SINO Group and Hang Lung Development are poised to battle for home buyers by launching rival residential projects in Tai Po almost at the same time. Both developers yesterday announced the upcoming sales of mid-rise housing developments, triggering industry fears of a price war in the new town. Sino said 72 flats in Block 3 of Phase 2 of its Classical Gardens development would go on sale on August 26. The units are sized between 1,035 square feet and 1,106 sq ft, but the company said that it was also prepared to offer some smaller units, in the 682-782 sq ft range, in other towers of the development. Analysts expect the Classical Gardens sale will face stiff competition from the imminent sale of Parc Versailles, jointly developed by Hang Lung and the Lai Sun Group. Hang Lung managing director Nelson Yuen Wai-leung said about 40 units of Parc Versailles would be offered for internal sale next week. Details of the sale's public launch would be finalised later. He said there would not be direct competition between Parc Versailles and Sino's Classical Gardens because they were different projects in different locations. He conceded that selling prices at Classical Gardens could be a means of reference for the pricing of Parc Versailles but this was not a major consideration. Neither developer would reveal the selling price of their project yesterday. Some agents expected the prices at Classical Gardens would be about $4,000 per sq ft, while Hang Lung would price the Parc Versailles units at about $3,800 per sq ft. Parc Versailles comprises 37 six-storey residential blocks, totalling 822 units sized from 998 sq ft to 1,320 sq ft. It is near the Kowloon-Canton Railway station (KCR) in Tai Wo while Classical Gardens is near the KCR station in Tai Po. Estate agents said the two projects were similar, both providing mid-rise apartments and appealing to the same group of buyers. Agents said developers' provision of preferential financing or payment arrangements would be crucial to the projects' sales responses. Sino said it would offer 20 per cent extra mortgage loans for home buyers, on top of 70 per cent mortgages provided by banks. Mr Yuen said Hang Lung was not prepared to offer top-up mortgages but would make available three different payment schemes to help buyers, especially those who had difficulties making a 30 per cent downpayment immediately. Several major banks would provide mortgages for Parc Versailles, and some would even offer mortgages at discount rates. He said a sell-out of the project, which was being built in two phases on a 440,000 sq ft site, would generate about $3.8 billion. Mr Yuen said the residential market now was supported mainly by end-users and the Government should consider relaxing mortgage lending limits to help genuine buyers. 'Speculators are already out of the market and home prices will not rise dramatically even if mortgage lending is relaxed,' he said. Despite a potential large supply of new flats in the New Territories, Mr Yuen said there was a huge pent-up housing demand and he expected to see a steady market prospect. He said Hang Lung would participate in the upcoming tenders of property developments above the new airport railway stations in Tsing Yi and Kowloon. It was in the process of forming consortiums with other companies.