Land values in Tai Po have soared nearly 18 per cent within nine months as Sun Hung Kai Properties beat out 12 bidders to secure a residential site in the area at a price higher than market expectations. SHKP won the tender for the site in Pak Shek Kok near Science Park for HK$3.48 billion, or HK$3,864 per square foot. The bid was almost 18 per cent higher than the record low of HK$3,300 per square foot Great Eagle paid for a nearby site in May last year. The winning bid also exceeded the market's estimated valuation of HK$2.7 billion to HK$2.9 billion. "The winning bid is more expensive than the previous site sold in a nearby area with better sea views. It shows land values rebounding after hitting the bottom," said Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, the national director of Greater China for the consultant Cushman & Wakefield. Victor Lui Ting, deputy managing director at SHKP, said the developer would invest HK$8 billion, including the land cost, in the site. The 250,144 square feet site could yield a total gross floor area of 900,516 sq ft. Victor Lai Kin-fai, the chief executive of consultancy Centaline Professionals, said the site had fetched a high bid because developers did not take into account the impact of the tougher mortgage rules announced last week by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. "To gauge the land acquisition appetite for developers, we still need to observe the outcome of the next sales tender," he said. Separately, Nan Fung Development said it would release 315 units at The Visionary in Tung Chung for sale on Saturday, raising the total number of flats that day to 523.