Friday 13th shunned by home movers

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People do not like moving house on Friday 13th, figures from the Registers of Scotland suggest.

Analysis of records dating back to 2003 showed that less than half the number of properties expected actually changed hands on that date.

The pattern was observed in each of the 14 years of the records, which detailed every house sale taking place in Scotland.

There are typically two Friday 13th in any given year.

According to data from the previous Friday 13th, which occurred in January, 524 residential properties changed hands in Scotland.

However, on the equivalent Friday in 2016 - which fell on the 15th of the month - 1,321 residential properties were exchanged.

Sheenagh Adams, keeper of the Registers of Scotland, said superstition seemed to be playing a part.

"One of the quirky things that we've recently discovered is that people don't like moving house on the 13 October when it's a Friday," she said.

"Normally on a Friday, over a thousand people move house, but when it's Friday the 13th in a month, that falls to about only 500.

"So clearly people are superstitious about when they move house."

Last Supper

According to Steve Roud, author of The Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland, Friday and the number 13 were unlucky in their own right.

"Because Friday was the day of the crucifixion, Fridays were always regarded as a day of penance and abstinence," he said.

Theories behind "unlucky 13" include the number of people present at the Last Supper or the number of witches to make a coven.

Sheenagh Adams added: "It was quite a surprise to us. It wasn't something that we particularly expected.

"I would imagine there's a few removal vans sitting in their garages waiting for next Friday, when everybody's back and not thinking it's unlucky any more."