Cheung Kong (Holdings) is offering to cap monthly instalments for buyers of its Banyan Garden flats in Cheung Sha Wan at either HK$1,800 or HK$2,500 for 18 months to fend off competition from rival projects. The mortgage incentive, aimed at lowering buyers' initial burden, was announced yesterday although the developer had yet to receive Government pre-sale consent for the project. Agents said Cheung Kong's release of the incentive was a bid to grab buyer attention because of keen competition. A battle for buyers is looming in the West Kowloon area. Henderson Land Development cut prices at its Metro Harbour View in Tai Kok Tsui to stimulate sales while Sino Land is about to release units at Central Park at Olympic Station. Wharf (Holdings) also is releasing an additional eight units at Sorrento at Kowloon Station at an average of HK$4,105 per square foot. Cheung Kong sales manager Francis Wong said the capped instalment scheme would be available to all buyers at Banyan Garden. For those taking two-bedroom units of 631 square feet to 695 sq ft, monthly instalments will be capped at HK$1,800 up to completion of the flats. Assuming an average price of HK$2 million, Cheung Kong said it faced mortgage interest costs of HK$4,569 a month for each buyer under a 25-year, 70 per cent mortgage. Those who purchased three-bedroom units of 920 sq ft to 954 sq ft would enjoy an average monthly subsidy of HK$7,053 which would cap their monthly instalments at HK$2,500, it said. The scheme, which Mr Wong said resulted from interviews with about 200 potential buyers who indicated lower instalments before completion would be favoured, is expected to last about 18 months until the project is ready for occupation. He said 4,100 people had given personal data to Cheung Kong indicating purchase interest. Cheung Kong was aiming to sell the project at an average price of HK$4,000 per square foot and expected to secure pre-sale consent within days, Mr Wong said. Despite sales of rival projects in neighbouring areas, he said there was enough demand to absorb supply. Analysts said Cheung Kong's package represented a 4 per cent price discount, but it was difficult to say if it was an attractive scheme without the actual selling price. They said the subsidy's benefit could be cancelled out easily by raising the prices, although reduced initial instalments would help buyers enter the market.