Outspoken property developer Ronnie Chan Chi-chung sided with the government and another big developer yesterday over the affordability of homes in the city - a hot topic since a luxury flat sold for a world-record price in Mid-Levels last week. 'If there's a bubble in the luxury property market, it will not have a huge impact on the livelihood of the general public, so what are you worried about? If those rich folks from the mainland or Hong Kong are buying luxury flats, you should just let them. 'It's only the prices of luxury flats that are rising rapidly. If you go to Tseung Kwan O to buy a property, the prices there have not gone up a lot. From a historical point of view, market affordability today is still OK.' Chan hinted the record-breaking sale of a duplex at Henderson Land's 39 Conduit Road for HK$439 million, or HK$88,000 per square foot of saleable area, might not be all it appeared. 'Why would you pay HK$2 if next door is selling for HK$1? said Chan, chairman of Hang Lung Properties, which has a portfolio of luxury developments. The government, from Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen down, has been putting out the same message since the Conduit Road sale - that the exorbitant prices paid for luxury homes will not trickle down to the mass market. On Tuesday, Justin Chiu Kwok-hung, executive director of big developer Cheung Kong (Holdings), said property prices were still acceptable to the public. The government has said it is prepared to tweak its system for land sales. In the past two years it has sold only two of the residential sites on its land application list. Developers can trigger an auction for a site if they bid 80 per cent of the government's reserve price (which it does not disclose), but other developers may outbid them. One possibility would be let lower bids trigger an auction or to reduce the reserve prices on sites. Chan said there was room to tweak the land-sale mechanism, but added: 'Who should decide what the price is for triggering an auction? Even if you invite someone from outside the government to sit in on the committee [setting reserve prices], his decision will represent that of the government.' Chan favours the resumption of regular land sales, a stance some politicians, including Lee Wing-tat of the Democratic Party, share. Members of the influential Real Estate Developers' Association are divided on the need for regular land sales. They would meet at the end of this month to discuss this and related issues, vice-president Stewart Leung Chi-kin said. At a meeting yesterday of the Housing Authority's subsidised housing committee, several committee members suggested the government should resume building flats under the Home Ownership Scheme, which was suspended seven years ago to help stabilise the property market. Under the scheme, households too poor to afford private home purchases bought flats at subsidised prices. Meanwhile, Monetary Authority chief executive Norman Chan Tak-lam and his deputy Choi Yiu-kwan had a 'general exchange of views' with bankers yesterday on issues including the property sector and mortgages. Bankers said they did not wish to see the property market heating up too much and that prices were volatile because there were so many potential investors in the market, one of those at the meeting said.