Secondary-market home sales rose last week as some flat owners cut their asking prices to lure buyers back to the market. In the major 50 housing estates monitored by agency Ricacorp Properties, home sales increased to 116 for the period from July 22 to 28, up 8 per cent from the 107 deals done in the previous week. "Some flat owners began to cut their asking prices due to the poor market sentiment and inactive property sales," said Ricacorp director David Chan. "However, many potential buyers were attracted by new residential projects released recently. The market was also affected by the poor weather, and so sales rebounded only slightly," he added. By district, sales on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories rose, but sales in Kowloon dropped. "Flat owners on Hong Kong Island were willing to accept lower offers and Taikoo Shing in Quarry Bay recorded 10 deals last week, compared with only two transactions done in the previous week," said Chan. However, not many flat owners were willing to cut their asking prices. "Most adopted a 'wait-and-see' attitude; and as there is a lack of positive news in the market to encourage home seekers to buy flats, sales of second-hand homes will likely stay at a low level in the short run," Chan said. He forecast that weekly sales in the major 50 housing estates would stay at a level ranging from 100 to 150 deals. In the new-homes market, government data shows 43 flats were sold over the weekend. That was down 51 per cent from the 91 deals recorded the previous weekend. However, Midland Realty director Sammy Po Siu-ming said the base of comparison was sharply higher, since The Woodville and The Reach in Yuen Long were released to the market two weeks ago. "The new releases attracted many home seekers to enter the market, and it is normal to see sales slowing two weeks later. The 43 deals done over the last weekend comes after the new projects were released and that shows that housing demand remains strong and the market is active," Po said. The Woodville, built by New World Development, recorded the strongest sales among new projects, with 27 flats sold over the weekend at prices ranging between HK$4.43 million and HK$9.57 million. In response to the strong demand, New World released a further 26 flats for sale on Monday at an average price of HK$8,297 per square foot of saleable area. At Bayview in Ma Tau Kok, developed by Kerry Properties, 10 flats were sold over the weekend, while Henderson Land's The Reach in Yuen Long saw another six flats sold. Kerry Properties is part of the Kerry Group, the controlling shareholder of the SCMP Group, which publishes the South China Morning Post.