Weaker demand and increasing supply are putting pressure on the luxury residential leasing market, according to Swire Properties development and valuation general manager Gordon Ongley. 'Rents could fall as there is a lot of competition in the leasing market. Tenants are in a good negotiating position,' he said. Mr Ongley did not expect a significant fall in rents but said a turnaround of the downward rental trend depended on when the economy recovered. He said Swire had generated about HK$300 million from the strata-title sale of 11 luxury residential units at the Albany in Mid-Levels last year. The remaining 73 units were being released for sale and were expected to generate an extra HK$2 billion in revenue. Total proceeds from a full sell-out of the Albany would reach HK$2.3 billion, he said. This amount was HK$500 million less than Mr Ongley's previous forecast, made in July last year. He said buying momentum had disappeared after the September 11 attacks in the United States and the luxury residential market remained fragile. However, he said flats at the Albany were unique and prices remained at HK$9,000 to HK$12,000 per square foot, while rentals remained at HK$40 per sq ft per month. He said Swire was interested in one or two sites on the application list. The Government only releases sites on the application list when a developer guarantees a minimum acceptable price. The group's plans for construction of a home for the elderly in Pokfulam had been put on hold pending the Government's release of guidelines covering such developments and because of possible traffic problems. Meanwhile, Swire was continuing negotiations with the Guangzhou Daily to settle a few technical issues at their joint-venture commercial complex development in Guangzhou. The project involves two office towers with total floor area of 1.6 million square feet, a shopping centre with one million square feet of retail space and a 500-room hotel.