Skip to content

A haunted house can affect the price of property, research suggests

The research by property website Globrix also found that 15% of home buyers don’t believe in ghosts but still wouldn’t buy a house branded haunted and 54% say home owners shouldn’t be obliged to tell prospective buyers their property is haunted.

For many, living in a house with ghosts and ghouls doesn’t faze them at all with 48% saying it wouldn’t affect the price they would pay. Similarly, 54% would see what living in a haunted home was like before deciding to hire an exorcist or even sell it on.
Other home buyers see the prospect of paranormal house guests as a bargaining tool with 17% saying they would offer lower than the asking price for a home reported to be haunted. Almost a quarter, 22%, would expect to pay less than 50% for a haunted house. In comparison, only 1% of people would pay over the asking price.
Of those who have experienced the paranormal, 41% actually saw a ghost, compared to 59% who just felt a presence. But if they had to choose what type of manifestation they would rather live with, 49% would prefer to live with a dumb ghost, that is one that doesn’t acknowledge humans. Not surprisingly, only 2% of homeowners would choose to live with a poltergeist.
‘For most prospective buyers, how a property feels is often just as important as how it looks.  It’s therefore interesting that many people would choose to live with the possibility of a few unexplained bumps in the night than miss out on their dream home,’ said Jennifer Warner from Globrix.

But unusual happenings, such as hauntings or reported crimes, can dramatically affect the saleability of a property, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Occurrences such as a high profile murder which has attracted a lot of media attention can also have a significant impact on a property's saleability. For instance, a home in which a murder took place could experience a significant drop or increase in potential resale value, depending on individual buyers' interests.

Furthermore, when rumours spread of murders having taken place in a property, some homes have remained on surveyors' books for extended periods, while some homes have even been known to be practically un-saleable due to supposed hauntings.

A seafront thatched property in West Sussex, was the scene of a murder around 15 years ago when a wife was killed by her husband using a champagne bottle. Despite being an extremely desirable property, the house could not be sold.

One of Newcastle's oldest buildings, a 14th century timber framed pub, is said to be haunted by the spirit of Henry Hardwick, a ghostly figure seen late at night with only black sockets for eyes. RICS valuer David Downing examined the property around 18 months ago and while the stories of the historic building's haunted past did not add value, it had increased to the marketability of the building.

A Victorian detached bungalow made of black brick at Country Antrim, was repossessed last year after its owners failed to sell due to rumours of it being haunted by a ghost.

In the West of Scotland, a woman was murdered by a family member in a small village. As word of this spread throughout the community, the property was eventually valued at 20% less than it would have been had the murder not have taken place.

A house in Moneymore, County Londonderry, built on the site of an old horses' graveyard was thought to be haunted. After it sat derelict and unsold for many years, locals called for the property's demolition after unexplained events were witnessed there.
‘While many factors can affect a property's value, unusual occurrences such as rumoured hauntings, celebrity inhabitants or high profile crimes can have a significant affect on a house's saleability. There are examples across the UK where houses are said to have been previously occupied by a famous celebrity or even the ghost,’ said Jeremy Leaf, RICS spokesperson.

‘A high profile crime which has attracted a lot of media attention can have a significant impact on a property's worth, albeit usually temporarily. For instance, a home in which a murder took place or those in its immediate vicinity, could experience a significant drop or increase in potential resale value, depending on individual buyers' interests,’ he added.