Strong rental demand will underpin the residential sales market in Discovery Bay, according to property agents. 'Most owners are long-term investors and we are seeing no big price cuts at the moment even though the market has turned quiet,' said Simon Lee Wai-ling, an assistant associate director at Centaline Property Agency's Discovery Bay branch. Since only a limited number of flats are at present being offered for sale, prices at most housing developments in the area remain firm despite the declines seen elsewhere in the Hong Kong market. 'Since they have stronger holding power, investor-owners are not in a hurry to sell. They will opt for leasing in order to lock up one year of high rental income instead of selling at lower prices,' Mr Lee said. According to Centaline Property Agency, a 2,099 square foot house at 50 Headland Drive sold for a record HK$28 million or HK$13,340 per square foot early last month (see main story). In November 2005, HKR International said two Spa Residence duplex units in Blocks 2 and 6 were sold for HK$12,020 per square foot, then a record in Discovery Bay. Last month, average residential prices on the island recorded a 2.8 per cent month-on-month growth to HK$4,480 per square foot despite the fact that the number of transactions fell 50 per cent to 37 deals. In January, the average price of 147 deals done in Discovery Bay - the highest monthly transaction level recorded since January 2006 - was HK$4,141 per square foot and current prices were some 15 per cent up on the same period last year, the agency said. High-rise flats in Discovery Bay currently fetch an average of HK$3,800 per square foot, while low-rise units sell at about HK$7,083 per square foot and houses are going for HK$12,200 per square foot.