More than 70 per cent of property speculators buying flats for short-term gains made money from the transactions last year. Midland Realty estimated 72.9 per cent of such transactions - which involved buying and selling a flat within the space of a year - were profitable, compared with 61.5 per cent in 2002. There were 3,363 short-term transactions last year - 2,960 in the secondary market and 403 in the primary. 'Many investors bought flats when property prices fell to record lows during the Sars crisis,' Midland Realty chief analyst Buggle Lau Ka-fai said. 'They were rewarded with a continuous recovery in the following eight months.'