Prospective buyers using the Government's Home Purchase Loan Scheme (HPLS) are just as wary of the property market as hopefuls in the non-subsidised market, according to figures from Midland Realty. It had been hoped that interest-free loans would spur public housing tenants and prospective tenants into buying their flats and help regenerate the property market. Gordon Tse, senior researcher with Midland Realty, said these buyers were just 'as price sensitive' as other potential buyers. For instance, when the secondhand market was soft last September, 67 per cent of buyers under the scheme bought a secondhand flat in one of the popular housing estates. In October, the numbers rose to 73 per cent as the market continued to soften. Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats were far down the list, according to Midland's figures, despite their up to 40 per cent discount on standard secondhand flats in the popular private housing estates. Meanwhile, in November, when prices in the secondhand market rose 10 per cent, sales in popular estates dropped to 33 per cent. During the period, sales of HOS flats aged three to 10 years soared to 57 per cent of overall transactions, according to Midland Realty. These flats prove popular as there is no need for the seller to pay a government premium after the flat is sold - as it is usually absorbed by the buyer.