A 2,007 square foot office unit in Peregrine Tower in Admiralty was sold last night for $6,200 a square foot - 19 per cent lower than the original purchase price, according to Treasure Land Property Consultants, the company which handled the deal. Property agents said this represented an almost 50 per cent decline in prices since the peak of the office market in late 1996. They said it was yet another blow to the office sales market which had virtually dried up. Agents said there had been so few transactions lately it was difficult to gauge how much the market had dropped. Just before Lunar New Year a speculator who needed cash sold his fifth floor unit in the same building at a discount of almost 40 per cent, the agents said. The vendor bought the unit in September last year for $10,000 per sq foot and sold it for $6,200 per sq foot. However, in this latest sale, the vendor, World Serve, is an affluent long-term investor with many commercial and residential properties in its portfolio, according to Graham Wong Chi-keung, commercial sales director with Treasure Land. Mr Wong said he was not sure exactly why World Serve sold out at such a low price. It had intended to keep the property as a long-term investment, he said, but perhaps had opted to sell because it believed prices in Peregrine Tower would fall further. 'They must have really wanted to get rid of the property,' he said. At the peak of the market in December 1996 and the beginning of last year a similar sized office space in the same building would have sold for $12,000 to $13,000 a sq foot, Mr Wong said.