Hutchison Whampoa will expand its investment in mainland housing designed for domestic buyers. The attraction is China's rising middle-income class on the back of the country's economic growth. Tony Tsui Kin-tung, director of property investment arm Hutchison Whampoa Property, said the company recently acquired a residential lot in Chongqing targeted for mainland home buyers. The project would provide 250,000 square metres of floor area but had to be developed in three to four phases, he said. The Jiangbei site is a suburban area midway between the town centre and Chongqing airport. Mr Tsui said China's expanding domestic housing market would see Hutchison devote more attention to the sector, particularly in the Pearl River Delta, Beijing and Shanghai. The company would be more interested in developing private properties than subsidised housing. He expected the developments to generate average profit margins of 15 per cent to 20 per cent. Mr Tsui said monthly instalments were well within the reach of middle-income earners. Expansion of this group meant purchasing power was set to rise. The residential market would also benefit from the expanding economy and the stimulus from the mainland's World Trade Organisation entry. This year Hutchison was selling three residential projects in China - including the HK$300 million Horizon Cove in Zhuhai, the HK$1 billion 600-unit Le Parc phase two in Shenzhen, and the HK$150 million 50 houses in The Lakeside, Dongguan. The company is launching Horizon Cove on Thursday.