They say market is picking up and the government should resume land sales Developers are calling on the government to abandon its efforts to stabilise the residential property market since it has shown signs of improvement. They said the government should allow the market to recover on its own and that the current suspended land sales should be resumed next year. Cheung Kong (Holdings) executive director Justin Chiu said that in light of improving sales there was no need for any new government measures to prop up the local home market. Nan Fung Development sales manager Victor Mak Yat-king also said the government should not extend its land sales suspension. 'Taking into account the current market situation, the government does not even need to introduce any new administrative measures to intervene in the market,' he said. Lo Yuk-sui, chairman of small developer Regal Hotels International, also said the government 'does not need to do much' to help the property market. The company's director, Donald Fan Tung, two months ago urged the government to introduce measures to shore up the sagging home market, which has been in decline for six years. The developers' remarks came as major property firms saw stronger sales at firmer prices this month. Home prices in the secondary market are estimated to have rebounded by between 5 and 10 per cent since July and transaction volume in August was expected to reach 9,000, the highest in 20 months. Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Michael Suen Ming-yeung, has said that more government measures to stimulate demand would be announced in October. He also said the current suspension in land sales would be reviewed in November. Last November, the government announced it would halt all scheduled land auctions and suspended the application list system until end of this year. Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen recently indicated that there was no urgent need for any further stimulus measures. HSBC analyst Derek Cheung said it was understood that most major developers had urged the government not to extend the suspension, probably because they intended to replenish their land banks before prices began to rise. Mr Cheung anticipates a full recovery in home prices in 2005. 'There appears to be little motivation for the government to extend the suspension of land sales, as few interested parties support the move,' Mr Cheung said. Wharf (Holdings), which had supported the suspension of all land sales, has changed its tune. Assistant director Ricky Wong Kwong-yiu said that the government should monitor the situation before making any decision. 'Market sentiment has improved but the government should take more time to monitor the situation before a recovery in the housing market is confirmed,' he said.