Mainland developers are hoarding sites bought at the market peak in 2007, despite the recent rise in property prices. Analysts expect the developers to continue to leave the sites vacant in the hope of maximising their profits in the future. 'Most developers have not touched the sites they bought two years ago. This is because they paid too much for them,' said Lee Wee Liat, a senior analyst at Nomura International. Home prices in 70 major cities rose 0.2 per cent last month from a year earlier, the first gain in seven months, the National Development and Reform Commission said. Prices in some first-tier cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, saw larger increases. Even though home prices have risen in the past few months, it would not be easy for the developers to make big profits if they started work on the sites and presold the flats now, Mr Lee said. For example, Guangzhou R&F Properties bought a site in Guangzhou's Baiyun district for 180 million yuan (HK$204.21 million) or 18,729 yuan per square metre, a record in the city. Completed and uncompleted flats in Baiyun are being sold at between 5,000 yuan and 20,000 yuan per square metre. Poly Real Estate Group paid an accommodation value of more than 8,000 yuan per square metre for a site in Guangzhou's Jinsha area, also in 2007. However, Evergrande Real Estate Group is now selling a residential project next to the site at 9,000 yuan per square metre. Earlier, mainland media reported that only three of the 27 sites sold in 2007 were under construction. The rest, if developed, could provide a total gross floor area of 2.32 million sqmetres, China Central Television reported. A Guangzhou R&F spokesman yesterday said the firm has started preparing the Baiyun site for construction, which would start by the end of the year. But analysts said other developers would postpone their developments, waiting for a further rise in home prices. Beijing-based Sino-Ocean Land Holdings teamed up in October 2007 with another mainland developer to acquire two residential sites in Hangzhou for 2.22 billion yuan. The sites have not yet been developed, Mr Lee said.