A Hong Kong-based start-up, spacious.hk, is capitalizing on the Chinese cultural fear of living in haunted spaces by offering haunted apartments for property for sale or rent to expats and Hong Kong’s new generation. The company reports that on average, the haunted house overlay is used some 5,000 times a month.
Hong Kong is a city known for its high-rise buildings and bustling cities, but it also has a lesser-known aspect that has recently gained attention – its haunted houses. Many believe that the city’s rapid development has led to the displacement of spirits, resulting in a rise in ghostly sightings and strange occurrences in newly built homes. To address this phenomenon, a Hong Kong-based tech startup, spacious.hk, has emerged with a unique solution for these haunted properties for sale or rent.
Founder Asif Ghafoor explains that when someone dies in one of the city’s properties, Chinese people don’t want to live in them anymore, out of a deep cultural fear of ghosts. This cultural belief can lead to a drop in rental prices for these properties for sale or rent. Ghafoor and his team keep an updated database and map of where tragic deaths occur in Hong Kong properties, and they lower the rental prices for these haunted apartments for sale or rent.
spacious.hk capitalizes on the Chinese cultural fear of living in haunted spaces by offering these properties for sale or rent to expats and Hong Kong’s new generation, who are not usually bothered by the idea of living in a haunted house. The company keeps track of tragic events that happen inside the city’s notoriously expensive apartments, and when someone dies in one of these properties, the rental prices for these apartments decrease due to the cultural fear of ghosts among Chinese people.
Ghafoor also notes that Hong Kong’s new and expensive developments take many aspects of feng shui into consideration to draw in wealthy Chinese renters. These aspects can include the direction the apartment faces, the view, and the flow of the floor plan. The government has even spent millions on construction projects that are built in line with the ancient harmonizing philosophy of feng shui.
For American James Fisher, the sector of analysis and analytics at spacious.hk, collecting data on bizarre murders and suicides is all part of the day job. He leads a team of people who monitor in-apartment deaths from local media and police reports, and then map it out for spacious.hk users. Fisher explains that, “Most of the stories are referred more as ‘data points,’ instead of detailed accounts of the individuals involved in the tragedies. I try not to dig down too much into those personal details.”
Though the concept of renting a haunted apartment may be unusual, it is clear that the phenomenon is a unique aspect of Hong Kong’s culture and history. And for those not bothered by living in a haunted house, it can be a great opportunity to find a property for sale or rent at a lower price. For example, the gruesome J Residence murders bought the apartment in question back to the market with a 50% discount.
spacious.hk has been gaining attention in Hong Kong and around the world, with many praising the startup for their innovative approach to solving a cultural problem. “We believe that our service is a win-win situation for both landlords and renters,” said Ghafoor. “Landlords can rent out their properties for sale or rent at a lower price, while renters can save money on their housing costs.”
The startup plans to expand their service to other cities in Asia with similar cultural beliefs about haunted spaces.
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