The Number 13… Lucky For Some?


How do you feel about the number 13? Does it freak you out or are you not really fussed? Would you live at number 13 given the choice?

House Number 13 Infographic

Lots of people are strangely superstitious about the number 13 and some people even have a phobia of the number 13 – also known as triskaidekaphobia. There are a few different theories about why the number 13 is treated with such caution from the 13 people sitting around the table at the Last Supper to monks felt superstitious about years that contained 13 lunar cycles as this messed up their usual calendar.

But whatever the reason for the superstition, it is clear that this has had an effect on the sale of houses with the number 13. It might sound silly if you are a rational person who scoffs at such nonsense, but the statistics show that more people than you might think get worried at the thought of living in number 13. In fact, 28% of streets in the UK don’t even have a number 13 to be worried about.

The avoidance of the number 13 is a surprisingly common superstition in the UK. In fact, it is number 5 on the list of most common superstitions with 62% avoiding the number. This is interesting because not walking under ladders or scaffolding – which is at the top of the list with 81% of people avoiding them – could be seen as a sensible move passed down generations from times when this really was a bad idea. It does make you wonder what magpies (appearing second on the list with 76% counting them) could have done in the past.

Interestingly, London is where people are most suspicious about living in a home with the number 13. 77% of Londoners admitted that they were superstitious in general and the most common superstition amongst respondents was avoiding the number 13. And yet, it seems that when it comes down to numbers, people aren’t so worried that it affects house prices.

The people of Surrey have a real issue there. In fact, house prices in Surrey are the most deeply affected by the unlucky number 13 as it can knock almost £79,000 off the value of a house. This is significantly higher than in other counties where house prices are affected. Second from the top, County Durham offers a discount of around £63,500 and even in the 25 – 30 most superstitious counties, you could make a saving of almost £20,000.

Indeed, such is the strength of the superstition that the numbers 12 and 14 are also likely to have a reduced price compared to their neighbours just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Given that all this is about a number on the door, you could make a solid argument here that a lot of people have more money than sense. In fact, there is a strong correlation between the wealth of a county and the superstition they hold.  

But could you flip the idea that 13 is unlucky on its head? For some people, 13 is nothing to be scared of – in fact, it is a number that has been unfairly demonised. Taylor Swift, for example, is a huge fan of the number 13 as it has appeared at every point in her success from her birthday on December 13th to her debut album going gold in week 13 in the charts. Such is her conviction that 13 is great, she has the number written on her hand at concerts to have it everywhere she goes.

So could the number 13 be lucky for house hunters too? Well, yes, actually. If you are looking for a property in a wealthy area but need a 30% price reduction, number 13 is definitely the place to look. In fact, the number 13 is 30% cheaper on average anywhere in the UK – not an insignificant saving when you are making your first jump onto the property ladder!

It seems that for all that the number 13 has a definite reputation, how you choose to act on the consequences of that reputation depends on whether you are rational enough to look past the folkloric attitude and make the most of the price reduction or not.

So the real question is this: are you the kind of savvy house hunter who will happily take a reduced price and ignore the number or are you the kind of person who backs having a 12A?

About the author

Craig Gilhooly

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