December 22, 2012

Are You Feeling Lucky?

121221-lucky-digitsWe sure hope so.  You survived the end of the world yesterday, didn’t you? (Those not surviving the end of the world, please stop interrupting.)  Now we’ve found a piece on Trulia on the numerology of home sales. 

This means you can continue your lucky lifestyle, thanks to Trulia’s research.  It turns out that a lot of home sellers put their favorite “lucky numbers” in their asking prices.

So what’s wrong with this pie chart at right?  Too many nines and fives, yet not enough eights, that’s what.  Everyone knows that eights are lucky.  Well, everyone in the Real Bay Area knows that.  The lucky numbers in the rest of the country say otherwise.


This consolidated map suggests that there aren’t any particular lucky numbers in the Midwest, the Plains, the Rocky Mountains or the Pacific Northwest, just a countrywide avoidance of the number 13 in prices.  And here’s some more on 8 as a lucky number.


121221-lucky-cupertinoWe took a spot-check of the asking prices in Cupertino, right now, over a million dollars (which is pretty much all of them).

We came up with one 1, one 2, one 6, three 9s, seven 5s, and a whopping ten 8s.    We just had to make a pie chart out of that.  Until today, we had no idea that donuts were a subset of pie.

If we then take the sub-million houses, we get an additional one 1, four 5s and two 8s.

We then compare with similarly sized cities (at least as to number of sales over a million) with rather different demographics.  San Rafael is majority white, and Oakland, while one of the most racially diverse cities, has a higher percentage of blacks than many other areas.


Whoa. There’s 4s in Oakland, which is a very unlucky number in Cupertino.  All three cities have a strongly marked preference for 5 over 9, while nationally it’s the other way by almost 2 to 1.

We welcome your reasoning on why this would be, or anything else you wish to bring up in this Weekend-after-the-end-of-the-world Open Thread.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

6 Responses to “Are You Feeling Lucky?”

  1. madhaus Says:

    Scheduling gremlin. Sorry, we’re up now.

  2. Divasm Says:

    Glad to see we’re finally exploring the magic of #8 in real estate pricing – it’s an RBA fact of life. The only thing I could think of when I thought of 9’s was the phrase “dressed to the nines,” which makes somebody sound rich. Perhaps they use that more in the NE?

    I got nuthin’ on the 4’s in Oakland.

  3. SEA Says:

    Is this like Benford’s Law for the last digit?

  4. burbed Says:

    I should’ve named this blog Burbed888!

  5. Zak Says:


    The TIME mag cover brought back old memories. I am still holding on to a paper copy of that mag.


  6. SEA Says:

    Are you a true believer?

    “After a famously disastrous start, Facebook (FB) finally looks like a money-maker for true believers. The stock is 10% higher already in 2013 and over 50% in the last three months.”

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