A few years ago Kingswood Villas was touted as luxury living at its best. But the apartment complex in the New Territories is, these days, not much more than a ghost town - a victim of speculation and the mortgage ceiling - with occupancy as low as 20 percent and prices dropping. Yesterday, remaining flats of the third and final phase went on sale at prices lower than the first two phases, much to the disgust of residents. YESTERDAY'S sale of the remaining flats of Kingswood Villas phase-three development, would have led first and second-phase resident owners to shake their heads in bitter dismay. Prices for phase three were 10-per cent lower than for phase two, an indication of the slowdown in the property market for which Kingswood Villas is seen as an example. An earlier boom at Kingswood Villas in late 1991 boosted initial flat prices for the development in Tin Shui Wai in the New Territories by 30 to 60 per cent and drew speculators and genuine owner-occupiers into a wild flat chase. With the steam being taken out of the overheated housing market following the imposition of the 70 per cent mortgage ceiling, many of the early buyers now feel burned. Even after the 10 per cent discount to previous prices, developers Cheung Kong has had to stimulate lagging sales by arranging mortgage financing of 85 per cent for the 512 flats. More than 1,000 registered buyers showed up yesterday at Hutchison House in Central or Kingswood's management office in the hope of purchasing one of the remaining villas. Mr Jimmy Y. C. Mak, chief estate manager at Kingswood Villas said that potential buyers each received a number upon registration. The registered buyer with ticket number one, received first choice upon when sales opened at 9 am. Potential buyers were all hoping for a small turnout so that they could have a greater selection of flats. Price cuts, along with Cheung Kong's 85 per cent mortgage financing, created a buyer's market for property that was 14.3 per cent higher just five months ago. Residents of phase one and phase two flats however did not share the excitement. ''I feel sick about it,'' said Ms Mai Leung, a would-be resident who is trying frantically to get out of her provisional contract for a phase-two flat. A manager at Bestview Property Agency explained that the recent discount in phase-three flat prices has created a lot of dissent. ''Phase-one owners seeking to sell their Kingswood property are completely blocked. They have no choice but to sell lower to be competitive with third-phase prices,'' she said. Phase-one flats - although approximately two years older - are still more expensive than the unfinished third-phase flats. For example, the most expensive third-phase flats - with superb views from the 31st floor and with 815 square feet of floor space - were being offered at $1.516 million, whereas same size phase-one flats are being offered for as much as $1.98 million. ''I think the Kingwood's phase-one owners who are trying to sell just can't accept the huge depreciation in their relatively recent investment. It was too abrupt for them,'' an agent from Mingo Land Real Estate Agency explained. As for phase-two flat owners, prices remain high as purchasers, having too recently realised their property investment, remain in a state of shock. But despite the phase-three competition, phase-one sellers have not lost hope. Along Tin Shui Road, about 25 real estate agents from surrounding agencies, pass out brochures displaying phase-one flat selections and prices and lead all those interested into nearby offices. Although most brochures list up to 30 or 40 phase-one flats, property managers confirm that the list of available flats is ''ridiculously long''. ''It's too long and I've stopped counting, but now with competing third-phase prices, maybe the list will stop growing,'' the Mingo Land property agent said. ''It doesn't matter that the going price for phase-one flats is still a little higher than phase three, we have one major advantage - the unfinished third-phase flats are being constructed right next to a funeral home,'' Bestview's agent said. ''The sight of the funeral home can be seen on any government blue-print of the New Territories, and this fact is especially important for Chinese buyers,'' she said. Another point of interest for Kingswood buyers seems to be the rate of occupancy. Ms Janet Tsui, executive manager for Bestview said that occupancy in Kingswood is extraordinarily low. ''We probably have about 20 per cent occupancy in our phase-one flats, most owners are simply speculators who never even see their property'' she said. She said that the second-phase flats are completely empty, as Kingswood has not yet received its occupation permit for that phase. Most of the property managers agreed that this particular characteristic has negative ramifications. ''Because very few people actually live here, the demand to keep-up the property's landscape, environment and image has really deteriorated,'' one manager said. Mr Jimmy Li, a phase-one resident since Kingswood's opening, said that almost all catalogue photos used in Kingswood's publicity are drawings or miniature flat models. ''Since the opening, property and landscape management has gone downhill and residents are unhappy about how unkempt and dirty things are,'' he said. ''One very positive point about Cheung Kong's arranged mortgage financing is that it enticed domestic buyers rather than speculators,'' another property manager said. Under the purchase scheme and terms of payment, third-phase buyers could chose between an immediate mortgage payment and a regular payment. The regular payment process requested a 10 per cent deposit of the purchase price - to be paid four days after signing the provisional contract - along with a deposit of 2.5 per cent by May 15, followed by another 2.5 per cent deposit before July 31 nextyear. The Cheung Kong 85 per cent mortgage financing - paid within 14 days after buyers receive Consent to Assign papers - was limited to those purchasing the unit for their own personal use, and to buyers purchasing property for the first time. ''We hope this has discouraged speculators and brought in more domestic residents,'' said a phase-one resident. Kingswood Villa management, however, remains unaware of resident anxieties. ''We have not had complaints from any Kingswood residents,'' said Kingswood's Mr Mak. Nevertheless, for a property that prides itself on a range of ''domestic facilities'' - swimming pools, club houses, tennis courts, saunas, gymnasium, billiard rooms, karaoke rooms, aerobics studios and so on - it seems unfortunate that only 20 per cent of property owners appreciate Kingswood's amenities.