(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong’s property market saw the best weekend in a year after the government lifted decade-long curbs on homebuying.

The financial hub’s 10 biggest estates recorded the most sales in 61 weeks with 27 transactions, 3.5 times higher than the previous weekend, according to Midland Realty, which tracks the data as a gauge of second-hand market sentiment. 

The new-home market is just as robust. Henderson Land Development Co.’s project Belgravia Place in Kowloon sold all of the 138 units on offer in a mere four hours on Sunday, the company said. That’s after the apartments received more than 4,400 applications to purchase them, meaning the units are 31 times oversubscribed.

While the sales are a boost to market sentiment, most analysts expect the medium-term outlook to remain challenging due to high interest rates, ample inventory and a weak economy.

Shares of Henderson Land climbed as much as 3.4% on Monday morning. Its peer Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. rose as much as 3%.

“Hong Kong’s urgency to restore vigor to its wheezy housing market is evident in its latest, decisive steps,” Patrick Wong, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said in a note on Monday. “It could take the heavy artillery of interest-rate cuts to relight the fire that drives investment demand.” 

The government last week took major steps to boost the ailing property market by loosening mortgage rules and removing all of the extra taxes designed to cool demand. Non-residents don’t have to pay a combined 15% tax when purchasing properties, while owners can sell their homes any time without paying a special duty.

The sales of all the units available at Belgravia Place are “rare in recent months,” Sammy Po, chief executive officer of the home division at Midland Realty, said in a statement. “We can see that the buyers’ speed to enter the market is accelerating.” Po expects first-hand transactions in March to reach the highest in a year.

There were also buyers who purchased several units in one go, with one snapping up four apartments for a combined HK$18 million ($2.3 million), Henderson added. Buyers no longer need to pay 7.5% when they own more than one home, compared with the standard tax rate that’s capped at 4.25%. 

--With assistance from Krystal Chia and John Cheng.

(Updates with developers’ share moves in fifth paragraph)

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