The government has started disposing of its surplus quarters, resuming a strategy it suspended five years ago as the property slump took hold. The Government Property Agency (GPA), which handles the sales, is inviting tenders for the purchase of six apartments in the 20-year-old Elm Tree Towers, former government quarters on Jardine's Lookout. On offer are six apartments in Block A, each with a gross floor area of 2,028 square feet. They are available for inspection until July 15 and the tender closes at noon on July 16. A spokesperson for the GPA said it was government policy to dispose of surplus quarters. Between 1992 and 1998, a total of 182 surplus quarters were sold individually under the disposal programme, which was part of the government's plan to maximise revenue from its estate. Property agents predicted a slow response, taking into account the quality of the units and recent tepid market sentiment, hurt by an upturn in interest rates, surging oil prices and uncertainty over macroeconomic measures in the mainland. Agents said all six units - on floors 3 to 16 - did not have good views. Raymond Cheung Wai-kwong, senior district manager of Ricacorp Properties, said: 'Units below the 20th floor do not have sea views. They are blocked by Tai Hang Terrace.' Property agents predicted that transaction prices for the six apartments on offer would range from $4,500 per square foot to $5,500 per square foot, or $9 million to $11 million. This is cheaper than the sale price of flats at Elm Tree Towers in the secondary market - at about $6,000 per square foot. Mr Cheung said some buyers saw the tender as a chance to buy at a bargain price. 'Government flats usually are not well furnished, therefore the sales price will be cheaper than the market average,' Mr Cheung said. 'For a 2,000 sqft unit, fees for furnishing should cost at least $3 million.'