PROSPECTIVE buyers have been out in force to register for the sale of Laguna City units, tempted by the expectation of a market recovery and the provision of preferential mortgage and payment terms, estate agents say. More than 300 people had registered by the end of the first day on Monday. Agents said the sale of 64 units could be oversubscribed by a factor of more than 10 times by the close of registration tomorrow. The sale starts on Saturday. The project's developer Cheung Kong (Holdings) is expected to release additional units for sale at slightly higher prices. The units are being offered at an average price of $5,209 per square foot, which represented an increase of 5-6 per cent from the previous sale in January. In total, Cheung Kong now has up to 600 units still available for sale in the fourth and last phase eight-block development of Laguna City. As part of a new marketing drive, the last phase of the project has been renamed Laguna Cove. A special feature of the sale is that Cheung Kong offers to combine adjacent flats into one large unit. Standard units measure 644 to 941 sq ft while merged units measure 1,462 to 1,608 sq ft. Sales manager Patrick Ho said there was strong demand for the larger units. Abundant parking spaces were also available for buyers at discounted prices, he said. Laguna City flat buyers will be entitled to a $150,000 discount in the purchase of parking spaces at about $800,000 each. Ricky Lin, manager at Midland Realty's Laguna City branch, said the selling prices for the new phase were still attractive although Laguna City flats in the secondary market prices were cheaper, trading at $4,900 to $5,000 per sq ft. The developer's sale offered preferential payment terms and the construction materials used in Laguna Cove were better, he said. The 64 units on offer are located in blocks 10, 12, 20, 21 and 23. Units in blocks 12 and 23, which enjoy better sea views, are being offered at a higher price of about $5,367 per sq ft. Crystal Tam, manager at Centaline Property Agency's Laguna City branch, said more prospective buyers would register before registration ended tomorrow. While some analysts said the stock market's crash on Monday and tension between China and Taiwan might dampen property buying interest, Ms Tam said the small to medium-sized residential market would not be affected. Agents said the pricing for extra units released by Cheung Kong would depend on the combination of the units in various blocks. Twelve banks are committed to providing mortgages in the latest Laguna City sale. Some of them offer a discount of one percentage point in mortgage rates or up to 1.25 percentage points for selected customers. Other preferential packages include fixed rate loans by ABN-AMRO Bank, deferred loan repayments by Bank of America (Asia) and Japanese yen-denominated bridging mortgage facilities at lower interest rates. Cheung Kong offers a 20 per cent 10-year top-up mortgage for buyers at standard mortgage rates, and repayment will not start until the third year. Buyers using the top-up finance are required to pay a six per cent premium in price. Buyers using the staggered payment scheme can complete the purchase within three months, but they have to pay a two per cent premium in price. Buyers can get furnished units created by designer Kenneth Ko Man-on by paying an extra $200 per sq ft. DEVELOPMENT: Laguna Cove, the fourth phase of Laguna City in Lam Tin. DEVELOPER: Cheung Kong (Holdings) NUMBER OF FLATS ON SALE: 64 SIZE OF FLATS: 644 to 941 sq ft for standard units; 1,462 to 1,608 sq ft for merged units. AVERAGE PRICE: $5,209 per sq ft. REGISTRATION PERIOD: March 11-14 DATE OF OFFICIAL SALE: March 16 FACILITIES: Clubhouse with swimming pools, tennis courts, squash courts, roller-skating rink, sauna and lounge. PAYMENT SCHEMES: Initial deposit $100,000 Lump sum payment: 10 per cent down, 10 per cent within two weeks, with balance payable within one month. Staggered payment: 10 per cent down, balance 90 per cent payable within three months. Top-up mortgage scheme: 10 per cent down, balance 90 per cent payable within one month, with developer committed to providing 20 per cent top-up mortgages.