AFTER a quick weekend sellout of 24 flats at its Classical Gardens development at Tai Po, Sino Group found sales slowed markedly when another 24 were released at higher prices. The average prices of the 24 extra units offer were raised by two to three per cent from the average of around $5,300 to $5,400 per square foot for the original batch. Estate Agents said only 14 of the 24 extra units were snapped by buyers by late afternoon yesterday. The Sino Group is a private organisation owned by the Robert Ng family. Mr Ng is chairman of the listed company Sino Land. Julian Tsang, supervisor at the Tai Po branch of Centaline Property Agency, said the sales response was quite good, reflecting an underlying demand from end-users. However, he cautioned that buying interest would not support the release of a large number of units, and he expected that Sino would not offer more Classical Gardens units in the short term. Midland Realty Tai Po branch manager Lawrence Wong said the results were better than expected, considering the weak market sentiment. He said many of the buyers at the Classical Gardens sale had opted to use the 85 per cent mortgage financing package provided by Sino, because of difficulties of coming up with a 30 per cent down payment. Beside the financing package, Sino also allows buyers to make a down-payment of only 15 per cent, with a further 15 per cent payable in 15 instalments over 15 months before bank finance is arranged. To attract buyers, the developer has followed Cheung Kong's example and provided hotel-style services for occupants in the Tai Po development. The Classical Gardens units on offer are from 652 to 910 sq ft and are ready for occupation. Sino released the first batch of Classical Gardens units for sale last December for an average of about $3,869 per sq ft but the boom market in the first quarter of this year pushed the price for the second batch in April to between $5,600 and $5,700 per sq ft.