Cheung Kong (Holdings) is set to launch the first batch of luxury flats at its 35 per cent owned The Paramount development in Tai Po at below development cost in a bid to boost interest. The first 24 flats - ranging from 1,047 square feet to 1,278 sq ft - will be launched on September 27 at $3,740 per square foot, exclusive of roof-top area and garden, lower than the average development cost of more than $4,000 per square foot. Analysts said Cheung Kong had become the latest company to adopt a low-price strategy to boost sales, and they expected the project to be well received. Among developers hit by the dramatic decline in property prices since the regional crisis last year, Lai Sun Development has already sold luxury houses at its jointly owned Tycoon Place in Tai Po at $4,000 per square foot - about $2,000 a square foot below cost. Analysts said today's sale of Sun Hung Kai Properties' Scenic View, in Ngau Chi Wan, at $3,487 per square foot was below development cost of about $4,000 per square foot. But the developer said it would reap profits from the whole investment. Cheung Kong executive director Katherine Hung Siu-lin said the pricing of $3,740 per square foot was below average development cost, taking into account the construction cost of more than $2,000 per square foot coupled with land value of about $2,125 per square foot. But she said that, with an anticipated positive sales response, the company did not rule out the possibility of raising prices of later units. Extra profits would be generated from the sale of 185 parking spaces, ranging from $250,000 to $280,000 each. Buyers who buy two parking spaces will get a $100,000 discount. Ms Hung said the pricing reflected the market value. The Paramount has 10 three-storey blocks, comprising 123 flats. The project, with a gross floor area of 132,037 sq feet, was so small it would not bring significant impact to the company, Ms Hung said. Cheung Kong and its associate Hutchison Whampoa each own 35 per cent of the development, with the remainder owned by Guoco Land. Buyers can register flats on September 24 and September 25, with an initial deposit of $150,000. The developer will provide a second mortgage of up to 15 per cent at prime rate plus two percentage points. Selling price will be 5 per cent above the listed price on this scheme. Eight banks will provide mortgages to buyers of The Paramount flats at a rate as low as prime plus 0.75 percentage point with a repayment period of up to 30 years.