Saturday 22 October 2016

Why Friday the 13th creates odd bargains - and how to take advantage

Amelia Murray

Published 12/11/2015 | 10:17

Friday the 13th may not signal bad luck for all, according to new research.
Friday the 13th may not signal bad luck for all, according to new research.

Millions of people will alter their usual buying behaviour this Friday, merely because it is the 13th.

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For those who don't buy into superstition, this presents some unusual opportunities to pick up a bargain.

This year is particularly "unlucky" because November 13 marks the third Friday 13 of the year. Most years have just one or two.

Statistically there seems to be less likelihood of accidents or other unfortunate events on Friday 13ths, according to insurance data, because drivers and homeowners are extra cautious.

For those who aren't hiding under the covers all day, there are strange savings to be made.

Book a bargain flight

Flyers not prone to superstition should check prices on Friday 13. Last year, flight booking website Kayak found that June 13 (a Friday) was the cheapest day to fly with flight prices being 22pc less than usual. That month, the average price of a domestic return was £233 which fell to £181 on Friday 13.

Buying or selling a home

The number of property transactions decline on Friday 13. Research by found that between 2005 and 2012, there were 43pc less transactions on Friday 13 compared to other Fridays in the month.

The worst day was May 13 2011, when there were 51pc less transactions. Ironically, these transactions are likely to run more smoothly given that the staff handling them, in solicitors firms and banks, will have more time on their hands.

Property bargains are more likely to relate to houses or flats numbered 13. Number 13 houses are not that common – property website Zoopla found only 28pc of streets have one.

Door number 13

In 2011, Zoopla found that houses numbered 13 on average cost less than houses with luckier numbers - good news for brave buyers.


Ok, it's a bit late to book this year but doing so in 2016 (May 13 is the only one) could clip significant amounts of the average cost.

According to data compiled by, 1,345 fewer couples are getting married on Friday, 13 July 2017 compared to the following Friday.

For those not concerned about chandeliers crashing down or the chance of a jilting, wedding venue House For an Art Lover offers couples a 13pc discount if they get married on Friday 13.

The venue has been offering the marked-down marriages since 2013. It is currently taking bookings for unlucky days in 2017 – January 13 and October 13.

Lynn Stevenson, of House for an Art Lover, said some couples like to make it a feature of the day.

She said: "If you make a feature of it rather than avoiding the elephant in the room I believe it makes it a much more appealing option for people, particularly when most are budget led - it offers them a weekend date with a discount that wouldn’t normally be available."


The stock market is rife with superstition and some investors still swear by the old saying “sell in May and go away” reflecting the age old assumption that stocks underperform between May and the end of October.

Adrian Ash, of gold and silver exchange BullionVault, said many traders still refuse to place new trades on Friday 13th. On the last four "unlucky" Fridays, there’s been a 45pc drop in trade compared to a week either side, he said.

Jason Hollands, managing director of Tilney BestInvest, says there is no evidence that Friday 13 is bad for the market.

While many shudder at the memory of the Friday 13 crash of October 1989, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6.9pc; out of the last 144 Friday 13s, 81 have been good for markets.

However, if by some bad luck the markets did crash on Friday 13, Hollands suggests it is a good time to be buying rather than “hiding at home with your fingers crossed”.

Independent News Service

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