SPECULATORS and flat buyers were out in full force yesterday for the sale of a housing project in Tai Kok Tsui, snapping up 85 per cent of the pre-sale flats on offer. More than 1,000 eager flat buyers and speculators bought up 1,070 of the pre-sale flats on offer at Sino Land's Island Harbourview. Sino Land is a part-owner. Analysts said the strong sale could be the start of a market revival as the newly reduced interest rates kick in tomorrow. The project, scheduled for completion by early 2000, sits on top of the airport railway's Olympic Station and is perceived as a key market barometer. The pre-sale of 1,268 units from six blocks were over-subscribed by more than 6,600 prospective buyers, who had to pay $150,000 each for refundable sales coupons to take part in a lottery draw. The over-subscription attracted scores of speculators to the Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, where home-buyers waited their turn to choose flats. But inflated coupon prices dropped from a high of between $180,000 and $310,000 each on Friday to between $10,000 and $50,000 yesterday. Self-styled speculator Wong Lok-kei, who announced he and his associates paid for 61 coupons on Thursday, said yesterday they had bought more than 10 flats. He would not say how many coupons they had sold. Another man, who refused to give his name, said he had bought six coupons. 'If anyone offers me a good price, I will sell them. If not, I'll just get a refund,' he said. Harbourview sells flats ranging from 609 square feet to 1,215 square feet at an average price of $4,800 per square foot. Units with panoramic sea views cost $5,200 per square foot. The highest price paid per square foot yesterday was $5,760. Centaline Property senior associate director Sandia Lau Ying-lam admitted there was some speculative activity yesterday. Her agency sold two coupons at $20,000 each. But she said the market was still too weak to support any full-scale speculation. Only coupons for the early batches of flats were attractive, Ms Lau said, because they were cheaper than similar-quality flats released at a higher price. Henderson Land's general manager for sales, Donald Cheung Ping-keung, said developers could not refuse to sell to potential speculators because it was a free market. He said overall property conditions were heading in the right direction. 'The interest rate reduction certainly helps market sentiment. I think the sale today is a good sign.' The Association of Banks announced a 0.25 per cent cut in interest rates on Friday following a cut by the US Federal Reserve. Former Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Bowen Leung Po-wing, said yesterday's sale was an isolated case and it was too early to conclude that speculators were back. He said the Government had not decided whether to resume land sales in April.