BIDDING is expected to be cautious at next Wednesday's public auction of three plots of Crown land, expected to fetch between $600 million and $700 million. Analysts said the focus of bidding interest would be on the largest lot - a 25,478 square foot residential site in Tai Po with potential gross floor area of about 163,600 sq ft. The other two lots include a 4,866 sq ft commercial site in Shau Kei Wan and a 898 sq ft residential site in Lai Chi Kok Road. William Sham, associate director of Colliers Jardine, expected the Tai Po site to sell at $400 million, representing an accommodation value of $2,445 per sq ft, against a prevailing residential price of $3,500 per sq ft in the area. 'Developers will be cautious in bidding at the auction because of the uncertain market conditions,' he said. Tight lending policies by local banks also had presented difficulties for smaller developers to pursue new projects. 'Some smaller developers are forced to seek finance from overseas institutions,' he said. Analysts said sale of the Tai Po site could give indications of investors' confidence in the small to medium-sized residential market. The site is in the old centre of Tai Po and about 15 minutes walk from the KCRC railway station. The Shau Kei Wan and Lai Chi Kok sites could not be considered as representative because of their small size. Mr Sham said it was unusual in recent years for the Government to sell such a small plot as the Lai Chi Kok site and the buyer might attempt to acquire adjacent properties for joint development. He predicted it would sell for $16 million and that the Shau Kei Wan site, possibly for office development, would fetch about $200 million, representing an accommodation value of $2,740 per sq ft. Kenneth Cheung, director of CF and Associates, was more optimistic about the auction results, putting a price tag of $497 million on the Tai Po site and $265 million on the Shau Kei Wan site. But he expected the Lai Chi Kok site to sell at $10 million only. Lowest forecasts among analysts were $390 million for the Tai Po site, $182 million for the Shau Kei Wan site and $8.7 million for the Lai Chi Kok site.