The property market continues to show signs of a revival, with an escalating mortgage war sparking growing interest among would-be buyers. Secondary home sales in Hong Kong's top 10 housing estates jumped 36 per cent over the weekend from the previous weekend, to 53 transactions, thanks to strong demand from upgraders, according to Midland Realty. Among the estates, Mei Foo Sun Chuen in Lai Chi Kok and Kingswood Villa in Tin Shui Wai were the most heavily traded, both recording 15 transactions. 'Market sentiment has been stable as witnessed by the active sales in the secondary market,' said Cheung Kong (Holdings) executive director Justin Chiu Kwok-hung. 'The real estate market will continue to pick up because property is usually a favourable asset class amid the current inflationary environment.' Mr Chiu added that the extension of the home loan interest deduction limit to 10 years from seven years, announced in last week's budget speech, would also boost housing demand. Mr Chiu said Cheung Kong planned to bring its 924-unit Apex project in Kwai Chung to market for internal sales by the end of this week at the earliest in a move to take advantage of the upturn in market sentiment. Pricing of the project is yet to be finalised as the developer is arranging financial incentives with banks, he added. Competition in Hong Kong's mortgage market has become fiercer this month with HSBC slashing interest rates in a bid to regain lost market share. Hong Kong's biggest bank last week announced a cut in home mortgage rates by half a percentage point to 2.75 per cent below prime - or 5 per cent in real terms - until the end of next month. Before the new package, the bank was offering loans at prime minus 2.25 per cent, with a rebate of 0.3 per cent of the principal. HSBC's best lending rate is 7.75 per cent, the same as that of subsidiary Hang Seng Bank but lower than the 8 per cent offered by all other Hong Kong lenders. Bank of East Asia and Wing Lung Bank followed by offering customers preferential fixed-rate mortgage rates for up to one year, while Dah Sing Bank offered a rate of up to 2.75 percentage points below prime, or 5.25 per cent, plus a rebate of up to 0.3 per cent.