Hong Kong’s weekend property buyers are back, as more than 2,000 people thronged a sales office to bid for 246 flats offered by Henderson Land Development in Hung Hom. The selling price of Henderson’s Vantage project starts from HK$3.83 million for the smallest 170 square feet unit, to HK$8.57 million for the biggest units at 425 sq ft (39.5 square metres), or a price range of HK$17,809 to HK$23,061 per sq ft. Every unit at the apartment complex was sold by 5:30pm, sales agents said. Nine potential buyers registered for every available unit at the project, underscoring how the city’s residential property market may have found a temporary bottom, as new-home prices reached their 28-month peak in August and declined ever since. First-home buyers are piling into the market to get on the property ladder, encouraged by a more dovish outlook for mortgage rates. “The Vantage project features small and medium-sized flat with low total prices, so it is popular among first-home buyers,” said Louis Chan Wing-kit, vice-chairman for Asia-Pacific at Centaline Property Agency, who estimated that 40 per cent of the buyers of Vantage were young people. The size of Vantage’s apartments required smaller lump sums to buy, which made the project within the affordability of many first-home buyers. The popularity of Vantage could also be a shot in the arm for the developers of so-called micro-apartments, or homes smaller than 200 sq ft, who may put more of these tiny abodes on the market. “This is among a few of the new housing projects that I can afford,” said Cici Chen, a 28-year-old business development manager at a law firm, who regretted not submitting a bid for Vantage. “I am worried that positive response from the market could prompt the developer to raise the price, which would put it beyond my budget.” A sell-out would mean HK$1.54 billion in proceeds for Henderson, which would be welcoming news after Hong Kong’s property sales cooled in the last six months. A successful sale would contribute to the 1,500 new homes that are likely to be sold in March, while the number of pre-owned homes that change hands could rise to a 10-month high of 4,500 units, according to Centaline’s forecast. Hong Kong’s home prices took a breather in January from a five-month drop. Overall price index of pre-owned homes rose by less than a tenth of a percentage point to 359.5 last month, after having dropped by 9.2 per cent from August to December, according to data by the city’s Rating and Valuation Department. S&P Global Ratings joined analysts from Japanese investment bank Nomura in saying growth in home prices would sustain and amount to 5 per cent this year.