Wharf (Holdings) last year raised more than HK$6.5 billion from residential property sales, 30 per cent up year on year. Assistant director Ricky Wong Kwong-yiu said about 2,100 residential units had been sold last year compared with about 1,000 units, worth about HK$5 billion, in 2001. The lower average revenue per unit last year partly reflected price discounting in a tough market. But it was also because most of the sales were in cheaper, rural areas. Most sales were at the company's Sorrento project, in Kowloon Station, Bellagio in Sham Tseng, and Palm Cove in Tuen Mun. Mr Wong expects the market to rebound by the second half this year after housing stocks have largely been absorbed. 'Prices will be stable in the first half of the year and will go up slightly, by about 5 per cent, in the second half,' he said. This year's suspension of government land sales and tenders for railway-related projects would substantially reduce the annual private housing supply to about 10,000 units after two to three years. In the past 10 years, the average yearly completion of private residential units was about 28,000, according to Morgan Stanley. Mr Wong said Wharf would scale down flat sales this year, with fewer than 800 remaining units, mainly from Sorrento phase two and Bellagio, released for sale. He expected these to generate about HK$3 billion. An industrial-turned home-office development in Kwai Chung, comprising about 200 units measuring between 600 square feet and 1,000 sq ft, would be released for sale in the middle of the year, he said. The price had yet to be determined, but nearby industrial and office buildings fetched between HK$1,200 and HK$1,500 per square foot. Mr Wong said some of the group's non-core leasing properties, such as a 120,000 sq ft retail and parking space at Fit Fort in North Point and some luxury residential projects on The Peak, would also be released for sale. The group had no interest in new land acquisitions at the moment. Instead, Mr Wong said it would focus on a proposed redevelopment of land near the Cable TV Tower in Tsuen Wan into a 1,400-room three-star hotel. 'We will speed up the redevelopment to tap the increasing demand of three-star hotels,' he said, with construction beginning next year and finished by 2007.