Die Meldung ist schon ein paar Wochen alt, gehört hier aber zwingend rein: In Hongkong sind Wohnungen mittlerweile so teuer, dass sich Immobilieninvestoren auf „Haunted Houses“ spezialisieren, die mit Preisnachlässen von bis zu 40% den Besitzer wechseln und deren Mieten sich auch Normalverdiener dort leisten können:
Discounts of between 20-40 percent are the standard for haunted houses with a knock-on for the rental yield, says Eric Wong of the squarefoot.com.hk property website, which has a channel dedicated to the phenomenon. "Hong Kong people are sensitive to ghosts and bad luck," he says. "They believe in feng shui -- if something bad has happened in a home people won't take it... but Hong Kong is small and very expensive, so if a good discount comes there are others ready to make the investment." And for the savvy buyer there are plenty to choose from.
Among the hundreds of macabre listings on the squarefoot.com.hk website is the home of a local football player who, crushed by the weight of debt and relationship problems, jumped from his 36th floor flat. Then there is the divorcee whose body was discovered a month after she poisoned herself with the fumes of burning charcoal, or the woman hacked to death and mutilated by her domestic helper in an exclusive apartment block. Such morbid tales are a boon to investors who would not live in a haunted house themselves, but will gladly put it up for rent.
"There's a group of investors who bid for these places specifically and then rent it to people who don't mind its bad history," Wong adds. More often than not those are foreign expatriates -- widely known in local slang as gweilos -- who are not overly concerned about the history of their apartment. "Gweilos don't have the same beliefs as Hong Kong people and just want a cheaper price in a nice area," says Winnie Ng of Rich Harvest property agency.