Sellers of units in the Kowloon station district are reaping the benefits of renewed buyer interest in the area fuelled by Sung Hung Kai Properties' attention-grabbing marketing campaign for its Cullinan project. As the last residential project available in the prime location above Kowloon station, flats in the Cullinan are being pitched at prices that developers SHKP and MTR Corp believe reflect their rarity value. The project is completed and ready for occupation and is currently being promoted by the developers, though no date has yet been announced for its official launch. But while the campaign has focused attention on the location, the sky-high prices targeted by the Cullinan - which expects to fetch HK$50,000 per square foot for its 4,000 sq foot penthouse unit - have prompted some potential buyers to shift their focus to neighbouring projects above the station that are more moderately priced, agents say. 'There has been more flat-viewing activity in recent weeks, but transactions remained low because many sellers are adopting a wait-and-see attitude,' said Michael Tse Kar-sing, a district sales director at Midland Realty. Only four units in the area changed hands, and 15 rental transactions were concluded so far this month, he said. In the few months before the Lunar New Year, sellers usually allowed 5 to 10 per cent room for price negotiation, another agent said, adding that sellers were now standing quite firm on their asking prices. More people opted for cheaper flats in the nearby area after SHKP indicated asking prices at the 825-unit Cullinan are likely to start at about HK$15,000 per square foot, while the penthouses are being promoted at about HK$50,000 per square foot. The developers plan to release 200 units each year until 2011, with the remaining 225 units held for lease. According to Land Registry data, a total of 89 units changed hands in the four housing developments in the area during the last three months. Sorrento was the most heavily traded, with 44 deals concluded at an average of HK$7,880 per square foot. Only five units were sold in the HarbourSide, while the remaining 40 deals were equally shared between the Waterfront and the Arch. Average transaction prices, however, were under great pressure because of the weakening economy and over-speculation in the last two years. Average prices at the Arch over the past three months were HK$10,456 per square foot, down 22.13 per cent from HK$13,427 per square foot in the second half of last year. A more moderate correction has occurred at the HarbourSide, where prices have dropped 6.35 per cent to HK$16,313 per square foot, data shows. Flats at the Waterfront are fetching about HK$7,303 per square foot. But local resident Mr Mak - who witnessed the price inflation during a big property bubble for projects above Kowloon station in the past few years and the falls that followed - is unimpressed by the marketing hype surrounding the launch of the Cullinan. Brushing aside poor market sentiment and tight credit conditions, the developers have pinned their hopes on an aggressive prelaunch promotion presenting buyers with a 'last chance' opportunity. Mr Mak, a public relations executive in his mid-30s, lives in a 1,400 sq ft flat in the nearby seven-year-old luxury Sorrento project, where unit prices once reached as high as HK$21 million. He bought his flat for about HK$6 million in September 2003 after the Sars outbreak. He says he does not expect prices in the area to be significantly altered by the new kid on the block. But while he has been left underwhelmed by all the media attention being devoted to the launch of the Cullinan, the promotion campaign has got many people talking - even though its prices mean they are ruled out of the market. Buyers will need a HK$1 million cashier's order with them before gaining access to the show flats.