A rise in interest rates at leading banks failed to dampen the desire to buy a home at phase two of the Bellagio development in Sham Tseng, with more than 100 units being sold last night. The private sale from developer Wharf (Holdings) began at 7pm and saw the first batch of 40 units offered at an average $3,388 per square foot for cash, with most units above the 11th floor in block two. Asking prices for flats above the 30th floors began at $3,500 per square foot. The prices for the latest sales were 5 to 7 per cent higher than last week's launch when 400 units went for $2,900 per square foot to $4,000 per square foot. By 9.30pm, the developer had raised prices for the remaining units about 3 per cent to $3,518 per square foot after the first batch had sold out. The 1,641-unit development is the first large-scale residential project to go on sale after leading banks increased best lending rates 12.5 basis points to 5.125 per cent. Hundreds of potential buyers and property agents began queuing outside the sales office in the evening. To increase sales, Wharf has subsidised banks to offer buyers mortgages at 3.38 percentage points below prime for the first two years. The remaining years will be charged at 2.775 percentage points below prime. Midland Realty senior sales manager Billy Cheung Muk-kwai said: 'The banks' preferential terms are good enough to offset the impact of interest-rate rises.' Bellagio is owned by Wheelock and Co, Wharf and New Asia Realty and Trust. Wheelock owns 48 per cent of Wharf and 74 per cent of New Asia. Wharf assistant director Ricky Wong Kwong-yiu hoped 150 units would be sold last night, taking in about $550 million to $600 million. Wharf earlier said 12 units would be released for public sale at an average $3,162 per square foot on October 1.