Demand is expected to be sluggish for the sale by tender of the 17th floor of China Merchants Tower, Shun Tak Centre, according to property agents. They said the 25,800 square feet of office space along the Sheung Wan waterfront would fetch between $7,000 and $7,500 per square foot, which was about 30 per cent less than the unidentified vendor paid last year. Recently, space in the West Tower was sold for between $7,000 and $8,000 per square foot, they said. However, space in the East Tower would sell for less, because the efficiency was only 68 per cent as compared to 80 per cent in the West Tower, Chartersince Realty commercial sales and leasing manager Howard Lee Ho-wah said. Property agents doubted the sale by tender would generate much interest among local buyers due to tight lending policies adopted by banks. Buyers would probably be cash-rich mainland companies, they said. Mr Lee said: 'The mainland companies like Shun Tak Centre because of the sea view and a lot of their friends are in the West Tower.' Property agents said mainland buyers were once again emerging as a force in the office sales market.