Swire Properties failed in its bid this week to attract a buyer for a unit in its super-deluxe apartment tower, Opus, at a record-breaking reference price of HK$86,892 per square foot. Up for tender was a 5,409 sqft unit on the 11th floor of the residential tower in the Mid-Levels at a price tag of HK$470 million. On a per-square-foot basis, that would have made it the most expensive apartment ever sold in Hong Kong. But bidding fell short of the reference price and the unit was withdrawn from sale. "The bids received did not reflect the true value of Opus. Therefore, we have decided not to accept any bids," a company statement said. Rival developer Hutchison Whampoa fared better, however, with the sale of a third super-deluxe free-standing house at 28 Barker Road on The Peak for HK$530 million. The 5,692 sqft House No2 included a 1,214 sqft flat roof, a 654 sqft garden and two parking spaces. The HK$530 million price tag worked out at HK$93,113 per square foot. Inclusive of the latest sale, Hutchison has now raised HK$1.8 billion from the sale of just three houses in its Barker Road project in less than a month. Meanwhile, Swire announced it had acquired the office project, DCH Commercial Centre, in Quarry Bay, from Citic Pacific for HK$3.9 billion through Marvel Glory, in which it has a 50 per cent stake. The transaction price represents a per-square-foot value of HK$10,025. With more residential sites being offered for sale, it was likely that developers would sell more new projects to shore up their cash flow to buy land, said Alnwick Chan Chi-hing, executive director of property consultancy Knight Frank. Developers would also like to cash in on the improving buying interest after seeing most new launches generate better-than-expected responses, he said. Separately, MTR Corp yesterday invited expressions of interest from developers in a large site near Ting Wing light rail stop in Tin Shui Wai. The site will yield a gross floor area of 982,280 sqft or 1,500 flats. The tender will close on December 27. The site was withdrawn from tender in February when it failed to attract bids. On Wednesday, the government announced it would release 12 residential sites and one commercial plot for tender in the January-March quarter. Surveyors expect the 12 residential sites to provide a total of 5,500 units. James Cheung, an executive director at Centaline Surveyors, said the 116,896 sqft commercial site at the junction of Shouson Hill Road West and Wong Chuk Hang Path could fetch a winning bid of about HK$2.12 billion or HK$30,000 per square foot. "It will be the most expensive commercial site in per-square-foot terms," he said.