Leading property analyst Michael Green last night welcomed the post-handover government's promise at the weekend to stamp out property speculation. Mr Green, regional property analyst for United States investment bank Salomon Brothers, said speculators had become so powerful in Hong Kong they were cornering some areas of the real estate market. Hong Kong was on the verge of a property bubble unless the Government stepped in and started governing, he said. Like most marketwatchers, Mr Green is waiting to learn details of Chief Executive-designate Tung Chee-hwa's property policies. Leung Chun-ying, post handover executive councillor and head of Mr Tung's taskforce on housing policy, plans to brief Mr Tung on his recommendations within the next few days. On Saturday, Mr Leung said the time had come to protect homebuyers. He promised tough action to stamp out property speculation. In a best case scenario, the government might be able 'to cool the market by releasing enough land and unveiling a land programme that gives the man in the street confidence that his needs will be met', Mr Green said. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the government may be left with a choice of imposing a speculative tax, he said. Worries about the impact of new measures have weighed heavily on property developers' share prices at various times since the year began. While residential real estate has risen 16 per cent in the first five months of this year, property stocks have fallen 10.6 per cent so far this year. Housing demand will continue to exceed supply by a wide margin for several years - a situation that should be good for property firms. Many analysts, such as Mr Green, have taken their buy recommendations off the territory's largest developers.