The first swine flu case in Hong Kong badly hit property sales at the weekend but stockbrokers believe it will only have a small impact on the stock market this week. Louis Tse Ming-kwong, a director of VC Brokerage, said the confirmed case would affect the market performance this week. 'The worst-hit stocks will be the ones related to travel such as hotels and airlines. Overall, I believe the stock market will be flat or may go down slightly this month. The Hang Seng Index is likely to hold at about 15,500 [points],' Mr Tse said. Louis Wong Wai-kit, a director at Phillip Capital Management, said investors might worry about the swine flu but it was unlikely to lead to a big market slump. 'The swine flu has not yet assumed the scale of Sars and governments around the world including Hong Kong have introduced measures to control it. As a result, the disease is not likely to hit the economy badly,' Mr Wong said. 'In fact, the US stock market and oil prices went up last Friday despite the country reporting confirmed cases of the flu. This should help support the Hang Seng Index,' he said, predicting it would move in a range between 15,350 and 15,800 points this week. But Willy Liu Wai-keung, a managing director at Ricacorp Properties, said the swine flu had already brought down secondary home sales by half over the three-day May Day holiday from the previous week while new flats sales declined substantially compared with about 170 units sold a week earlier. 'The swine flu affected home sales in both the primary and secondary markets last weekend. People simply do not want to go to crowded areas following news of the confirmed case in Hong Kong. This has reduced the number of people visiting show flats,' Mr Liu said. 'Also, many potential buyers are taking a wait-and-see approach to see if property prices will go down further as a result of the flu.' Mr Liu added that the drop in new home sales could also be linked to the fact that there were no major project launches at the weekend. Sales during the previous weekend were driven mainly by Sun Hung Kai Properties' Latitude in San Po Kong. It sold 130 units over April 25 and 26. The developer did not update its sales figures yesterday. Cheung Kong (Holdings) planned to launch the second phase of Celestial Heights in Ma Tau Wai this month. The developer has arranged for 240 groups of potential buyers to visit the project's show flats. About 20 groups came from the mainland. Sino Land, Chinachem Group and Henderson Land Development have offered gifts and holiday treats to draw homebuyers to their new projects. Property agents said some visitors from the mainland came to check out the show flats as it was the Labour Day weekend. Centaline Property Agency's research shows about 1,600 units of new projects were sold last month - 91 per cent more than in March and the first time in 10 months that more than 1,000 transactions were recorded. However, the sales value dropped 8.5 per cent to HK$8 billion last month. Wong Leung-shing, an associate director of research at Centaline, said: 'Property sales in April were mainly driven by middle-class projects such as Harbour Place in Hung Hom. Not many luxury residential units have been sold.'