The government is expected to collect up to HK$4.86 billion from selling a hotel site and a residential plot, which should attract keen interest from buyers, according to surveyors. The harbourfront hotel site in North Point and the luxury residential site in Kau To, Sha Tin, were opened for tender yesterday. The tender period will close on March 22. "The North Point site is in the limelight because it's next to the harbour on Hong Kong Island, and the response from buyers to the government's previous sales of hotel sites was good," said Centaline Surveyors' director James Cheung King-tat. The site is also located close to an MTR station, which was another advantage, Cheung said. The 57,792 square foot site could yield a maximum gross floor area of 387,504 square feet, and Centaline estimates that it should sell for about HK$3.49 billion, or HK$9,000 per buildable square foot. In August 2011, Cheung Kong won a land parcel on Oil Street in North Point for hotel and residential development with a bid of HK$6.27 billion, which equated to a price of HK$8,294 per buildable square foot. Other surveying firms such as Cushman & Wakefield and Midland Surveyors estimated that the North Point site should have a price tag of HK$2.71 billion, or HK$7,000 per square foot on the basis of gross floor area. "Since the total lump-sum price of this site is high, I think it will woo about three or four bids … from large developers, or consortiums of developers, such as Cheung Kong, Emperor International and Chinachem, which all have a history of running hotels," Cheung said. The residential site open for tender in Kau To covers 86,972 sq ft and could provide a gross floor area of 130,459 sq ft. It is adjacent to a site bought last month by Wing Tai Properties and Manhattan Realty for HK$1.47 billion or HK$10,302 per square foot. That transaction was slightly higher than market expectations. The consortium outbid nine other bidders to win the luxury residential site. "The keen interest in previous land sales shows developers are upbeat about the outlook for the property market," Midland Surveyors director Alvin Lam Tsz-pun said. "Since this Kau To site is in a prime location, I think it will attract many bidders." The site was ideal for low-density development, Lam said, adding that it would be sold for about HK$1.3 billion, or HK$10,000 per square foot. Cheung put a similar price on the site, and said he expected seven or more developers to bid for it. Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, a national director for greater China at Cushman & Wakefield, revised up his estimate of HK$9,500 per square foot to HK$10,500 for the site due to the keen competition for the neighbouring site. This means the site should be worth about HK$1.37 billion. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Association of Banks said in a submission to the Legislative Council the government should protect banks against liability for buyer's stamp duty, which was imposed in October last year to cool soaring home prices.