The downturn in the Hong Kong stock market is not going to lead to a mass exodus of SAR players from the British or international property markets, estate agents say. Sales of British property and the crowds that usually throng to exhibitions have thinned out, hit by the recent turmoil in the equity markets. However, agents said it would be a fallacy to assume that only people who made money on the stock market invested in overseas property. The volatility of regional markets easily could push people to invest in safer investments like British property, they said. Also, many investors look at the uncertainty in the region as a temporary setback to investing in the British property market. Colliers Jardine reported that more than 50 sales of the County Hall in September, with more than 30 sales in October, exceeded the developer's expectations. According to Sam Leung, director for international property at Colliers Jardine, more than 20 of those sales took place during the stock market turmoil in late October. However, he estimated that international sales dropped off by about 25 per cent as a result of the regional market troubles. While interest rates in Britain were a concern, Hamptons International's manager Deon Steyn said that buying activity would pick up. 'People are more cautious about where they are going to invest their money,' he said. Mr Steyn estimated that attendance had dropped by 50 per cent at the company's property exhibition for Kensington Park, which was held recently. Despite that, it managed to sell 13 of 17 units which were put on offer for about GBP180,000 to GBP300,000 (about HK$2.2 million to HK$3.7 million) each, he said. Mr Steyn said one of the main reasons the development sold well was that it was perceived as a good deal, compared with the price of Hong Kong property and despite the downturn in buying sentiment. Properties priced about GBP500,000 would not fare as well with Hong Kong buyers because they would be perceived as too expensive in the market, he said. Agents admitted that business had slowed, with sales dropping off since the stock market dive of mid-October. 'One investor who was going to make a downpayment told us his money had been halved,' said Clive Chan, associate director of the international property division with Jones Lang Wootton. 'The fundamentals in the British market are such that investors will still focus on yields, interest rates and capital appreciation,' said Mr Chan. 'You can gear up to 70 to 80 per cent to generate a safe and stable income as a buffer against the local market.' At Savills, Tina Ting said several of the 50 units of the Canary Riverside development in the Docklands were sold in a weekend exhibition held on October 25 and 26.