THE residential property market would benefit from a relaxation in mortgage lending by banks for luxury flats, says Albert Chow, deputy managing director of Cheung Kong (Holdings). He said market sentiment was improving and the successful sale of the Cox's Road residential site provided an indicator for luxury flat prices in Kowloon. Mr Chow said that the correction in home prices was almost over and property prices would be steady. He said that sales of the rest of the flats in its Laguna City project had picked up after the Lunar New Year and buyers' response had been good in the past two weeks. He expected Cheung Kong to release new projects for sale including a batch of units at the Kingswood Villa development in Tin Shui Wai, which would be put on offer in the first half of the year. Mr Chow also said that some of its property investments in China including those in Fuzhou and Shanghai would generate returns in the latter half of this year or next year. He said that the Shougang incident would not affect Cheung Kong's business ties with the group or future investments in China. Mr Chow said that Cheung Kong was discussing the final blueprint for Beijing's Oriental Plaza development with the authorities. He said that it had been talking with Beijing and expected to reach a consensus on the development soon. Mr Chow would not disclose details about the development or possible investment at the moment, but he confirmed the Chinese had received a profit guarantee. He said that part of the resettlement costs relating to the demolition of the existing premises at the site had been paid. Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa own 63 per cent, Oriental Overseas Containers holds 23 per cent, Bank of China nearly 10 per cent and Goldman Sachs about two per cent of the project.