Speculators in mass residential flats in some popular housing estates have cut prices sharply in the past month to dump their units. Confirmors who had made their purchases in June at the peak of the market had to sell by the beginning of this month, ahead of the scheduled formal transaction dates, to avoid having to pay the balance owing, estate agents said. Ricacorp Properties' Kingswood Villas branch manager Edmond Lau Ming-sun said some confirmors wanting to sell quickly had been willing to lower their asking price by 10 per cent or more. Agents said asking prices have dropped off by 8 per cent at Whampoa Gardens and by 3 per cent at Taikoo Shing since the market highs in early June, while thin transaction levels have held prices steady at Kingswood Villas in Yuen Long. Lisa Poon Lai-wah, manager of Ricacorp's Whampoa Gardens branch in Kowloon, said buyer acceptance levels had maintained a high level, so confirmors had to lower prices by only 5-7 per cent to find purchasers. 'I don't think there were too many losses here among confirmors,' she said. Ricacorp's Taikoo Shing branch senior manager Louie Szeto Hoi-ching said asking prices in the estate were about $8,500 per sq ft, while $8,200 was the average transaction price. However, speculators were substantial losers at Kingswood Villas as buyer demand has plummeted. Mr Lau said that asking prices at Kingswood Villas were about $4,100 to $4,200 depending on the age of the specific block. Transactions had been scarce, as buyers accept prices only in the $3,800 price range, he said. 'Most of the confirmors will have sold out by now; the ones who haven't sold out are likely to have some money in their pockets and will hold on for the medium-term in hopes the market will improve after the October government policy speech,' he said.