Sales of flats on Hong Kong's 10 biggest private housing estates fell by more than half at the weekend compared with the previous weekend after the government announced further measures to cool the property market. There were 17 transactions at the weekend on the 10 estates monitored by Centaline Property Agency, down from 40 sales a week earlier. On Friday the Hong Kong Monetary Authority reduced the maximum loan-to-value ratio for mortgages on homes valued at over HK$6 million. The regulator reduced by an additional 10 per cent the maximum loan-to-value ratio banks could offer non-local residents. Also on Friday, the Development Bureau announced the sale by tender or auction of eight housing sites between July and September to increase land supply. The sites are expected to provide about 6,000 flats. 'The market needs time to digest the news, which has affected secondary flat sales this week,' said the managing director of Centaline's residential department, Louis Chan Wing-kit. 'The secondary residential market will remain quiet,' There were no sales last weekend at Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom, Metro City in Tseung Kwan O and City One in Sha Tin, compared with 13 sales a week earlier , the realtor's data showed. Kenneth Chiu Hung-wan, chief district sales manager of one of the agency's Taikoo Shing branches, said there was only one sale, for a price of around HK$10,000 per square foot, in Taikoo Shing at the weekend. The previous weekend, four flats were sold. 'The stock market has been fluctuating recently and in addition to the government's tightening on mortgage loans, both sellers and buyers' sentiment have been affected and more are adopting a wait-and-see approach,' Chiu said. The seven-member Hang Seng Properties Index dropped 88.6 points, or 0.32 per cent, to close at 27,535 yesterday, compared with an increase of 88 points in the benchmark Hang Seng Index. Joyce Kwock, an analyst at Credit Suisse, said a decline in flat sales volume often followed whenever cooling measures were introduced.