The Government's land disposal programme is set to kick off next week with the auction of two residential sites, one of which is expected to draw interest from medium-sized developers and Southeast Asian companies. At next Wednesday's auction the focus is expected to be on a 228,197 square foot parcel of Crown land in Area 30 of Tai Po. Price forecasts range from $383 million to $547 million. The other lot is a tiny 2,971 sq ft site at Shek O Headland, likely to be sought by end-users, which has an estimated value of about $16 million. Surveyors said the Tai Po site would attract interest from developers intent on replenishing their land banks. Cash-rich Southeast Asian companies with ambitious expansion plans in Hong Kong are expected to offer relatively aggressive prices for the large tract of land, according to surveyors. USI Holdings, an investment arm of Singapore-based Wing Tai Holdings, was tipped as a likely bidder. The company bid for Crown lots at the Government auction hall last year. S.K. Pang Surveyors & Co's managing director Pang Shiu-kee said China Overseas Land & Investment and Sino Group, which have already built up their land banks in Tai Po, would be interested in the site. Mr Pang said Area 30 of Tai Po was a government-planned, low-density residential neighbourhood just beyond the northwestern edge of the Tai Po Industrial Estate. But the section has not been developed as a luxury area even though several major developers have a foothold there. The first plot in Area 30, which is now known as Richwood Park, was sold in the first half of 1992 to a consortium formed by Nan Fung Development and Kerry Properties. Average selling prices for the completed Richwood Park apartments were around $3,500 per sq ft. The second site was sold to Wheelock Properties for about $2,000 per sq ft. A joint company consisting of Hong Kong Parkview Group, China Travel Service (Holdings) and Lai Sun Development bought an adjacent site in July 1994 for an average price of $4,343 per sq ft. A year later, a nearby site was bought by Henderson Development for $2,207 per sq ft. Surveyors said the average accommodation value for the site was expected to be about $2,100-$2,200 per sq ft. But companies which are optimistic about prospects for the newly developed area are expected to offer more aggressive prices. They said that whether or not the area would be developed into a new luxury residential district would largely depend on the sales response to projects owned by Henderson and the Lai Sun-led consortium. These two developments are expected to be completed by the end of 1997 and 1998.