THOUSANDS of prospective home-buyers swamped the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) offices yesterday for the launch of a sale of flats open to higher income families. More than 85,000 forms were snapped up as more than 5,500 flats, mostly in urban areas, went on offer to applicants with monthly earnings up to $20,000. The Housing Authority raised the income limit to ease the housing problem of families at the bottom end of the sandwich class. But some applicants complained that the flats were still too expensive despite a 40 per cent discount. By 5 pm, 85,000 forms had been distributed, compared to 92,000 in the last sale. The authority denied that the drop was due to high prices. It expected the offer to be oversubscribed 10 times. Throughout yesterday there were long queues at the authority's biggest office in Lok Fu. On sale are 5,512 flats in 16 blocks under six HOS projects in Tsz Wan Shan, Stanley, Yau Tong, Junk Bay, Fanling, and Tuen Mun. Average prices range from $568,500 for a 48-square-metre flat in Tuen Mun to $1.3 million for a 83-square-metre unit. But prices are still too high, said applicant Ms Fong Wai-lin. ''They increase the prices after lifting the income limit. This helps nobody,'' she said.