Tough action was promised yesterday against property speculators if their activities continued unabated. The Governor, Chris Patten, said officials were involved in an urgent review of the situation and would implement measures if necessary. It is believed a package of measures could be ready as early as next week. Chief Executive-designate Tung Chee-hwa, previously against official intervention, also admitted something might now need to be done. The comments came amid new signs that speculation was running wild. Rights to buy flats in a Kowloon luxury project were reportedly trading for more than $2 million yesterday, while more than 27,000 people registered for the sale of a mass-market development in Tseung Kwan O. The Governor said: 'We are keeping the situation under urgent review. And if there does appear to be unacceptable speculation producing a bubble in the market, we won't hesitate to take action.' Mr Patten maintained the Government had been 'extremely successful' in curbing speculation in the past. 'But obviously, in the long term, it is important to increase the supply of flats which should be a consequence of the increase in land made available in the past 21/2 years,' he said. A government source said although it was not clear just what action would be taken, officials were concerned about the use of 'shell companies' to hide multiple property transactions. He said the needs of genuine buyers had to be balanced with avoiding undue intervention in the market. Yesterday's bout of rampant speculation came amid warnings that the problems were already spreading from the luxury to the mass market. On the first day of Eton Properties' sale of 76 flats at its Carmen's Garden development in Cox's Road, more than 3,500 people registered, about 70 per cent in company names. One buyer reportedly paid more than $2 million to speculators to be among the first eligible for a unit. That surpassed the $1.3 million paid last month for buying rights at Sun Hung Kai Properties' nearby King's Park Villa. On the final day of registration at Sun Hung Kai's East Point City development in Tseung Kwan O, a record 27,132 potential buyers signed up. Many are believed to be speculators, despite efforts to limit those buying through shell companies to 20 per cent of each 100 transactions. Mr Tung warned buyers not to rush to buy flats while prices were at an 'irrational' level. Promising more land and lower land prices to bring prices down, he said the problem had the potential to undermine Hong Kong's economic competitiveness, affect people's livelihood and discourage the middle and lower classes from buying homes. But he refused to say just what measures he might consider after the handover.