The enthusiastic response to the sale of flats at Trinity Towers in Sham Shui Po at the weekend confirmed the existence of solid demand among first-time homebuyers, but the interest in homes requiring payment of a larger lump sum remained to be seen, agents said. Developers had accelerated the pace of marketing new projects and would make an estimated 7,000 units available for presale in the second quarter, said Patrick Chow Moon-kit, the head of research at Ricacorp Properties. "Offering discounts and preferential terms is the norm now," he said. Soundwill released the price list for the first batch of 30 flats at its 46-unit Coho development in Causeway Bay on Sunday, with discounts of up to 18.5 per cent. The prices of the units, which measure 312 to 317 square feet in saleable area, range from HK$8.57 million to HK$12.46 million, or HK$27,060 to HK$39,710 per square foot. Factoring in the discounts, a 312 sqft unit on the fifth floor will cost HK$6.97 million. Offering discounts and preferential terms are the norm in the market now Patrick Chow, Ricacorp Properties After the discounts, prices at Coho are in line with the HK$27,300 to HK$33,000 per square foot paid for second-hand flats at nearby projects. Soundwill's launch comes on the heels of Cheung Kong's offer on March 20 of an 11.75 per cent discount on the first batch of units at Trinity Towers. A total of 216 units were sold out in four hours on Saturday. Agents said the sale at Coho, which will begin on Friday, could serve as an indicator of the prospects of bigger-ticket transactions in the urban area. Other major projects ready for sale are Mont Vest in Tai Po, Lohas Park Phase 3 in Tseung Kwan O and City Point in Tsuen Wan. Sun Hung Kai Properties plans to release Mount One in Tai Po after the sale of Riva in Kam Tin. Chow said new home sales would still dominate the market with first-time homebuyers accounting for about half, indicating demand from upgraders remained weak.