Hong Kong residents spent about 3.5 billion yuan (HK$3.2 billion) on residential properties in Shenzhen last year, and heavier buying is expected this year, says Land Power International Holdings. The property consultant, specialising in marketing of mainland properties, believed Hong Kong people had bought up to 7,000 units at an average 500,000 yuan each in Shenzhen last year. Chairman Michael Choi Ngai-min expected the number of units sold to Hong Kong people would increase to 9,000 this year given home prices in Shenzhen was about five or six times cheaper than in the SAR. In a bid to lower living expenses, he said more Hong Kong people studied the possibility of 'living in Shenzhen and working in Hong Kong'. Some lower-income Hong Kong men, many married to mainland women, might move to Shenzhen, he said. But he said that the increasing number of Hong Kong people buying homes across the border had had a minimal impact on SAR residential prices. This was 'because most Hong Kong people still see [the] SAR as their first home'. Although Shenzhen's property prices and living expenses were lower, Hong Kong people were still dissatisfied about the mainland city's public security, medical facilities, education and transportation, he said. But he said home prices in the New Territories, particularly close to the border, might suffer if the Government decided to open the immigration control point at Lok Ma Chau around the clock. If so, Hong Kong developers should promote their projects to attract successful mainland businessmen who were keen on buying luxury units in SAR, he said. Land Power said prices of luxury apartments in Shenzhen were HK$850 per square foot to HK$1,050 per square foot. Flats in urban areas cost HK$650 per square foot to HK$750 per square foot while those in secondary locations HK$350 per square foot to HK$480 per square foot. Last year, Hong Kong people bought 5,000 units in the Pearl River Delta and 2,000 flats in Guangzhou, the consultant said.