A frenzied luxury home sale has locked up nearly 14 billion yuan (US$2 billion) in deposits from more than 2,700 interested buyers in Shenzhen – the largest in the tech hub’s history. However, some analysts are saying that the “market is overheated” after Beijing anointed the city as a “pilot zone” in August. A total of 2,794 individuals have each deposited 5 million yuan in banks to sign up for the flat sale lottery of project Sky Park, its state-owned developer Shenzhen Investment Holdings said in an announcement on Sunday. Only 192 units are available in this batch of sale, meaning that 15 investors would be fighting for one flat on average. The flats, ranging from 133 to 395 square metres, are priced at an average of 131,000 yuan per sq metre. The cheapest flat costs 15 million yuan. The subscription – locking up the most capital in Shenzhen’s property sale history – underscores a robust demand for high-end housing in the city bordering Hong Kong, even as the market in other Chinese mega cities such as Beijing and Shanghai has cooled under strict price curbs. Shenzhen’s property transactions has boomed since August, when Beijing unveiled a plan of wide-ranging reforms to build the hi-tech capital into a model for other Chinese cities. It also occupies a central place in the development of the Greater Bay Area, which seeks to bring closer the economies of Macau, Hong Kong and nine cities in the southern province of Guangdong. “The ‘pilot city’ announcement as well as the Greater Bay Area development plan was a huge driver for the market and gave rise to a lot of speculative demand,” said Zhang Bo, chief analyst of home-listing service Anjuke. “Some people are betting on the house prices to double shortly, making the market overheated. Such demand is highly irrational and risky.” Everybody’s rushing for a Shenzhen address In the case of Sky Park – a rare new project located at Xiangmihu, a district known for luxury homes and a superb school network – some investors even paid an exorbitant amount of “tea charge” to agents who claimed they could help them secure a place in the lottery to buy the flats, according to a statement by the developer on October 9. The bribe could be as much as 2 million yuan, as some investors said on the Twitter-like social media site Weibo. Another major reason behind the enthusiasm is the gap between the project price and the prices of second-hand homes in the area, which are usually more than 140,000 yuan per sq metre. Developers in China are under government pressure to cap the prices of new homes below the market price, in order to ensure affordability. “If the government were to let market forces take full control, the project would be sold at over 150,000 yuan per sq metre for sure,” said Chen Honghai, general manager of Shenzhen at property consultancy CRIC. Lottery of the project was held on Monday afternoon, and lucky buyers will select the flats on Tuesday.