Cheung Kong has priced the first batch of flats at its Diva residential project in Tin Hau at about 20 per cent below that of a project launched nearby in November. "We wanted to surprise the market with a higher discount on the first batch of flats. It's our first new project this year. We hope people will find our asking prices reasonable," executive director Justin Chiu Kwok-hung said. The developer yesterday announced the average price of the first 50 flats at the 118-unit Diva is HK$22,514 per square foot, 16 per cent less than the price of Henderson Land's The Hemispheres released for sale in November, without extra discounts. Diva sales will start next week. Cheung Kong is offering a maximum total discount of 25 per cent for Diva flats, compared with the 21 per cent discount Henderson offered for The Hemispheres. Cheung Kong's offer includes 7 per cent discount on cash payment, 3 per cent discount to club members and 7.5 per cent discount on stamp duties. A further 7.5 per cent discount is available to buyers only until January 14. Corporate buyers can also gain this discount but it is limited to the first 10 buyers. With the discount, the average price of the flats at Diva comes to HK$16,886 per square foot, 20 per cent less than The Hemispheres' HK$21,155. The minimum price of a 493 square foot unit on the third floor is HK$7.97 million. Andy Chong, senior director at Ricacorp, said: "The asking price falls short of my expectations. I thought it would at least be HK$19,000 per square foot. Probably the developer plans to boost property sales this year after they were unable to meet the sales target last year." Chiu was confident Diva would sell well and that the firm's overall sales this year would be better than last year. Meanwhile, Sun Hung Kai Properties sold all the 195 flats of its fourth batch at Century Gateway II in Tuen Mun on Wednesday, in the strongest New Year's Day sales of the past decade. Sharmaine Lau Yuen-yuen, chief economist at mReferral Mortgage Services, said strong primary market sales boosted mortgages for new homes by 70 per cent to 643 in December, the highest in six months. But mortgages for existing properties continued to fall, hitting the lowest level in nearly two years. ARA Asset Management, an affiliate of Cheung Kong Group, has sold International Financial Centre in Nanjing for about three billion yuan (HK$3.8 billion). It was owned by a real estate fund managed by ARA.