Hongza - Unlucky houses for real?
February 18, 2010 2:09 AM   Subscribe

Help me verify the existence of hongza - are the "Unlucky Houses" of Hongkong for real?

Please help me verify or falsify this.

German media in particular have been picking up on the story of the hongza, but as far as I can tell, they're all picking it up from only one source: Jens Kastner.

He explains:
As on the Hong Kong property market attractive objects become fewer and fewer, speculators have started investing in houses where grisly deaths have occurred. The purchase of a hongza can be a very attractive option for buyers who are after a real bargain: prices are 40% lower than the average city price because the apartment had been the scene of a homicide.
He also explains the Hongza classes:
4 skulls: a crime, e.g. homicide has happened; case has been reported on by the media

The only website he names is http://www.unluckyhouse.com/, but unfortunately I can't read it! Can you help me verify this story? Does this website actually contain what he says it does?
posted by Omnomnom to Grab Bag (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The Chinese characters are 凶宅 (read xiōngzhái in Mandarin - Hongza is I presume an approximation of the Cantonese pronunciation) and it refers to a haunted house ('s base meaning is inauspicious or unlucky) - here's a Singaporean site that uses the romanisation hungzai but seems to be more horror story focused than concerned with property prices - I expect there'll be several ways to spell it in English which won't have helped your search. Anyway, I live in China and have been vaguely aware of this, but it's more of a southern thing - we're all good atheists up here in the capital ;)
If you Google those characters the top links are all advice on how to spot such a property - your Unlucky House comes top, though it seems to be actually mainly concerned with various cities and towns in Taiwan rather than Hong Kong. At a quick scan, most of the postings seem to be news links/clippings etc of grisly deaths, murders and so on where there's an address given - read one where a man killed himself by jumping off the building - which fits with what the journalist wrote.
posted by Abiezer at 4:24 AM on February 18, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you for your answer, Abiezer! I'm still suspicious of that "skull rating system", but it's good to know that listings of hongza exist, at least.
posted by Omnomnom at 4:16 AM on February 19, 2010

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