Property developers roared back into favour yesterday, as investors flocked to the counters following Monday's better than expected land auction result. Stocks in all the main property companies climbed sharply, following record prices paid for the four auction sites, including the first auctioned on the Hunghom Bay reclamation. Analysts said the auction was further confirmation that the recovery in the property market was under way, and this was luring investors back to the counters. Franklin Lam, property analyst at HG Asia, said: 'Last week, we said investors should pile right into these stocks, and now they have. 'The land auction has improved investor's appetites.' The Hang Seng property sub-index, which measures the 10 blue-chip property stocks, jumped 4.07 per cent to 20,032.65 points, easily eclipsing all other sectors in the market. Some of the property counters have now retraced all the losses they made during the 820-point slide of the market last Monday. The bigger the stocks the better they performed yesterday. Sun Hung Kai Properties, which teamed up with Henderson Land Development to win the prized Hunghom site, climbed $3, or 4.46 per cent, to $70.25, Henderson added $1.75 to $55 and Cheung Kong put on $2 to $54. Analysts said the auction was simply the latest proof that the property market was on an uptrend, coming on the heels of other successful sales including that of flats at Laguna City last week. Benjamin Cheng, analyst at Goldman Sachs, said: 'Sentiment in the property market has been turning positive and that was confirmed by the land auction. The market's expectations of property price increases are now very likely to materialise.' He said a 15 per cent increase was now highly achievable. Sino Land, which bought two of the smaller sites at the auction, made an impressive gain, rising 50 cents, or 6.8 per cent, to $7.85. It was given an extra boost by having 210 million call warrants issued on the stock by Bankers Trust International. Michael Green, property analyst at Nomura Securities, said the rise in Sino Land signalled that smaller investors were actively buying property counters. 'Sino Land is a good indicator of retail sentiment towards property stocks,' he said. Great Eagle soared 85 cents to $22.95, up 12.5 per cent on last week's low. Brokers said talk that Great Eagle had sold four floors of Citibank Plaza for $12,000 a square foot, helped to boost the counter. The upcoming reporting season, which will see Sun Hung Kai Properties post its interims today, could boost the sector further if the results surpass expectations.