Property sales in the secondary market are likely to slow in the short term because homeowners have responded to the latest buoyant land auction results by raising their asking prices too aggressively, agents say. Buoyed by the high prices developers paid for land, owners at housing estates across the board raised asking prices for their units by 10 per cent to 20 per cent immediately after the auction results, said agents. On Monday, a consortium paid HK$5.71 billion or HK$8,836 per square foot for a 68,922 sq ft Aberdeen site, almost 130 per cent above the opening bid of HK$2.5 billion. The consortium consisted of Sino Land, K Wah International and Nan Fung Development. A second site put up for auction, a 178,542 sq ft property in Cheung Sha in southern Lantau, sold for HK$482 million or HK$6,749 per sq ft, a record price for the area. 'After seeing asking prices for units jump by up to 20 per cent, potential buyers will hardly accept such irrational expectations from sellers. This will slow the transaction process until owners lower their prices,' said Midland Realty chief analyst Buggle Lau Ka-fai. Citing South Horizons, a major housing estate in Aberdeen, as an example, Mr Lau said most owners had held back from selling or were now asking for 20 per cent higher prices after the strong auction results. Buyers might have accepted a small increase but would baulk at paying so much more, he said. Taking advantage of positive market sentiment following the auction on Monday, Ricacorp said it sold a 2,000 sq ft unit at Baguio Villa in Pok Fu Lam for HK$15.7 million or HK$6,732 per sq ft, slightly higher than the average HK$6,642 per sq ft transaction price in the estate. Midland Realty research shows transactions in the key 35 housing estates across Hong Kong jumped 16.7 per cent to 391 units last week from 335 units in the previous week. 'It is the highest weekly transaction volume since March 2005,' said Mr Lau. The agent said four units were being sold at South Horizons immediately after the auction with one sold for HK$2.65 million, up from the previous asking price of HK$2.6 million. Before the auction, 32 units changed hands in South Horizons, making it the most heavily traded housing estate last week, replacing Taikoo Shing, which recorded 31. Shih Wing-ching, chairman of Centaline (Holdings), said buyers would eventually be forced to accept higher asking prices when they find sellers resisting pressure to cut prices. 'Many people were not expecting the market to head further upward until Monday's surprisingly good auction result,' he said. By bidding aggressively for land in the government auction, developers showed they believed prices in the secondary market would keep rising, he said.