Updated at 6.43pm: Sale and purchase agreements for building units grew 81.3 per cent in the first half of this year - compared with the same period last year, latest statistics on Tuesday show. According to Land Registry figures, the total number of sale and purchase agreements of all types of building units received during the first half of 2004 was 63,813. This represented an increase of 22.5 per cent and 81.3 per cent - compared with the second half and first half of 2003, respectively. 'The total amount of consideration involved in the agreements in the first half of 2004 was $177.32 billion, up 49.3 per cent and 151 per cent when compared with the second half and first half of 2003, respectively,' the government said in a statement. A total of 69,861 assignments of building units were lodged for registration during the first half of 2004. This showed an increase of 20.7 per cent and 33.9 per cent when compared with 57,877 and 52,175 recorded in the second half and first half of 2003, respectively. This year, Hong Kong's property market has been showing signs of recovery. Property prices plunged in the wake of the 1997 Asian economic crisis.