The battered property market faces its latest test of buyer confidence today with the launch of Sun Hung Kai Properties' (SHKP) Prima Villa in Sha Tin. More than 1,000 prospective buyers have pre-registered over the past two days for the first 200 flats in the project, according to property agents. They expected the flats to be sold at about HK$2,800 to HK$3,000 per square foot, a discount to secondary-market rates. SHKP received government approval for pre-sales of the 1,024-unit development early this week. The 200 units are being offered through so-called internal sales, which are subject to fewer restrictions than public sales. Prima Villa was the first large-scale project to be released for sale since the recent interest-rate increase and April's poor land auction which triggered a new round of price declines, analysts said. The development is at Yuen Chau Kok, close to City One. Centaline Property Agency sales supervisor Eric Cheung said he believed SHKP had secured 500 prospective buyers who presented bank drafts as a show of interest despite lacking actual price information. The developer also secured deposit cheques from prospective buyers, he said. Midland Realty assistant sales manager Ringo Leung said SHKP received 300 bank drafts of HK$80,000 each at Tuesday's unofficial launch, while yesterday's response was even better. Mr Leung expected Prima Villa's sales to be good as the project's small-sized flats of 520 to 570 square feet, would satisfy buyer demand in the area. Fortune Realty sales manager Michelle Cheng said comparable two-bedroom units at City One were traded at HK$2,700 per square foot. However, if Prima Villa was priced at HK$2,800 to HK$3,000 per square foot, the price could be described as deeply discounted as it was new. Meanwhile, Cheung Kong (Holdings) reported a poor response to its Manhattan Heights in Western. It released 20 units of 619 to 948 square feet for sale subject to buyers' offers. However, it received only 55 bids ranging from HK$2,100 to HK$3,500 per square foot. Describing the offers as 'extremely low' it withdrew the tender. Cheung Kong will invite prospective buyers to negotiate individually.