PRICES for second-hand flats in the territory have continued to slip, according to latest data. Figures from real estate company Brooke Hillier Parker (BHP) show prices have fallen slightly in three Kowloon residential districts in the past month. At Kowloon Tong, asking prices dropped by two per cent from $8,205 per square foot to $8,038. The estates surveyed included Beverley Villa, Parc Oasis and Village Gardens, where prices have increased by 40 per cent in the past year. A similar price drop was recorded at Whampoa Gardens in Hunghom, where asking prices fell by nearly 3.5 per cent to $6,171 per sq ft. Conditions also favoured buyers at Ngau Tau Kok, where asking prices fell by three per cent from $4,282 per sq ft in October to $4,155 this month. The sample included Telford Garden, Amoy Gardens and Tak Bo Garden. Buyers at these estates in Ngau Tau Kok were paying an average of $3,201 per sq ft one year ago, nearly 30 per cent less than today. There were no changes in sale prices at Sha Tin, where City One, Garden Rivera, Golden Lion Garden, New Town Plaza and Pictorial Garden were surveyed. The absence of bids from major property developers at the Government land auction last week added more negative sentiment to the residential property market. Representatives from Sino Land, Nan Fung Development and Kerry Properties attended the auction but the three sites on offer were taken up by smaller property companies. Hong Kong's secondary residential market has suffered a series of setbacks this year, especially for older flats. The biggest problem has arisen from current bank lending policy, which discriminates in favour of newer flats, making it almost impossible for buyers to obtain loans for older properties. The full impact of last week's interest rate rise is not yet known, but higher mortgage costs are expected to hurt first-time buyers. Smaller real estate companies, especially those relying on selling apartments or leasing retail space, can also expect to see a decline in business. Earlier, developers' effort to stimulate sales at new projects by cutting prices had taken some attention away from the secondary market.