Hong Kong Real Estate ‘Boo Boom’
Ng Goon Lau, sixty two, used to work the Hong Kong real estate market to his advantage. He had no financial problems and although his path to riches was a bit off the beaten path, it certainly worked like a charm.
Ng bought and sold real estate in one of the most superstitious cities in China, if not the world. So Ng made use of this fact by dealing in property that he could buy at remarkable discounts.
Because the property’s Ng dealt in were said to be haunted.
Ng Goon Lau started the business of buying, renting and selling haunted property after his own house fell victim to the ‘haunted’ stigma when a worker electrocuted himself in Ng’s home in 1993.
After he figured out how he could turn this real estate loop hole to his advantage, Ng was on a roll:
“I learned [the business] by myself,
Nobody taught me. It’s not my fate or luckiness, but my boldness.”
Ng took advantage of the fact that Hong Kong banks will not place a value on property that is possibly haunted or unlucky, such as the entire floor of an apartment building where a murder took place in the 1980′s.
This and the money Ng built up in his previous business venture as a shark fin salesmen meant that Ng was soon buying up these unwanted homes at a ‘spooky discount.
Now Ng faces competition who have their eye on the same angle, such as Squarefoot.com, which has a online search engine to find one of these discount ‘hongza’, or haunted homes.
The old salesman is not about to admit defeat however, calling the internet age upstarts “amateurs.”
Ng is confident that he will continue to be able to make a profit from the superstitious Hong Kong populace with his haunted dwellings. Ng himself does not believe in ghosts and says that none of his tenants have ever reported seeing a spirit or of being unhappy with their rented property.
In the end, Ng will probably keep this job no matter what as he says renting haunted houses is “better then the shark fin business.”
(Via Wall Street Journal)