THE residential market seems to be calming down after a rush by developers to sell during the past two months. Only two major projects are up for offer this week. On Monday, Wheelock Properties released for sale 100 flats at its Parc Oasis phase six development in Yau Yat Chuen. The other major sale for the week is Sino Land's offering of 108 flats at its mid-rise Classical Gardens in Tai Po on Saturday. The pre-sale market was busier last week with more than five new projects on offer. Sun Hung Kai Properties' sale of 288 flats at its low-rise Meadowlands project in Yuen Long attracted the strongest buyer response, with nearly all units sold on the first day. The company also enjoyed a warm reception for the sale of 48 houses at its other project, Palm Springs, and had to release 30 more units to meet demand. The sales response for the release of 20 units at Luk Hoi Tong's Bauhinia Garden, also in Yuen Long, was slower. Buyers appeared to be hesitating at the sale of 20 flats at Riviera Lodge, a single residential block joint venture between China Overseas Land and Investment and Gold-Face Holdings in Tai Po. Swire Properties launched the sale of 40 units at Block One of Robinson Place in Mid-Levels at reduced prices, but sales were slower than expected. The most interesting market event of last week was the pull-out by about 20 apartment buyers in Blessings Garden in Mid-Levels, who each forfeited about $2 million in deposit. These ill-fated buyers bought the units at about $9,500 per square foot from Lai Sun Development in March last year. The dramatic falls in prices since then, and the recent sale of similar units at Blessings Garden by New World Development at about $6,300 per sq ft, means these buyers will pay less by forfeiting their deposits, and then repurchasing at the lower price. Their actions did not surprise the market. In fact, all buyers who bought flats during the boom last year are losers in the latest property market correction. The question is just how much they will lose or have lost in the process. Those who do not want to realise the losses, are limited to holding the properties for personal use or for rental. Only if property prices grow strongly, which is unlikely in the foreseeable future, can they avoid loss. However, the market is only taking a breather as developers have large stocks of completed or near-completed properties to release for sale in the next few months. The largest project coming onto the market will be the massive Kingswood Villa development being built by Cheung Kong (Holdings) in Tin Shui Wai. About 2,000-3,000 flats at the project are expected to be put on sale and Cheung Kong is preparing an extensive campaign to promote the sale. The company is recruiting between 200 and 300 sales executives to market the forthcoming sale. These executives will be under a new division, independent of the group's existing sales department.