The price war in the luxury residential market is intensifying, with Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) and Shun Tak Holdings yesterday slashing prices at The Belcher's in Western District. The two companies are re-launching 38 units at Block Eight of the project at about HK$4,500 per square foot, about 13 per cent down from the previous HK$5,200 per square foot. The cut-price sale is seen to be a bid to counter competition from rival luxury developments, especially PCCW Infrastructure's Residence Bel-Air in Pokfulam, not far from The Belcher's. SHKP subsidiary Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency general manager Eric Chow Kwok-yin said the lower pricing was designed to grab more market attention for The Belcher's. He said the project had still about 400 remaining units. He expected to reap more than HK$3 billion if all units were sold. When The Belcher's was released two years ago, the average price stood at about HK$6,000 per square foot. In their latest drive to draw buyers, SHKP and Shun Tak have teamed up with Standard Chartered Bank to provide a one-stop 90 per cent mortgage payment free of interest for the first three years. Estate agents said that prices at The Belcher's had been reduced last week after PCCW Infrastructure released a small batch of units at Residence Bel-Air at lower prices. PCCW Infrastructure last Thursday announced the release of eight low-floor three-bedroom units at Residence Bel-Air at an average price of HK$4,028 per square foot for cash payment. The price was below the estimated HK$4,500 per square foot break-even cost for the project, and much lower than the average HK$5,500 per square foot, as claimed by PCCW, sought for about 70 high-floor units sold internally earlier. PCCW executives were not available yesterday for comment on the latest sales. Estate agents said that over 200 units had been sold in the past week, generating more than HK$1.4 billion. Competition in the luxury residential market has increased in recent weeks as several big projects have come on sale. Two rival projects are Cheung Kong (Holdings') One Beacon Hill in Kowloon Tong and SHKP's 1 Ho Man Tin Hill Road in Ho Man Tin. Cheung Kong senior sales manager William Kwok said more than 30 units at One Beacon Hill had been sold through internal sale during the past week, generating HK$300 million. He said standard units had sold at between HK$5,900 and HK$7,000 per square foot, and that about 20 per cent of the buyers were investors. Centaline Property Agency director Sandia Lau Ying-lam said that SHKP had sold more than 90 units in the 112-unit 1 Ho Man Tin Hill Road, and they had gone at an average of HK$6,000 per square foot. 'The cheapest lower floor units sold at HK$4,950 per square foot,' she said. Victor Lui Ting, executive director of SHKP subsidiary Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency, last week said that the first 50 units of the project had been sold at an average price of HK$6,000 to HK$8,000 per square foot. Last Week, K Wah International put three luxury flats at The Palace in Kowloon Tong up for sale at HK$4,581 per square foot, a 15 per cent reduction on previous sales.