A PRIME property on the Peak has been sold by tender to the highest bidder for a staggering $276.61 million. The news comes amid reports of small estate agents fearing they will close down if property sales slow down dramatically and Henderson Land becoming the first local developer to cut prices by 8.4 per cent to attract buyers. The Peak property, Belvedere, at No 51 Plantation Road, has been sold with an option for the seller to buy a unit of the property on redevelopment. First Pacific Davies (Hong Kong) director Raymond Ho said: ''The price paid for the property, about $14,000 per square foot, is a record.'' Belvedere comprises a two-storey detached house on a 39,350 sq ft site with a good view over Victoria Harbour. The buyer of the property - a Hong Kong company - is expected to build at least five quality residential units on the site. Mr Ho said the company had a good record in property development. He said that with the recent government proposals to crack down on property speculation, the market needed an indication of where it would be going and this sale was a good indicator, adding that the response to the tender had been good. The interest shown by a number of tenderers for the property indicated that developers were still confident in the future property market and were willing to pay record prices for them, Mr Ho said. The method of disposing of a property, whether by tender or by private treaty, depended on clients, he said. He expected several similar transactions of single houses would follow this tender method and that the market for prime luxury residential property would remain active this year.