prosper’ in Mandarin, hence it signifies prosperity and wealth in Chinese belief, and this has translated across into many aspects in life for Chinese.

For example, a property listed at $1.9 million could possibly find Chinese buyers more amenable if its price was lowered to $1.88 million instead. In fact, Juwai CEO Carrie Law recently weighed in on this topic with the Wall Street Journal.

“Listings in the US with a triple eight in the price receive about one-third more online views than listings with none. For those views to turn into actual transactions, however, the property itself has to be appealing and the price still has to be realistic. Sometimes, a triple eight can seem like a gimmick that makes buyers suspicious,” said Law.

With numerology playing a role in influencing the decision-making process for China property investors, it’s vital for agents and developers to take note of this Chinese penchant for lucky (or unlucky) numbers when it comes to numbering their property units and floors, as well as when setting property prices to boost their marketability.

 

Would 2018 inspire a Chinese property buyer rush?

With the Chinese obsession for the number 8, many are already wondering if 2018 will prove to be a golden year for Chinese property investment, with just the fact that the lucky number 8 is in it.

Our take on this is that it’s highly likely it could sway some Chinese buyers to snap up homes in 2018 instead of next year. However, we believe it wouldn’t be to the extent that it will heavily shape Chinese buying trends this year.

“We know of a Beijing-based buyer who was ready to purchase in the $5 million-range in New York City late last year. They postponed their purchase so they could buy in the more auspicious year of 2018. There may have been other factors at play in their decision, but that’s the reason they gave us,” shared Law.

That said, it’s highly reasonable to for those marketing to the Chinese market to expect more Chinese property investors coming their way come August, especially on the eighth day of the eighth month of 2018.

This is because 8 August – or 8/8 – is typically already considered an auspicious day by Chinese as the double 8s symbolise twice the luck, wealth, and fortune. Add on another extra 8 with the year 2018 and this could really tempt Chinese buyers to consider snapping up home around this time.

 

What are the other lucky numbers in Chinese culture?

With the Chinese propensity for certain numbers, here are some other numbers deemed lucky in Chinese culture besides the number 8:
 

6 (; liù)

The number 6 in Chinese sounds similar to the Chinese word for ‘flow’ in Mandarin, thus 6 indicates ‘everything will run smoothly’.

Interestingly, although 666 is often associated with the devil and considered unlucky in Western culture, this is not true in Chinese culture, which considers multiples of 6 to be something auspicious.

This was the case with an Australian agent back in 2014, who took a gamble and changed the number of a luxury property from an inauspicious 64 to a luckier 66. The move paid off – the luxury home was sold to a Chinese buyer for A$8.5 million!2

This is because the number 4 sounds like the word for ‘death’ in Chinese – ominous indeed! 66, however, is reminiscent of the Chinese phrase ‘六六大顺’ (liù liù dà shùn), which roughly translates to indicate ‘things going doubly smoothly’.
 

9 (; jiǔ)

The number 9 denotes 'longevity' in Chinese culture, as it sounds similar to the Chinese word for ‘longlasting’ and ‘eternity’ – a reason why the number 9 is often emphasised during weddings and birthdays.

For some Chinese homebuyers, having a property with the number 9 in it could symbolise ‘permanence’ and indicate that they would live in said home for a long time. This could highly appeal as many Chinese are generational investors, and often purchase property with their children or grandchildren in mind.

Historically, 9 is also traditionally associated with the Chinese emperor, who had 9 dragons on his imperial robes.

 

 

Sources: 1. Mansion Global: It's in the numbers: Luck and superstition sell luxury real estate; 2. The Wall Street Journal, Courting the Chinese Buyer, June 2012