Another land sale on the mainland set a record yesterday in Tianjin, where a residential site became the city's most expensive in terms of floor area. The record price came as the central government reiterated its determination to maintain a tight grip on the property market to damp prices. Mainland developer China Overseas Property won the former site of Tianjin Normal University in the Balitai district during a land auction with the 78th bid, of 2.97 billion yuan (HK$3.6 billion). With a total gross floor area of 228,000 square metres, this equates to 13,026 yuan per square metre, breaking the record set in March 2010 for a residential site in Xinyeli, which had a price tag of 10,410 yuan per square metre. 'The site is really not cheap. It is at a prime location, as it is within the core centre of the city where supply of new flats is insufficient,' said Yin Zehuan, managing director of property agency Centaline in Tianjin. He expects homes built there to be sold for more than 20,000 yuan per square metre. 'The new record will have a positive impact on the home market in Tianjin,' Yin said. 'In fact some flat owners have been asking for higher prices of about 5 per cent since a month ago, thanks to interest rate cuts and news that home sales in the country have rebounded.' The site was sold a day after the Ministry of Land Resources and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development jointly released an urgent government notice saying 'local authorities must strictly implement the nation's property control policies', Xinhua reported. 'Those that have loosened up controls must set straight the policies,' the notice said. Last week, a prime residential site in Beijing's Haidian district was sold to Sinobo Group for 2.63 billion yuan, or 33,831 yuan per square metre, and became the most expensive site in the capital in terms of floor area. Some property agents said the owners of the neighbouring homes marked up prices by about 5 per cent after the land sale.