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City Developments—controlled by billionaire Kwek Leng Beng—has sold 77% of its residential units at Piccadilly Grand, a residential condominium it is jointly developing with Hongkong Land unit MCL Land just outside the Singapore central business district, despite the government’s property cooling measures.
The duo sold 315 units of the 407-unit Piccadilly Grand on Northumberland Road, about four kilometers east of the CBD, two weeks after the project was launched for sale. Five-bedroom units of 1,582 square feet (147 square meters) were sold for more than S$3 million ($2.2 million), while one-bedroom units of 484 square feet were priced at S$1.06 million, the partners said in a statement over the weekend.
Piccadilly Grand, comprising three 23-story residential towers, is City Developments’ first property launch since the government introduced property cooling measures in December to temper housing prices, which have remained resilient even as the Covid-19 pandemic upended the global economy. On Sunday, the government imposed an additional tax on transfers of residential property to living trusts, closing a loophole used by buyers to avoid paying more duties on real estate transactions. While home prices rose at the slowest pace in almost two years in the first quarter following the property curbs, prices remain elevated.
“We are delighted and encouraged by the strong take-up at Piccadilly Grand, which reflects the genuine demand for well-located and thoughtfully designed properties,” Sherman Kwek, eldest son of Kwek Leng Beng and group CEO of City Developments, said in a statement. “Homebuyers value the conveniences of this integrated development, being seamlessly connected to the retail podium Piccadilly Galleria and directly linked to Farrer Park MRT station.”
Piccadilly Grand—which has 1,500 square meters of retail space and a 500-square-meter childcare center on the ground floor—is one of three projects City Developments plans to launch this year. In the second half, the developer also plans to launch a 639-unit condominium at Tengah Garden Walk in the western part of Singapore. The company will also start marketing the 256 prime residential units at the former site of Fuji Xerox office tower in Tanjong Pagar on the edge of the Raffles Place CBD.
City Developments has been stepping up its residential developments to tap rising housing demand in Singapore. Robust home sales, along with the recovery in the group’s hotel operations, helped City Developments return to the black last year with a net profit of S$97.7 million, compared with a record loss of S$1.9 billion in 2020 when the company wrote off its investment in financially troubled Chinese subsidiary Sincere Property Group.
Kwek Leng Beng is the chairman of Singapore’s Hong Leong Group, which was founded by his father in 1941. His cousin Quek Leng Chan, also a billionaire, runs a separate group in Malaysia, also called Hong Leong. With a net worth of $8.5 billion that he shares with his family, Kwek, 81, was ranked No. 8 on the list of Singapore’s 50 Richest that was published in August.