The launch of Sino Land's The Waterside residential development in Ma On Shan later this month will be an important indicator of local buying sentiment, according to property agents. Sino Land last week announced a below-market pricing strategy for the first tranche of 35 apartments at an average of $6,180 per square foot on staggered payment. The price is more than 10 per cent below the secondary market. The 35 flats will officially go on sale on April 26. Registration is from Saturday until Wednesday. Units on offer will be on the third, fifth, sixth, seventh and 20th floors of Tower II, and range in size from 660 to 1,060 sq ft. The larger, 935 and 1,060 sq ft flats have views over Tolo Harbour, and the smaller flats face the town centre. The sales supervisor of Centaline Property Agency's Ma On Shan branch, Herman Ng Cheuk-shing, said the prices were well below those recently achieved for second-hand flats in the district, particularly on the lower floors. He said lower-floor flats at The Waterside would be offered for $5,100-$5,600 per sq ft. Lower-floor apartments without sea views in the nearby Bayshore Towers had sold recently for more than $6,000 per sq ft. The higher-floor units are closer to the secondary market, although still competitively priced. A large, 20th-floor unit in The Waterside is being offered at $6,984 per sq ft on staggered payment. Recent sales of similar units in Bayshore Towers in the secondary market were between $6,800 and $7,200 per sq ft, Mr Ng said. However, Henderson Land was releasing comparable units in its nearby development The Tolo Place at $7,600 to $7,900 per sq ft, he said. Mr Ng believed The Waterside sale would be well received by genuine end-users because of the 'attractive' price. He forecast that the price would generate strong buyer interest despite the market seeing a period of correction. Property analysts said the release of the first units at The Waterside would be watched carefully by Hong Kong residential property punters. Strong interest in the tranche had the potential to boost local buying sentiment. But a poor response would prove a considerable dampener for local enthusiasm. Mr Ng said Hong Kong secondary market prices had dropped 5 per cent over the past two weeks, since the Government announced new anti-speculation measures. The Waterside is 40 per cent-owned by Sino Land, 50 per cent by the family of the company's chairman, Robert Ng Chee Siong, and 10 per cent by DBS Land. The 37-storey, twin-tower project comprises 502 apartments due for completion in September. FACT FILE Development: The Waterside in Ma On Shan Developers: Sino Land, Robert Ng Chee Siong's family and DBS Land Flats on sale: 35 Size: 670 to 1,060 sq ft Average price: $6,180 per sq ft Registration: April 19 to 23 Sale: April 26 Total flats: 502 in two towers over podium Completion: September Facilities: parking, podium levels, clubhouse, garden, pool and putting green Management fee: $1.8 per sq ft Payment: Lump-sum buyers who complete in a month get 2.8 per cent discount on $6,180 per sq ft.