Fewer than half the usual number of house sales and purchases settle on a Friday that falls on the 13th of the month compared with other Fridays, according to Registers of Scotland figures.

Coinciding with the 13th of this month falling on a Friday, RoS has published data that show the traditional superstition regarding the date bringing bad luck possibly living on when it comes to moving house.

On the last Friday the 13th (in January 2017), 524 properties changed hands, but on the equivalent Friday in 2016 (15 January) more than twice as many (1,321) residential properties did so.

The time before, in May 2016, the figure was 530, compared with 1,076 on the equivalent Friday in 2017 (12 May). On the preceding Friday (6 May 2016) 972 properties changed hands; a week later (20 May) the figure was 1,110.

Fridays remain overwhelmingly the most popular days to move – averaging the data from 2003-2017, RoS give a figure of 1,163 house moves per Friday – but only 519 for a Friday that falls on the 13th. However Mondays to Thursdays average between 143 and 259 moves, with Tuesdays being the least popular. Saturdays and Sundays are down in single figures.

“We can’t definitively say that people are superstitious about moving house on Friday 13th", commented Janet Egdell, RoS's operations director. "However, our data does indicate that, while people overwhelmingly prefer to move house on a Friday compared with any other day in the week, there is a significant drop in the number of people doing so where this lands on the 13th day in the month."

She added: “We look forward to seeing over the next few weeks whether this trend continued in the month of Halloween.”