The cutback in land to be sold by the Government for private housing is unlikely to cause a ballooning Budget deficit, according to analysts. 'It's not likely to cause any extra trouble in the fiscal situation,' said HSBC chief economist George Leung Siu-kei. The Government on Monday announced that only five hectares of land for residential building would definitely be auctioned or put out to tender in the next financial year, but more could be sold if there was the demand. The Government has sold 16 hectares of land since April through auctions and tenders. The announcement could bolster property prices, which might help make up for any shortfall in revenue from the smaller amount of land being sold. 'They're going to be selling less land but if prices were to rise . . . then the land premium would rise,' said Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce chief economist Ian Perkin. The latest move could also lead to a more active secondary property market, which would then see an increase stamp duty revenue flowing to the Government. 'You just can't look at the size of the land sales programme - you should look at the overall situation,' Mr Leung said. Some analysts expected property prices to pick up on the back of the Government announcement and falling interest rates in the United States. 'We are at the start of a major bull market in real assets in Hong Kong,' said Kim Eng Securities head of research Stephen Brown in a research note. 'The market value of the residential and commercial stock is at a significant discount to London's on near identical GDP [gross domestic product].' In December, Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen forecast a Budget deficit for the year ending March 31 of HK$11 billion. Budget deficit forecasts have a high margin of error due to their small size relative to the Government revenue and expenditure figures from which they are calculated. In March 1999 Mr Tsang forecast a HK$36.5 billion deficit for the following financial year which resulted in a HK$10 billion surplus.