Superstition stalls the property market

Michael Lloyd

September 11, 2019

Whenever there is a Friday 13 the market sees a double-digit drop in both residential and commercial sales, an analysis of HM Land Registry data by Search Acumen has shown.

Activity drops whenever Friday falls on the thirteenth day of the month – an event which occurs at least once every year and will do so this Friday. Friday 13 typically sees 5,733 home purchases completed – a 39% drop from the usual 9,394 Friday completions.

Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, said: “Friday 13 has been referred to by some as the unluckiest date of the year, and these figures seem to suggest the property market isn’t immune to superstition disrupting normal routines.

“With the challenge of finalising paperwork on time and safely transferring life-changing sums of money, buyers with a superstitious nature might be forgiven for feeling that it’s tempting fate to schedule their completion on this notorious date.

“Property transactions can feel frustrating, time-consuming and scary even at the best of times, but future generations might look back on 2019 as a milestone year in putting some of those fears to rest.

“Having taken part of the first global blockchain trial for property transactions, we’ve seen first-hand how new technologies are emerging to improve security and transparency within the property buying process.

“Wider adoption promises to deliver a better experience for all involved, so buyers won’t need to keep fearfully looking back over their shoulders, no matter the date.”

The commercial real estate market is also impacted. Friday 13th has brought an average of 611 completed deals in recent years, down 27% from the usual 835 deal closures on the last working day of the week.


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